Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Elizabeth York Brunton (1880-1973)

This posting has been inspired by a lot in an auction in the 13th June 2012. As I was searching through endless boring lots of pictures and prints, the picture below caught my eye - immediately it looked of interest. Just the type of image I would happily hang on my wall, both at Fine Art Fairs and at home waiting for it to sell. Those are the joys and worries of being a dealer, you can enjoy your stock at home whilst worrying whether it will ever sell !!


This is for sale at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury in their Oil Painting, Watercolours, Prints, Miniatures and Books sale in the 13th June 2012, this is Lot 112. Their catalogue description states - Elizabeth York Brunton (19th/20th Century) "Carriages in the Shade" signed woodcut, 29cm by 36cm.

What caught my eye from the tiny thumbnail picture was the possibility of it being a Frank Morley Fletcher (1866-1950).

The composition and techniques have a similarity (see right), the use of the sketchy black key line delineating the detail within the blocks of colours, some with and some without key lines. His colouring also often has the deliberate grained brushed effect, not the flat uniform colour of Urushibara.

Is there a connection between these artists, contemporaries ? teacher/student ?

I alway, like to start with The dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940 , just plain facts to work from - Elizabeth York Brunton Exh 1906-36, Painter and colour woodcut engraver. Studied Edinburgh College of Art and Paris. Address - Inveresk 1906, Edinburgh 1911. She exhibited 19 pictures at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 5 Walker Gallery Liverpool, 15 Royal Scottish Academy and 2 at the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours. Quite a record some success  and some clues ?? and the Morley Fletcher connection, as he was director at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1907 until 1926. It's look to be a teacher student relationship.


Now for some Googling - and it was not such a surprise that she has already been blogged !! one guess ? "Art and the Aesthete" . Interesting that he lists her teacher at Edinburgh as John Platt, an artist whose woodcuts are similar to Frank Morley Fletcher.

Also that whilst in Paris she studied at the Academie Colarossi, who director from 1910 was the progressive female New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947).

Other notable British students to graduate from this academy include Samuel Lamorna Birch, John Duncan Fergusson, Mina Loy, Samual Peploe, Dod Proctor and Sydney Vosper. Perhaps more interestingly for those interested in graphic art, Alphonse Mucha and Amedeo Modigliani both studied there.


Disappointingly I was able to find any other picture by her, the British Museum hold 9 prints by her but none are pictured, you will have to visit their collection to see them. The titles are; Demoiselle Cranes, Penguins, Owls, Sellagruppa, Monta Cristallo and Lake Landro, Watch Tower, Drei Zinnen and Lake Misurina,
Drei Zinnen and Lake Landro and Tofana. All these woodcut were acquired in 1926, so they were created before this date; yet she exhibited Tofana 78/100 priced at 3 guineas at the Society of Artist Printers 1931 exhibition in Edinburgh. The edition sizes of the Birds is unstated with the others published in an edition of 100.

Hopefully, there are many copies that survive, if all were sold and with luck a few more will appear on the market for us to enjoy !! I wonder how much it will sell for ??

NEWS - Nov 2013
New information from the artist's great nephew (see comment) is that she died in 1973 not 1960 as originally quoted. Such a shame that the original drawings were thrown away.

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