Monday, October 5, 2015

Thinking about David Inshaw


There are two good articles in the Guardian Review this weekend one is on David Inshaw, part of the group called The Brotherhood of Ruralists, and the other article by Mary Beard on the Romans and the parallel with our modern society.

The David Inshaw article features his most famous paintings two females playing badminton, there is something of menace in the tall dark evergreen trees, and the equally tall, rather ugly  house, but of course it is also quintessential of the English landscape, and gardens of our larger formal houses.  The excessive clipping of the box shrub, shows a leisured way of life, gardeners employed to shape and trim. The same neatness is found in the following painting, the untidiness of graves outlined by mown grass.  I love also of course his Silbury paintings, one with an owl flying, there is though a reservation in how much I like him, he captures the forms of trees dancing down the landscape, but his neatness goes against my untidy nature. he reminds me that I have a similar feeling when I see the great houses like Castle Howard and their formal parks, so neat and tidy devoid of 'wilderness'.  We may thank Capability Brown for designing landscapes but was he not too 'surburban'?




The May tree - David Inshaw
What of course drew me to this artistic group was the fact that they lived in the village of Wellow for a while in the old railway station.  Wellow was a favourite haunt of mine, Moss and I would walk along the green lane to Stoney Littleton barrow, crossing the pretty brook, up the hill, and I would heave Moss over the stile and there we would contemplate the world from this marvellous tumulus. Yet this has struck me every time I have read or looked at the works about The Brother of Ruralists, why did they not draw this barrow and the the little Wellow brook?




David Inshaw Pastoral Landscapes



8 comments:

  1. I love the whole idea of The Brotherhood of Ruralists - they show such an ordered, perfect world. Alright, that is not how it is, but there is no harm in wishing it were so.

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  2. Well I was thinking about Utopia the other day, perhaps we all create it, at least in our minds ;)

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  3. My "tasting" of the top painting: Yes, Capability Brown with hints of Francis Towne to the Pre-Raphaelites.

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  4. Well I had not come across Francis Towne, so thank you, he has a clear sparse way of painting landscape. The pre-raphaelites were a favourite till a few years ago, and then their idealised females became too much. I found Morris's and Rosetti's poetry very boring to.....

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    1. Francis Towne can be a little pricey ;-)

      http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2010/an-exceptional-eye-a-private-british-collection-l10041/lot.62.html

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    2. Well can't afford him!, if I was going to put original paintings on the wall, Eric Ravilious, Paul Nash and maybe Elizabeth Blackadder for her paintings of flowers....

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  5. I just love She Did Not Turn. It reminds me of an old drove just outside Salisbury (where I lived for several years) and it captures a moment in time so succinctly. Like you, I do not care for the neat straight lines and trimmed shrubbery in his other works, but LOVE the Silbury Hill and May Tree you have shown here.

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    1. You are quite right the painting of 'She Did Not Turn' is very soothing, very typical of a Wiltshire landscape, smooth rounded downs with straight furrows, there was a drawing 'team' in the Guardian who illustrated the philosophical writing at one stage...

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