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Encyclopedia > Augustus John
"Artist John," on a 1928 Time cover
"Artist John," on a 1928 Time cover

Augustus Edwin John OM, RA, (January 4, 1878October 31, 1961) was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in England. Image File history File links Time-magazine-cover-augustus-john. ... Image File history File links Time-magazine-cover-augustus-john. ... The Order of Merit is a British and Commonwealth Order bestowed by the Monarch. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... This article is about the sub-division of the United Kingdom. ... Drawing is a visual art which makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. ... Etching is an intaglio method of printmaking in which the image is incised into the surface of a metal plate using an acid. ... Self-Portrait with sister, by Victor Borisov-Musatov 1898 Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and art critic Roger Fry in 1914, to describe the development of European art since Monet (Impressionism). ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the  United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130...


"Augustus was celebrated first for his brilliant figure drawings, and then for a new technique of oil sketching. His work was favourably compared in London with that of Gauguin and Matisse. He then developed a style of portraiture that was imaginative and often extravagant, catching an instantaneous attitude in his subjects."[1] This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 - May 9, 1903) was a leading Post-Impressionist painter. ... Self-Portrait in a Striped T-shirt (1906). ...

Contents

Life and work

Education

John was born at Tenby in Pembrokeshire, the younger son and third of four children in his family. His father was Edwin William John, a Welsh solicitor; his mother, Augusta Smith, died young, but not before inculcating a love of drawing in both Augustus and his older sister Gwen.[2] At the age of seventeen he briefly attended the Tenby School of Art, then studied at the Slade School of Art UCL in London (his sister, Gwen, was with him at the Slade and became an important artist in her own right),[3] where he became the star pupil of drawing teacher Henry Tonks, and even before his graduation was recognized as the most talented draughtsman of his generation.[4] Harbour of Tenby in Nov, 2001 Tenby (Welsh: Dinbych-y-Pysgod, little town of the fishes) is a walled seaside town in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, lying on Carmarthen Bay. ... Pembrokeshire (Welsh: ) is a county in the southwest of Wales in the United Kingdom. ... Gwen John (1876-1939) was a Welsh artist. ... The Slade School of Fine Art is an art school based at University College London in the UK. The school traces its roots back to 1868 when Felix Slade decided to establish three Chairs in Fine Art, to be based at Oxford, Cambridge and London—though with only London offering... University College London, commonly known as UCL, is a college of the University of London. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...

WB Yeats (1907)
WB Yeats (1907)

In 1897 John was seriously injured while swimming, and the lengthy convalescence that followed seems to have actually stimulated his adventurous spirit and accelerated his artistic growth.[5] In 1898, he won the Slade Prize with Moses and the Brazen Serpent. John afterward studied independently in Paris where he seems to have been influenced by Puvis de Chavannes.[6] Image File history File links Augustus_John_-_Yeats. ... Image File history File links Augustus_John_-_Yeats. ... William Butler Yeats, 1933 photograph, author unknown. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... The Poor Fisherman Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, (December 14, 1824 – October 24, 1898) was a French painter. ...


Provence

Some time in 1910, John fell in love with the town of Martigues, in Provence. "Glimpsed from a train en route to Italy, John referred to this enchanting town on the banks of the Etange de Berre as 'the goal of my dreams', and would return regularly with his family to stay at the Villa Ste Anne for the next eighteen years. Characteristically, it was not only the colour and beauty of the Provencal landscape that delighted John, but also that of the handsome local population. In a letter to Ottoline Morrell written shortly after his first arrival in Martigues, Augustus remarked, '... I have seen so many powerful women whose essential nudity no clothing can disguise.'"[7] Coat of arms of Provence Provence (Provençal Occitan: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a former Roman province and is now a region of southeastern France, located on the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to the Italian border. ...


He was, throughout his life, particularly interested in the Roma people (whom he referred to as Gypsies), and sought them out on his frequent travels around the British Isles and Europe. For a time, shortly after his marriage, he and his family travelled aound in a caravan, in gypsy fashion. Languages Romani, languages of native region Religions Christianity, Islam Related ethnic groups South Asians (Desi) The Roma (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom) or Romanies are an ethnic group living in many communities all over the world. ... The British Isles in relation to mainland Europe The British Isles (French: , Irish: [1] or Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa,[2] Manx: Ellanyn Goaldagh, Scottish Gaelic: , Welsh: ), is a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe comprising Great Britain, Ireland and a number of smaller islands. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ...


War

During World War I, he was attached to the Canadian forces as a war artist and made a number of memorable portraits of Canadian infantrymen. The end result was to have been a huge mural for Lord Beaverbrook and the sketches and cartoon for this suggest that it might have become his greatest large-scale work. However, like so many of his monumental conceptions, it was never completed. As a war artist, "he was also allowed to keep his facial hair and therefore became the only officer in the Allied forces, except for King George V, to have a beard. After two months in France he was sent home in disgrace after taking part in a brawl. Lord Beaverbrook, whose intervention saved John from a court-martial, sent him back to France but he is only known to have completed one painting, Fraternity."[8] “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Sir William Maxwell Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook (May 25, 1879 - June 9, 1964) was a Canadian–British business tycoon and politician. ... George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 - 20 January 1936) was the first British monarch belonging to the House of Windsor, as a result of his creating it from the British branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. ... Sir William Maxwell Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook (May 25, 1879 - June 9, 1964) was a Canadian–British business tycoon and politician. ...


Portraits

Although well-known early in the century for his drawings and etchings, the bulk of John's later work consisted of portraits, some of the best of which were of his two wives and his children. He was known for the psychological insight of his portraits, many of which were considered "cruel" for the truth of the depiction. Lord Leverhulme was so upset with his portrait that he cut out the head (since only that part of the image could easily be hidden in his vault) but when the remainder of the picture was returned by error to John there was an international outcry over the desecration.[9] Drawing is a visual art which makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. ... Christ Preaching, known as The Hundred Guilder print; etching c1648 by Rembrandt Etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original process - in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used... Lord Leverhulme is the most familiar name of William Hesketh Lever, a British Industrialist who was created 1st Viscount Leverhulme. ...


By the 1920s John was Britain's leading portrait painter. John painted many distinguished contemporaries, including T. E. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, the cellist Guilhermina Suggia, the Marchesa Casati and Elizabeth Bibesco. Perhaps his most famous portrait is of his fellow-countryman, Dylan Thomas. // T. E. Lawrence in the white silk robes of the Sherifs of Mecca. ... Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) — an English novelist, short story writer, and poet of the naturalist movement — delineated characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. ... A 1907 engraving of Yeats. ... George Bernard Shaw (born 26 July 1856, Dublin, Ireland died November 2, 1950, Hertfordshire, England) was an Irish writer. ... Guilhermina Suggia (1885 - 1950) was a Portuguese-born cellist. ... The Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957) lived in the unfinished Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice (now the Peggy Guggenheim Collection) between about 1910 and 1924. ... Augustus John, Princess Antoine Bibesco, 1924 Elizabeth (Asquith) Bibesco (February 26, 1897 - April 7, 1945) was an English writer, active between 1921 - 1940. ... Dylan Thomas Dylan Marlais Thomas (October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer. ...

Colonel T.E. Lawrence (1919)
Colonel T.E. Lawrence (1919)

It was said that after the war his powers diminished as his bravura technique became sketchier. One critic has claimed that "the painterly brilliance of his early work degenerated into flashiness and bombast, and the second half of his long career added little to his achievement." However, from time to time his inspiration returned, as it did on a trip to Jamaica in 1937.[10] Those works that "relate to his visit to the West Indies in 1936-7 show just how undiminished his abilities were. The rendering of light and shade beneath the tall palms, and the easy suggestion of movement in the lightly brushed figures, all bespeak an artist whose powers were anything but diminished, harking back to the many descriptions which lauded him as the finest draughtsman since the Old Masters".[11] Image File history File links Augustus_John_-_TE_Lawrence. ... Image File history File links Augustus_John_-_TE_Lawrence. ... Thomas Edward Lawrence (August 16, 1888 – May 19, 1935), also known as Lawrence of Arabia, and (apparently, among his Arab allies) Aurens or El Aurens, became famous for his role as a British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of 1916–1918. ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. ...


Of his method for painting portraits John explained:

" Make a puddle of paint on your palette consisting of the predominant colour of your model's face and ranging from dark to light. Having sketched the features, being most careful of the proportions, apply a skin of paint from your preparation, only varying the mixture with enough red for the lips and cheeks and grey for the eyeballs. The latter will need touches of white and probably some blue, black, brown, or green. If you stick to your puddle (assuming that it was correctly prepared), your portrait should be finished in an hour or so, and be ready for obliteration before the paint dries, when you start afresh."[12]

Family

By his first wife, Ida Nettleship (1877–1907), he had five children, and by his mistress Dorothy "Dorelia" McNeill, who later became his second wife, he had two children. One of his sons was the prominent British Admiral and First Sea Lord Sir Caspar John. By Ian Fleming's widowed mother, Evelyn Ste Croix Fleming née Rose, he had a daughter, Amaryllis Fleming (1925–1999), who became a noted cellist. John Trivett Nettleship (February 11, 1841–August 31, 1902) was a British artist, known as a painter of animals and in particular lions, and author. ... The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the British Royal Navy. ... Admiral of the Fleet Sir Caspar John, born 1903, died 1984 was the British First Sea Lord from 1960 to 1963. ... Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28, 1908 – August 12, 1964) was a British author, journalist and Second World War Naval Officer. ... Evelyn Beatrice Ste Croix Fleming, known as Eve Fleming, was married to Valentine Fleming and within that marriage was the mother of Peter Fleming, Ian Fleming (the novelist who wrote the James Bond books), Richard Fleming and Michael Fleming. ... She was the illegitimate daughter of the painter Augustus John by his mistress Eve Fleming, mother of the writers Peter Fleming and Ian Fleming by her late husband. ...

The Two Jamaican Girls (ca. 1937)
The Two Jamaican Girls (ca. 1937)

Image File history File links Augustus_John_-_The_Two_Jamaican_Girls. ... Image File history File links Augustus_John_-_The_Two_Jamaican_Girls. ...

Later life

In later life, John wrote two volumes of autobiography, Chiaroscuro (1952) and Finishing Touches (1964).[13] In old age, though John had ceased to be a moving force in British art, he was still greatly revered, as was demonstrated by the huge show of his work mounted by the Royal Academy in 1954. He continued to work up until his death in Fordingbridge, Hampshire in 1961, his last work being a studio mural in three parts, the left hand of which showed a Falstaffian figure of a French peasant in a yellow waistcoat playing a hurdy gurdy while coming down a village street. It was Augustus John's final wave goodbye. This article refers to an art institution in London. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fordingbridge is a former market town with a population of six thousand on the River Avon and the A338 road in the west of Hampshire, England, near to the Dorset and Wiltshire borders and on the edge of the New Forest. ... Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Adolf Schrödter: Falstaff and his page Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare as a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. A fat, vainglorious, and cowardly knight, Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, but he...


He is said to have been the model for the bohemian painter depicted in Joyce Cary's novel The Horse's Mouth, which was later filmed with Alec Guinness in the lead role.[14] Time magazine cover featuring Joyce Cary, October 20, 1952 This article is about the male author Joyce Cary. ... Sir Alec Guinness CH CBE (April 2, 1914 – August 5, 2000) was an Academy Award and Tony Award-winning English actor who became one of the most versatile and best-loved performers of his generation. ...


Michael Holroyd published a biography of John in 1975 and it is a mark of the public's continued interest in the painter that Holroyd published a new version of the biography in 1996. Michael Holroyd (born August 27, 1935) is a biographer, born in London and educated at Eton College. ...


Honours

He became a leader of the New English Art Club, where he chiefly exhibited. With his vivid manner of portraiture and his ability to catch unerringly some striking and usually unfamiliar aspect of his subject, he superseded Sargent as England's fashionable portrait painter. In 1921 he was made a member of the Royal Academy. The New English Art Club was founded in London in 1885 as an alternate venue to the Royal Academy. ... Self Portrait, oil painting, 1907 John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was the most successful portrait painter of his era, as well as a gifted landscape painter and watercolorist. ... This article refers to an art institution in London. ...


See also

Vernon Watkins (1906 – 1967) was a Welsh poet, and a painter. ...

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/arts/sites/art/pages/gwen_augustus_john.shtml
  2. ^ Easton, Malcolm, and Holroyd, Michael: The Art of Augustus John, page 1. David R. Godine, 1975.
  3. ^ One of "a bevy of talented girls" there at the time. Easton and Holroyd, page 2.
  4. ^ As witness "The legendary Slade acclamation, 'There was a man sent from God, whose name was John'". Easton and Holroyd, page 2.
  5. ^ Easton and Holroyd, page 2.
  6. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_International_Encyclopedia
  7. ^ http://www.waterman.co.uk/pages/single/1569.html
  8. ^ http://www.waterman.co.uk/pages/biography/91.html
  9. ^ James Joyce complained that John's drawings of him "failed to represent accurately the lower part of his face", and commenting on Lady Ottoline Morrell's determination to hang her portrait in her drawing-room, John observed "Whatever she may have lacked, it wasn't courage." Easton and Holroyd, pages 186, 82.
  10. ^ The Two Jamaican Girls, by Augustus John (1878 - 1961)
  11. ^ http://www.waterman.co.uk/pages/single/306.html
  12. ^ Easton and Holroyd, page 156.
  13. ^ http://www.waterman.co.uk/pages/biography/91.html
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051739/ The Horses's Mouth (1958)

External links

  • Augustus John collection at the Tate Gallery
  • Augustus John collection at the National Portrait Gallery London
  • Augustus John collection at the National Museum Wales
  • Article about Gwen and Augustus John in BBC Wales
  • John's prize-winning painting Study for Moses and the Brazen Serpent
  • Portraits of Elizabeth Asquith by John and others
  • John's sketch of the writer, James Joyce
  • John's connection with the anarchist movement from libcom.org

  Results from FactBites:
 
Augustus John - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1137 words)
Augustus Edwin John OM,RA, (January 4, 1878–October 31, 1961) was a Welsh painter, draftsman, and etcher.
John was born at Tenby in Pembrokeshire, studied at the Slade School of Art UCL in London and even before his graduation became recognized as the most talented draughtsman of his generation.
Michael Holroyd published a biography of John in 1975 and it is a mark of the public's continued interest in the painter that Holroyd published a new version of the biography in 1996.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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