This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Arts and Crafts.
Fig. 1. - First Sketch of the Model.
It was a bitterly cold day, and the young lady was glad to get to the fire.
The painting was resumed.
" Our palette will be a little less simple than it was for the first stage," said Mr. Praga. "We shall need brown madder, cobalt, and yellow ochre - colours useful for nearly all shadows; also light red, and, as the hair is dark brown, a little sepia (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. - Second Stage of the Portrait.
Showing corrected drawing and defining the arrangement of the hair.
"We have now, you see, little more than the chief masses, with the shadows blocked in, and even this is not final. At every stage in our work the first thing we have to do is to revise our drawing. Correct drawing is the great essential; without it you will get no likeness, and it is necessary, I need hardly say, that such corrections as have to be made in the drawing should be made during the early stages. As our work stands now, with a brush moistened with a little clear water we can easily refine the outline, or, if necessary, remove any part of the shadows, or we may add to the drawing if we choose. I notice, by the way, that since the model has been resting a slight change has taken place in the arrangement of her hair. It is an improvement, and we will take advantage of it. You will observe that a lock has fallen upon the left shoulder. That is very good. . . . You see
Fig. 3. - Third Stage of the Portrait.
I am adding it on. . . . You need never expect the hair of a lady to come out twice alike - that is, if she dresses it herself. Therefore, if at any subsequent sitting you find it better arranged - I mean artistically arranged; not better from the hairdresser's point of view - be sure to avail yourself of the circumstance.
"Having revised my drawing, I start with the eyes. I always go back to the eyes, making them the keynote. I strengthen them up with sepia if, as in this case, they are strongly marked - or else with a mixture of brown madder and a little cobalt. The iris colour should be put in from the first and the pupils carefully drawn. This, of course, applies to all the features. The accents should be drawn in from the first. Do not attempt to finish as you go. The upper lip may be strengthened by a little carnation, applied with a touch of cobalt." (To be concluded.)
Miniatures by Cosway and His School.
One can no more talk or write about miniatures in England without referring to Richard Cosway than Mr. Dick could avoid bringing into his conversation and manuscripts the martyrdom of King Charles. But there is certainly more excuse in the present instance, for, without doubt, "the Macaroni miniature painter," as the little dandy was called, has not been surpassed, if, indeed, he has ever been equalled, in the peculiar charm and delicacy of his facile pencil.
The work of Richard Cosway, in his time, was declared to be not so much fashionable as fashion itself, and he was said to have painted more miniatures for exchange between affianced lovers than any other artist who ever lived. His art in giving brightness to eyes where none existed, or where it had never been, while yet securing satisfactory likenesses, made portraits by him particularly desirable when a sitter sought to produce a charming effect upon another's imagination. He painted all the beau-monde of his time, and his miniatures, being both family portraits and treasures of the cabinet, do not often find their way to the sales room. Yet the number of Cosway's miniatures was almost incredibly large. He had such facility and his clients were so numerous and pressing that he often produced exquisitely finished portraits in three sittings of half an hour each, and would boast at dinner-time that he had despatched through the day more than a dozen sitters.
Numerous, however, as are the examples of his dainty art, they constitute but an insignificant proportion of the total number of miniatures in the cabinets of to-day that pretend to be his work. All the examples illustrated in the present notice were at one time in the collection of the late Mr. Edward Joseph, a Bond-street dealer, with whom the acquisition of miniatures by Cosway and his contemporaries amounted to a passion. Yet even while he was exhibiting them - and he did so on several occasions - it was no secret that dangerous forgeries of more than one of the portraits shown had found their way into well-known cabinets.
Miniature by Cosway.
Miniature by Cosway.
The Joseph collection comprised about 70 examples of Cosway, Plimer, and Nathaniel and Horace Hone, Smart and Hoskins. Each miniature was enshrined among precious stones, or, at the very least, in a frame of solid gold. In some instances their owner made the mistake of lavishing too much richness on these settings, sometimes adding pearls and rubies or diamonds to an original frame already somewhat too showy with coloured enamels. He had photographs taken of the collection and mounted in a handsomely printed descriptive catalogue for private circulation. A copy of this book he gave to the present writer, and the illustrations shown herewith were carefully drawn from these photographs, in most instances with the original before the draughtsman as a guide. The miniatures are given the exact sizes of the originals, a fact, perhaps, not unworthy of note in connection with the group, "Three Ladies of the Rushout Family," by Plimer. By comparing our illustration with the reproduction of the same miniature in Dr. Williamson's "How to Identify Miniature Portraits" (see page 209), it will be seen that there are points of difference. In the first place, it would appear that the Joseph photograph, from which our illustration was drawn, must have been reversed; for the photograph from which the portrait in Dr. Williamson's book was taken was
Portraits Of Three Ladies Of The Rushout Family • By Andrew Plimer supplied by Mr. George J.Gould, of New York, the present owner of the miniature, and, doubtless, is correct. A more interesting point of difference is that our drawing shows the right arm of one of the young ladies as completely gloved, while in the illustration in Dr. Williamson's book the arm - at least, unless closely examined - appears to be uncovered. The photographer evidently overlooked a delicate passage in the painting, the significance of which was not lost to the intelligent draughtsman. We think this point somewhat important, for, although Plimer's drawing at best is far from impeccable, he would hardly have given the young lady such an impossibly lifeless limb as appears in the later photograph.