|Thank you Mr Amazon, but I don't want to look inside, I just want to look at the cover...|
|The Kiss (1894) Henry John Stock|
There aren't exactly a shortage of Stock's work online but finding anything more about him is a bit of a trial, so this is what I have found...
This handsome fellow is Henry John Stock, born in 1853 in London to an artist father, also called Henry. Henry Stephen Stock had a studio at 39 Dean Street, Soho and specialised in miniatures and portraits, possibly also photography. The Stock family had returned briefly from America, Pennsylvania, when Grandpa Stock had married a young woman called Matilda from Gloucestershire. Many members of the family had returned to Pennsylvania, but Henry Senior remained, building his business in London. His son, Henry John, remained at home, presumably training and working under his father (they are both at the same address, listed as 'Artist' in the 1871 census), but he married in 1881 to Jane Mallet and they moved out to Fulham.
|Ferdinand and Ariel (1880)|
|Violet Clayton (c.1913)|
|Winifred Ianthe Clayton (1913)|
Among the paintings I found were a few that took my breath away. Possibly the key to why Stock is not valued more as an artist is that his output was not uniformally exceptional, because if he produced work like the following on a regular basis we would surely know him more intimately...
|The Uplifting of Psyche|
|Day Banishing Night|
|Girl Surrounded by Ivy|
I would like to see more of Mr Stock, not least because The Kiss is one of the most romantic pictures I have seen for a long while, and during this Valentine's week, surely we should embrace a little more love in our art?
Later in the week I will look at a contemporary of Stock's, almost to the year, but whose career has suffered in recent years because he is too well known...