Today is my daughter's 11th birthday. I tend to blame my chaotic Christmas arrangements on the fact that I am always focused on getting Lily's birthday sorted, and then her party, only to be horribly surprised how close to Christmas I suddenly am. In fact, after 11 years, I really should be better at it. Ho hum. Happy birthday Lily-Rose! On with Angelvent before she wakes up!
|The Protecting Angel (1897) Joseph Wilson Forster|
There are many types of angels in Angelvent and so we are taking a break from Annunciating angels to see what other jobs they do. Here we have a rather splendid protecting angel with one of those swingy catholic incense things, hang on ... the word I was looking for was "censer", but as I am all too often un-censered here, it's unsurprising I didn't know it. Anyway, the angel is obviously looking down on us and praying for our naughty souls. I would say the angel was more feminine than androgynous, and I also would say is a fair portrait of someone as the face seems to be very definitely someone rather than an idealised figure, if you know what I mean. Again, she has the red and white and blue wings and a blue robe. Now, I know that blue was used for the most Holy figures traditionally, because of the high price of blue paint ground from lapis, but according to some holy friends of mine, blue is also the colour of the holy spirit in the Bible, which is handy. Also, blonde little girls look lovely in blue and so Mary always seemed to be a girl with long blonde hair in my school, not that I'm bitter. Despite having long blonde hair Lily did not get to be Mary, she was 'the chicken at the nativity'. This year she's a grandfather clock. For heavens sake.
|Portrait of a Lady (1898) Joseph Wilson Forster|
Moving on from my parental bitterness and thwarted Biblical ambition, Joseph Wilson Forster did some rather interesting art. Born in 1861, the son of a Quaker sugar refiner, Forster studied art at the Royal Academy before marrying the daughter of the Canon of Canterbury and settling down to the life of a professional artist. The family moved to Bushey, where he taught at the school of Arts and Craft. Bushey, in Hertfordshire, strikes me as a bit like St Ives as more and more artists I come across have ties to the place. I've written about Ida Perrin, of course, but also Lucy Kemp Welch and Hubert von Herkomer have close ties to the town. I feel a road trip coming on...
|Love and War (1915)|
Flipping heck! I now feel the need to write a book just so I can have that on the cover. It's a tad overblown, I grant you, but it is from 1915 when obviously it was still okay for some people to portray war as something romantic and heroic, rather than the horrifically pointless mudbath it actually was. Another winged friend appears in this painting, this time cupid, bestowing love upon our Edwardian girl and her puzzlingly armoured lover. Is she meant to be medieval too? I'm now picturing some sort of time travelling epic where an Edwardian woman finds love with a medieval knight - She was Lucy Scoggins, the omnibus conductor's daughter, he was Richard the Lionheart, but somehow love blossomed...
I'm off to write an epic romance, I'll see you all tomorrow!