Order your ARC 2012-2013 Salon Catalogue

Click here to become a sponsor

   
Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
click to learn more click to learn more click to learn more
click to learn more click to learn more click to learn more
click to see upcoming exhibition information Click to visit the Living Masters Gallery Click to see the winners of the 2013-2014 ARC Salon click to see the winners of the 2013 ARC Scholarship
Eleanor Fortescue
Brickdale
English painter
born 1871- died 1945

Also known as:
Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, Eleanor Brickdale

Nationality:
English


Biographical Information

Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (1871-1945) was a well respected illustrator and painter of her day. In 1896, she created a lunette titled Spring, which was used in the Royal Academy Dining Room. In 1902, she had the honor of becoming the first female member of the Institute of Painters in Oils.[5] She illustrated many books such as Poems by Tennyson, 1905, W.M. Canton, Story of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 1912, and Calthorp, A Diary of an 18th Century Garden, 1926, to name a few. In 1919, Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale's Golden Book of Famous Women was published by Hodder & Stoughton, which was a compilation of stories about some of the most famous women in history and legend as written by some of the most famous authors in history such as William Shakespeare, Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and John Keats among others. Although this book contains no introduction to explain whose inspiration it was to put the book together or who chose the content, it seems clear from the title that Brickdale must have been the mastermind behind it.

Her works are always styled in the manner of the Pre-Raphaelites such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti or William Holman Hunt, using vibrant jewel like colors and representative 19th century subject matter. Take for example her allegorical painting titled, The Deceitfulness of Riches, which after being first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1901, was subsequently included in an exhibition titled Such Stuff as Dreams are made of, in 1902, a reference to William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Many classical artists from the 19th century would put to vision what famous writers and poets put to pen. There was a great love of storytelling and without television or other modern day technologies; drawing, painting, and theater, were the only ways to express subject matter in a visual context. The symbolism in this painting was highly debated when it was first put on view, and today, its deeper meaning is still up to interpretation. A princess sits in a stately garden, coddling a sleeping kitten. Her jealous attendant's close in about her, isolating her from the outside world . The child in the upper left of the painting appears to speak, though her voice cannot be heard over the musician which sits between her and the princess. A second attendant motions for silence towards an approaching woman who appears to sneak a view. A Holy figure is depicted in a decorative tablet, slightly above and behind the princess, their backs to each other. Like the kitten, the princess remains ignorant, pampered and isolated from the world around her, providing a false sense of contentment and security. The expression of the princess has a sad undertone, and it is possible that the only intentions she can trust is that of the kitten's which she holds to her chest.

Tragically Brickdale's career was cut short when she suffered a stroke in 1938 and could not paint for the remaining 7 years of her life. Today, her paintings are in the collections of several museums including the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Leeds City Museums and Art Galleries, and the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University. Her work demonstrates great skill and it is clear that she is one of the reasons the turn of the 19th to 20th century has become known as the Golden Age of Illustration.

-by Kara Lysandra Ross

Source


Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pre-Raphaelite online resource, artist biography section, Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale.



To view Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale's Golden Book of Famous Women, please click here.

   Books and Related Products About This Artist

The Deceitfulness of Riches

-1901
Oil on canvas
85.09 x 109.855 cm
(33½" x 43¼")
Private collection

Added: 2011-11-10
The Forerunner

-1920
Oil on canvas
59.6 x 122 cm
(23.46" x 48.03")
The National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (Liverpool, United Kingdom)

Added: 2013-02-14
If One Could Have That Little Head of Hers

-1910
Watercolor, bodycolor, and gol
31.8 x 19 cm
(12.52" x 7.48")
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum (Bournemouth)

Added: 2013-02-14
The Uninvited Guest

Oil on canvas
Private collection

Added: 2013-02-14
Head of a Tudor Girl

Oil on canvas
Private collection

Added: 2002-06-16
Today for Me

1901
Watercolour heightened with bo
51 x 35 cm
(20.08" x 13.78")
Private collection

Added: 2002-07-22
Today for Me
Love and his Counterfeits

-1904
Pencil and watercolor
66.04 x 133.35 cm
(26" x 52½")
Private collection

Added: 2013-02-14
The Gilded Apple

-1899
Watercolor over pencil
44.45 x 26.035 cm
(17½" x 10¼")
Private collection

Added: 2013-02-14
Rosamond

Oil on canvas
121.92 x 73.66 cm
(48" x 29")
Private collection

Added: 2012-06-08
The Cunning Skill to Break a Heart

-1900
Watercolor and bodycolor
37.5 x 25.4 cm
(14.76" x 10")
Private collection

Added: 2012-06-08