miércoles, 5 de julio de 2017

LA RUECA || Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

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John Dickson Batten (British painter, book illustrator and print maker) 1860 - 1932
Sleeping Beauty: The Princess pricks her Finger, ca. 1895
egg tempera on artist's board
70 x 96.5 cm.
signed with initials and inscribed on a label on the reverse: It will be greatly to the/advantage of this Picture/if it can be hung with the light falling from the Left./JDB
private collection

John Dickson Batten began his career as a barrister, reading law at Trinity College Cambridge, and entering the Inner Temple in 1884. However, shortly afterwards he gave it up and enrolled at the Slade School of Art to study painting under Alphonse Legros. He worked as a book illustrator as well as a painter and many of his works illustrate fairy tales. Batten first exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1886, and subsequently at the New Gallery and from 1891 onwards at the Royal Academy.

In December 1922 Batten wrote an article in The Studio magazine, The Practice of Tempera Painting in which this picture and others by the artist are illustrated. The article was part of a lecture he gave at the Ashomolean Museum Oxford earlier that year in which he discusses the technique of fresco painting and the use of tempera.

John Dixon Batten was one of the principal artists involved in the rival of egg tempera as a painting medium. From the mid 1890’s, Batten worked chiefly this difficult technique in which yolk of egg is used as the medium.

Tempera was the most important panel painting technique of the medieval period and early renaissance, however, was superseded by oil painting in the fifteenth century. A revival of the technique emerged in Burne-Jones’s circle inevitably in view of the artists’ love of quattrocento painting. In 1899 Christiana Herringham published a translation of Cennino Cennini’s Book of the Art, an early Italian technical treatise which greatly facilitated their work, and prompted a more widespread revival. In April 1901 a pioneering Loan Exhibition of Modern Paintings in Tempera was held at Leighton House in London. This exhibition led directly to the formation of the Society of Painters in Tempera in November 1901 of which Batten was a founder member.

The mythological and allegorical themes of Batten’s work were in keeping with the type of subject matter that the Grosvenor’s proprietor, Sir Coutts Lindsay sought to encourage. Throughout the 1890’s, John Dixon Batten was illustrating various editions of fairy tales by Joseph Jacob, the first of which was Celtic Fairy Tales of 1892 and the last The Book of Wonder Voyages of 1896, which perhaps lead him to paint the age-old tale of Sleeping Beauty.

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Born at Plymouth, the son of a QC, Batten went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and entered the Inner Temple in 1884. However, he soon abandoned law for art, studying at the Slade under Legros and exhibiting at the Royal Academy (1891-1922), the Grosvenor Gallery and the New Gallery, and with the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, etc. He is chiefly remembered for his illustrations to the books of fairy tales edited by Joseph Jacobs and published by David Nutt in the 1890s; for his colour-woodcuts in the Japanese style; and as one of the leading exponents of the tempera and fresco revival. He was a founder-member of the Society of Painters in Tempera (1901), its Secretary for twenty years, and Hon. Secretary of the Art Workers' Guild between 1903-8. Lived in London, latterly at Kew.

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