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Brangwyn, Frank

(1867 – 1956)

Steam Train (Nocturn), circa 1910

Signed in pencil

Lithograph

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Given by the artist to Count Albert de Belleroche; William Belleroche; private collection

Mr Brangwyn’s splendid design must be hailed as a sign that ‚Äúthe poor man’s art gallery‚Äù is not entirely doomed, and that we may experience a revival in the art of the hoarding.’P G Konody, The Decorative Art of Frank Brangwyn’, Magazine of Art,July 1903, discussing Brangwyn’s poster for the Orient-Pacific Line.

Brangwyn  produced  about  280  lithographs  between 1890  and  1940 (including war posters and commercial work).  Many lithographs were for special editions of magazines (Neolith, The Studio); books (Verhaeren’s, Les  Campagnes  Hallucinees)  and  art  folios. Although  the  works  generally  depicted  Brangwyn’s  muscular  men  in fields and  factories, some early lithographs are unusually soft and gentle in  character,  with  Art  Nouveau  figures.  Brangwyn  used  lithographs  to quite different effect in his war work and commercial posters and also in the  fourteen Stations  of the  Cross.  Instead of using  the  more traditional  limestone for the Stations  o f the  Cross,  Brangwyn  used  zinc  plates,  and  commissioned James  Richardson  of Warminster  to  print  some  copies  on  to  sycamore blocks in order to avoid the occurrence of foxing from damp church walls.Brangwyn  was  one  of a  small  but  dedicated  number  of artists  who prepared his own stones and drew directly on the stone rather than using transfer paper, which would be applied to a stone by an assistant.  Unlike other practitioners, Brangwyn used coarse  rather than  smooth surfaced stone,  mixed  lithographic  chalk,and  brush  and  used  snakestone  to  add highlights,  thereby gaining a variety  of tone. Although  Brangwyn could print his own proofs, most of his lithographs were printed byTRWay  and the Gouldings in Britain and probably by Clot in France, whilst The Avenue Press,  London, printed the majority of his war and  commercial posters.Although  Brangwyn  produced  over  80  poster  designs  during World War I, 61  of which were printed, he was not, surprisingly, an official war artist. The compositions and details of the  posters were based on memories  of  the  Messina  earthquake  (see P84),  news  agency  photographs and  the  daily  illustrations  of destruction  which  appeared  in The  Times, together with loans of German  and  British uniforms and guns from  the Imperial War Museum and the  United States Naval Authorities.A  large proportion of Brangwyn’s work during this period was given free of charge to charitable groups, for example the Red Cross, National Institute  for  the  Blind  (St  Dunstan’s  Hostel  for  Blinded  Soldiers  and Sailors),  Belgian  and  Allied  Aid  League  and  probably  Orphelinat  des Armees, an American charity in aid of a  French Army  Orphanage.Other clients included the National War Savings Committee, Frank Pick of  UERCL  (Underground  Electric  Railways  Company  of  London),  the United  States  Navy and  various companies  who desired  Rolls of Honour. Newspapers  were  also  keen  to  prove  their  patriotism  and  Brangwyn designed six recruiting posters for the Daily  Chronicle (one of which car¬≠ried  the  comical  notation  that  Daily  Chronicle  readers  are  covered against  the  risks  of  bombardment  by  zeppelin  or  aeroplane.  The Canadian War  Memorials  Fund  commissioned  six  lithographs  showing their troops in France and Belgium, and Brangwyn was involved with the Ministry of Information’s Britain’s  Efforts and Ideals of War, producing one design  for  Ideals  (The  Freedom  of  the  Seas)  and a series of six  for  Efforts, entitled Making Sailors. In addition to the war posters Brangwyn produced over 40 posters for commercial enterprises between.The artist expressed the desire  to  see  more  Art  used  in  advertising,  because  advertising  is  a tremendous force which needs handling with much more Art and com¬≠mon sense than it is getting at present’ ,7+The posters are quite different from the war production, more stylised,  less emotive, bolder in outline and  frequently combine image and lettering.Clients included London & North East Railway, London Underground, E Pollard & Co., Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephenson’s Floor Polish, The  Studio magazine, Zambrene rubberless coats and the  Orient¬≠ Pacific  Line  (see  p 137).  Brangwyn’s  humanitarian  concerns  led  him additionally  to  design  posters  for the Abolition  of Capital  Punishment, St Bartholomew’s Hospital (donated without charge), French Benevolent Society,  and  General  Relief  Fund  for  Women  and  Children  in  Spain.

This lithograph has been used for the cover of The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

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THE ARTIST

Brangwyn, Frank

1867 – 1956

Frank Brangwyn was born in Bruges, Belgium, the son of an English father and Welsh mother. The family returned to London in 1874, Brangwyn’s father gaining work as a designer of buildings, embroideries and furniture. Although Brangwyn appears to have had little formal education, whether academic or artistic, his earliest mentors were three of the most influential men in design at the turn of the century: Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, William Morris and Siegfried Bing. Between 1884 and 1887 Brangwyn travelled to Kent, Cornwall and Devon, before venturing further with trips to Turkey in 1888, South Africa in 1891, Spain in 1892 and Morocco in 1893.

Brangwyn was an independent artist, an experimenter and innovator, capable of working on both large and small scale projects, ranging from murals, oil paintings, watercolours, etchings, woodcuts and lithographs to designs for architecture, interiors, stained glass, furniture, carpets, ceramics and jewellery, as well as book illustrations, bookplates and commercial posters. It is estimated that he produced over 12,000 works during his lifetime. Mural commissions included the Worshipful Company of Skinners, London (1902-09), St Aidan’s church, Leeds (1908-16), Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Canada (1918-21), Christ’s Hospital, Horsham (1912-23), State Capitol, Jefferson City, USA (1915-25), the British Empire panels, Swansea (1925-32), and Rockefeller Center, New York (1930-34). Brangwyn married Lucy Ray in 1896 and took on the lease of Temple Lodge, Hammersmith, in 1900. In 1918 the artist purchased The Jointure, Ditchling, where he spent most of his time following his wife’s death in 1924. Elected RA in 1919, knighted in 1924, holder of countless artistic awards, Brangwyn was modest about his singular achievements, regarding art as an occupation and describing himself as a designer.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Frank Brangwyn
Book plate for Brangwyn’s Wife, Lucy
£975.00
Frank Brangwyn
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, original design for T N Foulis, circa 1910
£1,275.00
Frank Brangwyn
The Last Supper, St Joseph’s, Stokesley, 1946
£2,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
Parrot – Original Study for the Great Empire Panels
£1,250.00
Frank Brangwyn
Water carrier, circa 1903
£5,500.00
Frank Brangwyn
Making Sailors: Youthful Ambition c.1917
£1,400.00
Frank Brangwyn
Bricklayers, a study for Rebuilding Belgium, 1915
£14,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
Sketchbook, 1892
£2,250.00
Frank Brangwyn
War Bonds 2 (Back Him Up, Buy War Bonds) W1930, circa 1918
£3,800.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study for the Empire Panels in red chalk, circa 1925
£2,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
Drapery Study for a Station of the Cross, circa 1933
£1,320.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study for central panel of Nativity window, St Mary the Virgin, Bucklebury, Berkshire, early 1920’s
£9,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study of Man Carrying Rifle, Study for Jefferson City
£1,490.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study of a Monk, full length three-quarter view, Study for St Aidan
£3,140.00
Frank Brangwyn
Figure study, Study for St Aidan
£1,600.00
Frank Brangwyn
Portrait of Jerome Esser?
£3,740.00
Frank Brangwyn
Man Singing, study for Christ’s Hospital, panel 7
£3,800.00
Frank Brangwyn
Studies for St Amand and St Eloi ‘ windows in the Abbey St Andr’, Bruges
£6,350.00
Frank Brangwyn
A Trader, Study for Selfridges
£1,980.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study of Figure with Vessel, study for Venice Biennale 1905
£3,300.00
Frank Brangwyn
Studies of a Kneeling and Seated Man
£1,600.00
Frank Brangwyn
Courtier, study for Panel 2, Skinners
£1,650.00
Frank Brangwyn
Studies for Man Playing Guitar
£1,600.00
Frank Brangwyn
Allegory of War and Industry
£1,490.00
Frank Brangwyn
Boy with Globe, study for panel 5, Skinners
£2,420.00
Frank Brangwyn
Man Carrying Child on His Back
£2,040.00
Frank Brangwyn
Loot, working proof
£2,200.00
Frank Brangwyn
Man Playing Flute, study for panel 3, Skinners
£1,600.00
Frank Brangwyn
Jesus Falls Below the Cross, 1916
£13,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
Working Men, study for Lloyds Register of Shipping
£4,400.00
Frank Brangwyn
Working photomontage for Man’s Ultimate Destiny, Rockefeller, 1933
£9,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
The 2nd Station: Jesus Carries His Cross, c.1934
£6,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
The Begging Musicians, 1930
£6,800.00
Frank Brangwyn
The Mowers, 1912
£7,500.00
Frank Brangwyn
Ship Building, 1912
£5,750.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study for Man the Creator, circa 1932
£35,000.00
Frank Brangwyn
Study for Man the Master 1930-1934
£48,000.00
Frank Brangwyn
King of the Seas – Raleigh, 1924
£1,600.00
Frank Brangwyn
Butchers Shop, 1904
£5,280.00
Frank Brangwyn
Stone Cutters, circa 1921
£14,520.00
Frank Brangwyn
Design for Thurstons for a Billiard Table, circa 1902
£7,920.00
Frank Brangwyn
Beer
£975.00