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Crane, Walter  

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

Morris, William  

British, 19th century, male.

Born 24 March 1834, in Walthamstow (Essex); died 3 October 1896, at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, London.

Painter, draughtsman, designer, typographer, poet, architect. Designs (furniture/wallpapers/fabrics/stained glass windows).

Symbolism, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau.

Pre-Raphaelite.

William Morris the son of a successful City of London bill-broker, grew up in Walthamstow, on the edge of Epping Forest, and was educated at Marlborough College, in Wiltshire....

Article

Pollen, John Hungerford  

Judith A. Neiswander

(b London, Nov 19, 1820; d London, Dec 2, 1902).

English designer, painter and writer. Born to an aristocratic family and educated at Eton College, Eton, Berks, and Christ Church, Oxford, he spent a brief period as an Anglican clergyman under the inspiration of the evangelical Oxford movement. In 1850 he designed and painted the ceiling of Merton College Chapel, Oxford (in situ), and shortly afterwards converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1854–6, while teaching at the Catholic University, Dublin, he designed and decorated the University Church in a richly ornamented Byzantine Revival style (see Newman, Cardinal John Henry). In Ireland he met Benjamin Woodward, architect of the Oxford Union Society, and through him became involved with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other Pre-Raphaelite artists in painting the ill-fated wall frescoes (1857) in the Debating Hall (now the Old Library) that are now scarcely recognizable. Most of his domestic commissions evolved from his connections with the Catholic aristocracy, for example his decoration for the library of Blickling Hall, Alysham (...

Article

Ruskin, John  

Dinah Birch

(b London, Feb 8, 1819; d Brantwood, Cumbria, Jan 20, 1900).

English writer, draughtsman, painter and collector. He was one of the most influential voices in the art world of the 19th century. His early writings, eloquent in their advocation of J(oseph) M(allord) W(illiam) Turner and Pre-Raphaelitism and their enthusiasm for medieval Gothic, had a major impact on contemporary views of painting and architecture. His later and more controversial works focused attention on the relation between art and politics and were bitter in their condemnation of what he saw as the mechanistic materialism of his age.

Ruskin was the only child of prosperous Scottish parents living in London: his father was a wine merchant, his mother a spirited Evangelical devoted to her husband and son. Ruskin had a sequestered but happy childhood. He became an accomplished draughtsman (taught by Copley Fielding and James Duffield Harding) and acquired, through engravings encountered in Samuel Rogers’s poem Italy (1830), an early enthusiasm for Turner’s art. He was also an eager student of natural science, particularly geology. He travelled with his parents, seeing Venice for the first time in ...