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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

Stephen Stuart-Smith

(Rowton)

(b Brighton, Feb 22, 1882; d Harefield, Middx [now in London], Nov 17, 1940).

English sculptor, letter-cutter, typographic designer, calligrapher, engraver, writer and teacher. He received a traditional training at Chichester Technical and Art School (1897–1900), where he first developed an interest in lettering. He also became fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon and Norman stone-carvings in Chichester Cathedral. In 1900 Gill moved to London to become a pupil of William Douglas Caröe (1857–1938), architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. He took classes in practical masonry at Westminster Institute and in writing and illuminating at the Central School of Art and Design, where he was deeply influenced by the calligrapher Edward Johnston. Johnston’s meticulous training was to be a perfect preparation for Gill’s first commissions for three-dimensional inscriptions in stone, the foundation stone for Caröe’s St Barnabas and St James the Greater in Walthamstow, London, and the lettering for the lychgate at Charles Harrison Townsend’s St Mary’s, Great Warley, Essex. Further commissions followed after Gill left Caröe in ...

Article

Godfrey Rubens

(b Barnstaple, Jan 18, 1857; d London, July 17, 1931).

English architect, writer and designer. The son of a gilder who was a radical and lay preacher, in 1871 he was apprenticed to a local architect and painter, Alexander Lauder, who gave him a thorough training in the building crafts. In 1879 he was appointed chief clerk to Richard Norman Shaw, whose influence was already evident in Lethaby’s architectural drawings. He remained in this post for the next twelve years (the last two part-time), during which he became increasingly responsible for detailing Shaw’s work, and in doing so made an important contribution to his style (e.g. a chimney-piece of 1883 for Cragside, Rothbury, Northumb.). Lethaby’s independent design work up to the mid-1880s was in the Anglo-Dutch style of the 17th century, as for example in his unexecuted design for a silverware salad bowl, illustrated in The Architect (30 June 1883). About 1885 he began investigating the ways in which beliefs concerning the nature of the cosmos had influenced the forms of ancient architecture. This research resulted in a number of designs with complex and often esoteric iconography, such as his stained-glass window depicting the ...