Saturday, 18 February 2012

Beau Geste Digest

This landed in my inbox the other day and I thought I'd share it with you, the latest Delhi Durbar releases from our friends across the pond together with some informative historical details regarding a few of the artists whose work has inspired many of the sets being produced by the company. I hope you enjoy reading it


In the middle of our hot summer down here, we are back with a new Delhi Durbar set, the first one for 2012, The Gwalior Horsemen

An illustration of Gwalior horsemen by Mortimer Menpes
Since we base many of our Durbar sets on paintings, sketches and drawings [like the one above] I thought it'd be fun to tell you something about the artists behind the original art works

Mortimer Menpes

He was born in Port Adelaide, South Australia, the second son of a property developer named James Menpes, who settled in Australia in 1839. Educated at Adelaide Educational Institution, he attended classes at the Adelaide School of Design, and did some excellent work as a photo-colourist but his formal art training began at the School of Art in London in 1878, after his family moved back to England in 1875

Akali from Patiala riding on ponies

In 1900, after the outbreak of the Boer War, Menpes was sent to South Africa as a war artist for the weekly illustrated magazine Black and White. After the end of the war in 1902 he travelled widely, visiting Burma, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Japan, Kashmir, Mexico, Morocco, and Spain. Many of his illustrations were published in travel books by A & C Black. His book on the Delhi Durbar was an illustrated record of the commemoration in Delhi of the coronation of King Edward VII

Akali from Jhind

Horsemen from Gwalior with parasol holders

Leonard Raven-Hill

Hill was born in Bath and studied at the Lambeth School of Art, and later in Paris. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and other prestigious galleries, but was increasingly drawn to pen-and-ink work. In 1893 he became founder joint-editor of the humorous art periodical Butterfly, and in 1895 he started contributing to Punch, joining its staff in 1901. He went out to India in the winter of 1902, capturing the historic moment when Lord Kitchener's luggage was brought on board ship at the Suez Canal (Kitchener was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in November 1902)

In some of his Indian sketches, such as the one showing him with the "Cashmere giant," Raven-Hill calls himself a war correspondent. He certainly traveled widely there and spent time with the British troops stationed in various places. From later sketches it is clear that another purpose of the cartoonist's visit was to cover the Delhi Durbar

Akalis from Jhind, riding ponies

Inglis Sheldon-Williams

Williams is recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s major early artists. Born in Hampshire, England on December 25, 1870, he was the son of a landscape painter. Sheldon-Williams first came to Canada in 1887, homesteading at Cannington Manor in southeastern Saskatchewan. He returned to England in 1891 and began his art studies

Gwalior emblem and parasol bearers
Between 1899 and 1904, Sheldon-Williams travelled extensively in South Africa, India and Europe, producing drawings and watercolour illustrations that were published in periodicals in London. Following his marriage in 1904, he lived in Gloucestershire, England, exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy in London, the Paris Salon, and at a variety of other exhibitions in both London and Europe

The illustrations of Sheldon-Williams have provided the inspiration for many of BG's elephants. The one pictured below shows the Rewa Executioner riding in the howdah, a figure based on another illustration by Menpes, also shown below

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and looking at the pictures! Until next time, happy hunting!

No comments: