Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956):
Two musicians, circa 1900
Framed (ref: 19)
Oil on prepared board, 24 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (61.5 x 53 cm.)
Provenance: William Stewart, and by descent
This spontaneous oil sketch brings to mind Paris of the 1890s, with its
musicians, absinthe drinkers and bohemians, immortalised by the
Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Brangwyn was working in Paris in
1895, painting mural and stencil decorations on the exterior of the
Galerie L'Art Nouveau for Siegfried Bing.
Technically the painting shows clearly how Brangwyn, at times, laid his colours over a warm pink-orange ground, thereby achieving a greater luminosity. Musicians appear frequently throughout Brangwyn's oeuvre. Writing to Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo in 1940, on the death of their mutual friend the music antiquarian and scholar Arnold Dolmetsch, Brangwyn wryly remarked: 'your old friend Dolmetsch has gone to play his viols and virginals before The master [sic]. He will no doubt see some wonderful instruments there?' Letter from Brangwyn to Mackmurdo, 21 April 1940, William Morris Gallery, London.
We are grateful to Dr Libby Horner for her assistance. Musicians is number D2070 in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné.