Artist Frank Brangwyn: King of the Seas - Raleigh, 1924

Artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956): King of the Seas - Raleigh, 1924

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Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956):
King of the Seas - Raleigh, 1924
Mounted (ref: 2450)

Pen and ink on paper, 13 1/2 x 19 11/16 in. (34.3 x 50 cm.)

See all works by Frank Brangwyn ink pen and ink Murals ex catalogue

Provenance: Private Collection

The earliest surviving pencil sketch by  Brangwyn is dated  1882.  Over  60  years  later  Brangwyn was still  producing drawings, including over 150 book illustrations.

Drawing was a compulsion for Brangwyn - endless sketches on the backs of envelopes,  letterheads and scraps of paper (in fact anything that came to hand)  attest to this.Brangwyn experimented with mixed media, often combining any of the following — pencil,  crayon, chalk,  charcoal,  pastel,  pen  and ink and brush and ink. The drawings were made on a variety of different coloured papers.  

Although  he  had  no  formal  training  few  20th-century  British  artists rivalled his technical excellence — in this respect he might be compared to Augustus John and William Orpen.  Brangwyn obviously enjoyed the process of sketching, hence the volume of work, sometimes drawing the same subject time and again with only small variations, and would return to  particular  images  for  inspiration  years  later,  making  dating  of completed works somewhat difficult.  His figure studies and  images of plants and animals, carried out in soft pencil, chalk, pastel or mixed media, dis-play  a  confidence  of line  which  rarely  required  change.  Brangwyn  felt that ‘sketches show the most intimate side of an artist’s career  ...  [studies] are usually the best thing an artist does.’

In common with many artists and writers, Brangwyn enjoyed the voy­age of discovery far more than reaching port, the intellectual journey, the studies  and  cartoons,  more  than  the  signature  added  to  a  completed painting.  He explained this view to a reporter in  1933 :‘The  ideas  right  at  the  back  of  my  mind  —  ideas  impossible  to express  in  words  —  are  dawning  into  shape. The  painting  is  only secondary; it’s the thinking and planning — the endless seeking for satisfaction with your work that really counts.’

It is in the drawings ... that the key to Brangwyn’s greatness is to be found.’ TW  Earp, ‘Brangwyn Art at Academy’