Thursday, January 23, 2020

Frank Bramley's Preliminary Sketches

Frank Bramley, Saved... 'Oft in a humble home a golden room is found "
1889, oil on canvas, 150 x 196 cm. Durban Municipal Art Gallery, South Africa
Frank Bramley's 1889 painting Saved "depicts a trio of Cornish fish-wives and their children gathered around the fire in a Newlyn cottage to await news of their husbands' boat lost at sea," according to Sothebys.

Frank Bramley Saved, 1889, Tate
"In 1888 Bramley had exhibited 'A Hopeless Dawn' at the Royal Academy, to great critical and public success. The painting showed a young woman inconsolable after hearing that her husband has died at sea, and Bramley conceived Saved as a companion piece, showing a happier ending as the old fisherman in the doorway announces the news of the men's rescue."

Frank Bramley sketch for Saved
The preliminary oil sketch for Saved "shows Bramley's rugged style, inspired by French art whilst the subject is typical of an artist who sought to show the hardship of contemporary life in Cornwall without resorting to melodrama or anecdote." (Source Sothebys)

Frank Bramley, compositional color study
Bramley's color studies make clear his design philosophy, which show great awareness of value organization, with each area treated as a relatively flat shape and a minimum of modeling. The influence of French painters, particularly Manet, would have been evident to viewers.

Frank Bramley, Every One His Own Tale, 112 by 179.5 cm., 44 by 70 in. 1885
Sothebys says that Every One His Own Tale "depicts an everyday scene in the lives of the local Cornish people, who are gathered around the fire of an inn to hear a tale of adventure and danger. Firelight glows in the sturdy iron hearth that has given warmth and comfort to generations of fishermen over the many years that the inn has stood on the Cornish coast. A young mariner, sprawled in his chair has put aside his cider to regale a spell-bound young fishergirl with his tales of the open sea. She is dressed in a white work apron and her sleeves are still rolled up from her work preparing the catch for market, but all thoughts of toil are forgotten as her imagination rushes out over the seas, inspired by the words of the young man. Her jovial grandfather, amused by her enthusiasm and familiar with the stories told by the younger members of the fleet, rests a loving hand onto hers in a gesture of pride and affection."
Previous posts about Frank Bramley 


David Webb said...

James, I was fortunate enough to get to see the original Stanhope Forbes painting 'Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach' when an exhibition of the Newly School was held at Royal Albert Museum, Exeter. Taking up the space of a wall, it's a most impressive painting.

David Webb said...

Oops, that should read 'Newlyn School'.