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Picturing a World

Judith Shakespeare

When I looked up the word bewilderment in the OED to see when it was first used, I was startled by an 1884 citation to a novel by Willian Black called Judith Shakespeare. Yep, there really is one about William Shakespeare's daughter. It was first serialized in Harper's Magazine, vol. LXVIII, with illustrations by Edwin Austin Abbey.  I took a look at the text and decided its Prithee style of historical fiction wasn't for me (nor its likely Victorian attitude toward women). Nevertheless, I'm still amused that it exists and enjoy Abbey's illustrations. For two more pictures from Judith Shakespeare, click here and here. For more of Abbey's work, including paintings, click here.

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Painting from the same motif

It was not uncommon for 19th C artists to sketch or paint together from the same motif. Think of Renoir and Monet, Pissarro and Cézanne … or John Singer Sargent and the American illustrator Edwin Austin Abbey. I read about Sargent and Abbey at the same time I was reading about the Red Rose Girls because I was interested in both artistic friendships and illustration as a viable commercial career for trained artists.

Today’s image and topic come from a Gurney Journey post, where you can see Sargent’s depiction of the lay figure for what it is, a manikin.  Read More 
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