Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Two Tate Favourites; MF and SS.


                                      

When I first saw this painting, I was quite simply 'stunned'.

It certainly wasn't the beauty of the woman, nor was it the rather simplistic composition; it was the mastery over materials that made me gasp.

'Portrait of a Young Woman' was painted by Meredith Frampton in 1935; it measures roughly 50 by 100 cms. Everything is painted with perfect precision, yet there is a softness that belies the crispness of execution.

I saw the painting in The Tate, where I presume it still hangs. It was tucked away in a room with several nondescript portraits, and it attracted my attention at once.

It's painted with a mastery of which most artists can but dream. Look closely at the edges between the dress and the background, or the table pedestal and floor, and you'll be amazed by the fusion between the colours. It is impossible to see where one ends and the other starts. It's worth taking a really good magnifying glass with you to get the full effect. I could work for days trying to achieve that, and I still wouldn't manage it. I'd loved to have watched him at work.

                                      Afficher l'image d'origine

Whilst in The Tate, I ALWAYS make a pilgrimage to Stanley Spencer's 1914 self portrait. It used to sit half way up a back stairs in a decidedly 'secondary' position. It should be out there amongst the very best.  Another stunning painting.



23 comments:

  1. Light and shadows are perfect and the guitar strings are amazing! Are you feeling a little better today, Cro?
    Greeting Maria x

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    1. Not really, but thanks for asking.

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  2. It's funny how a mind works to create an image that way off the truth. I never imagined Stanley Spencer looking like that. x

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    1. He was 23 when he painted it; so still young and un-bespectacled.

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  3. I saw the Stanley Spencer portrait many, many, years ago, but am still amazed at how "modern" it looks today - over one hundred years later. The Frampton is such a contrast in style, quite incredible brushwork.
    Sorry to hear that you're still not feeling too good - hope that lady M is feeling a little better?

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    1. We're both coughing and spluttering,but on the mend.

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  4. I don't know much about art, but I do like that first painting because it has an atmosphere about it that is intriguing.

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  5. Is the first rather like the style of Hopper?

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    1. I wouldn't have said so myself. Hopper was more of a social realist, Frampton was a classic portrait painter.

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  6. I don't know how anyone can't paint so realistically ..... it's amazing and such a talent ..... her arms and hands are photorealistic !! ... and the Stanley Spencer is beautiful.
    Sorry to hear that you are both poorly ..... look after each other. XXXX

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    1. If you get the chance, go and take a look at it; you'll be even more amazed.

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  7. I have seen the Spencer many times - I always went to look at it when I went to the Tate - I love self portraits because what they show is what the painter thinks of himself rather than what others who paint him in portraits think.
    The other picture I have not seen but I do agree on its beauty and its brilliance. She has an ethereal quality as though she is melting into the background. The cello is perfect - the strings look almost as though they can play themselves.
    Gladto hear that you are both on the mend. Hot toddies are the order of the day.

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  8. They are both interesting and lovely pieces of art.

    I am sorry to hear you are still not well. Have some chicken soup and get as much rest as possible.

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  9. Both are very beautiful. I'm amazed that anyone can paint like that.

    I do hope you're feeling better soon, Cro.

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  10. I know the Spencer portrait, and think I might have bought a postcard depicting it. Once I spent a day in Cookham, just looking at territory I knew from Spencer paintings. The gallery there that holds some of his work was closed that day.

    I cannot recall whether I've seen the Frampton, but do agree with you about its beauty and the fascinating way that Frampton handles edges. The handling of edges always interests me.

    Wishing you and Lady M a steady recovery.

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  11. This portrait is breathtaking. I love the detail, like the guitar strings and the scroll hanging over the edge of the table. Beautiful. Have you been ill, Cro? I've been off a while and hope you're better now. Greetings Jo

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  12. When I first laid eyes on the painting, I thought: "Oh, that looks like a modern version of a Vermeer." (the light, the props, the geometrical floor)

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  13. Wonderful paintings. I have never seen the Frampton but the Spencer is amazing.
    I hope you both feel better soon.

    cheers, parsnip

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  14. Hope you are both feeling better. Love both paintings.

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  15. Well if I ever overcome my detestation of London sufficiently to go back to the Tate (I haven't been since 2006) I shall certainly go and see the originals. I find the softness of the MF almost emotional and the SS is just simply compelling.

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