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Twisted Chimney, Rye

On the walls of Lamb House, Rye, were a couple of paintings of interest.

The first was of the house itself, showing how it looked before the Music Room was destroyed in World War 2:-

Painting of Lamb House, Rye

The second was a street view from one of the windows painted by Beatrix Potter:-

Beatrix Potter Painting in Lamb House, Rye

I took this photo of the same view. Note the twisted chimney on the building which partly obscures St Mary’s Church:-

View from Lamb House, Rye

This is from street level:-

Twisted Chimney, Rye

Closer view:-

Rye, Twisted Chimney

Reverse view:-

Rye, Twisted Chimney, Reverse View

Cover Issues

I confess I had never heard of Josa Maria Eça de Queiroz (or José Maria Eça de Queirós) – the full name of the Portuguese author one of whose books I am reading at the moment (see sidebar until I move on to another book) – until earlier this year when we attended an exhibition of the paintings of Portuguese artist Paula Rego at the Modern Two part of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. In the gallery shop my eye was taken by copies of de Queirós’s The Crime of Father Amaro (an alternative title) whose cover (see below, left) incorporated one of Rego’s paintings. I had never read any Portuguese literature so took note of the book, but not so much as to make a purchase there and then as I wanted to find out more about the author first. de Queirós turns out to be one of Portugal’s most respected writers and there are several editions of this book in translation besides the one I bought.

So it was that earlier this year on coming across a copy of The Sin of Father Amaro in my favourite second hand bookshop – Bouquiniste, in St Andrews since you ask – at a bargain price, I could not pass up the chance to sample de Queirós’s work. I must say though, that the covers of most editions do give the game away somewhat as to what the nature of Amaro’s crime – or sin; take your pick – might be. They leave nothing to the imagination. In fact only the Rego cover doesn’t. The others are also more than a little misleading in that the female character they attempt to depict is far from the apparent temptress that especially the right hand one might suggest.

 The Sin of Father Amaro cover
 The Sin of Father Amaro cover

 The Sin of Father Amaro cover

Interior Drum Castle, Aberdeenshire

Dining room:-

Dining Room, Drum Castle

Ceiling of Library (formerly the servant’s Hall)

Drum Castle Library Ceiling (Formerly Servant's Hall)

Window recess, Library. Note thickness of the wall, for defensive purposes:-

Drum Castle Library, Window Recess

The muniments room was where the owner did his accounts and doled out money. The chair is said to be very old:-

Drum Castle, Chair in Muniments Room

Door to sitting room:-

Sitting Room, Drum Castle

Sitting room:-

Sitting Room, Drum Castle

Sitting room fireplace:-

Sitting Room Fireplace, Drum Castle

Sitting room ceiling:-

Drum Castle Sitting Room Ceiling

van Dyk portrait of King Charles I in Drum Castle. Sadly photo did not turn out well:-

van Dyk Portrait, Drum Castle

Bedroom:-

Bedroom, Drum Castle

War Death Commemoration, Chapel, Drum Castle. Lieutenant Robert Hugh Irvine, the Gordon Highlanders, aged 22 years, killed at Singapore, 13/2/1942:-

War Commemoration, Chapel, Drum Castle

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Designed Oak Room at V&A Dundee

This Oak Room was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms, Ingram Street, Glasgow.

After those tea rooms closed for business the room was for many years stored by Glasgow Corporation and then Glasgow Museums.

The construction of the V&A Dundee provided a space for the rooms to be on show to the public once more.

Mackintosh's Oak Room at V&A Dundee

Oak Room, V&A Dundee

Fireplace, Oak Room, V&A Dundee

V&A Dundee, Oak Room by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room, V&A Dundee

Windows, Oak Room, V&A Dundee

More Scottish Design at V&A Dundee

Since Falkland is only about four miles from Son of the Rock Acres I was interested in this picture of Falkland Palace as it looked in mediæval times:-

Picture of Falkland Palace, V&A Dundee

Eduardo Paolozzi designed case for storing catalogues for Nairn Floors Ltd:-

Elephant Case by Paolozzi, V&A Dundee

Turkey Red Designs:-

Turkey Red Designs, V&A Dundee

Geometric brooches:-

Geometric Brooches, V&A Dundee

“Butterfly” Tiara:-

"Butterfly" Tiara, V&A Dundee

V&A Dundee, "Butterfly" Tiara Blurb

Scottish Design, V&A Dundee

Further to my post on Abbotsford, Walter Scott must be one of the few writers to have such a legacy, which I mentioned here.

In the section of the new V&A Dundee (posts passim) devoted to Scottish design there is a model of the Scott Monument the original of which stands in Princes Street, Edinburgh.

Model of Scott Monument:-

Model of Scott Monument

There is also a Robert Adam chimneypiece:-

Adam Fireplace

Some Arts & Crafts furniture:-

Arts and Crafts Furniture

A brooch designed to resemble a galaxy:-

Galaxy Brooch

A poster for the Festival of Britain‘s Industrial Light and Power Exhibition at the Kelvin Hall Glasgow:-

Poster for Festival of Britain Industrial Light and Power Exhibition

And a bookcase/cabinet by George Logan:-

Cabinet by George Logan

Brantwood

Brantwood is the art critic John Ruskin‘s home above Coniston Water, now a centre for the arts.

Brantwood, Coniston

Entrance:-

Brantwood

Brantwood Entrance

It’s an idiosyncratic building with several sticky-out bits:-

Brantwood, Part

Brantwood from Below

Brantwood Windows

It has a magnificent situation with great views of the lake:-

Coniston Water

Brantwood

Brantwood  turret room

and of the Old Man of Coniston:-

Coniston Water

Alasdair Gray

Sad, sad news.

Alasdair Gray has died.

If he had never done anything else in his life his first novel Lanark (arguably four novels) would have made him the most important Scottish writer of the twentieth century’s latter half, if not the whole century. (Perhaps only Lewis Grassic Gibbon rivals him in that respect.)

But of course he published 8 more novels, the last of which I read in 2009, 4 books of short stories – see this review of one of them – 3 of poetry (I reviewed a couple here and here,) many pieces for theatre, radio and television plus books of criticism (as here) and commentary (eg see here).

Yet that was not the least of it. There is also his work as an artist and illustrator to take into account. His drawing/painting style was unique and uniquely recognisable; much admired and sought after.

A polymath and curmudgeon, learned and contrary, Gray was one of a kind.

Even as his work lives on we will miss his acerbic presence.

And I still have his The Book of Prefaces to peruse.

Alasdair Gray: 28/12/1934 – 29/12/2019. So it goes.

Art Deco in Liverpool (ii) Lewis’s

An Art Deco department store in Liverpool.

This picture is from Wikipedia:-

Lewis's Liverpool

The building is known as “Dickie” Lewis or “Nobby” Lewis due to the nude statue by Jacob Epstein more properly known as Liverpool Resurgent. Again the photo is from Wikipedia:-

Unfortunately my own photograph (taken from the tour bus) was shot into the sun, hence the two above:-

Lewis's Liverpool

Raqib Shaw: Reinventing the Old Masters

Also at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s Modern One (until 28th October) is the above titled exhibition featuring the work of Raqib Shaw.

Apparently he could not afford oil paints so started to use enamels. This gives his work the appearance of huge but intricately decorated ceramic tiles. Some of it is a bit “bling”y for me but the effect can be stunning and the detail is extraordinary particularly in the circular area of his reinvention of the Cranach. The reproductions here do not convey just how shiny his pictures are.

To do this must be so time consuming even if he does have assistants to help. I left wondering how on earth he could make a living doing this. Unless every (enamel? can you really call them paintings?) sells for tens of thousands of pounds.

Shaw speaks for himself here:-

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