Samstag, 26. Januar 2013
Noch 1905 (fünfzig Jahre nach der Entstehung des Gemäldes) konnte Percy Bate in seinem Buch über die ➱Präraffaeliten schreiben: An almost forgotten artist of singular power and originality is W. S. Burton, whose great picture The Wounded Cavalier has seemed to many one of the finest works ever painted in England under the Pre-Raphaelite influence. That he has painted so little is a matter for very keen regret, and all lovers of sincere and original work will rejoice to know that though for many years he produced next to nothing, he has resumed the practice of his art, and is now again exhibiting pictures which are thoroughly characteristic of the man and his creed. Contemptuous of all pictorial artifice, and scorning all artistic trickery, he bade fair in his early days to rise to very great heights; but adverse fortune and ill-health have been his lot, while private sorrows and lack of recognition have saddened him.
Laura Cumming anläßlich der gerade zu Ende gegangen Ausstellung Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde der Tate Gallery: These paintings could not be made – or viewed – in a hurry. A full-scale allegory such as William Shakespeare Burton's The Wounded Cavalier takes time to interpret, as you read your way from the expiring cavalier to the pack of fallen playing cards, the broken sword, the autumn tree and the red admiral alighting on the weapon at the dead centre of the painting. In the gloom stands a Puritan with a bible, looking down on this man who has lost his gamble. The Puritan is as upright as the tree trunk. Eight subscribers paid for this picture to be presented to the Corporation of London. It is painting as means of public address. The Wounded Cavalier is something of a one-off because Burton invented the whole scenario, whereas most pre-Raphaelite costume dramas rely entirely on existing stories. Hamlet, Pygmalion, Lilith, The Lady of Shalott, even The Return of the Dove from the Ark – practically anything can be adjusted to accommodate the cataleptic damsels and drooping knights that infest this art.
Mark Girouard zu zitieren: The Return to Camelot. Die fortschreitende Industrialisierung, die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England interessieren das viktorianische Publikum nicht, man will zurück in der Geschichte. Eine Nation, die zuviel Walter Scott gelesen hat, will Geschichtsstunden über die Vergangenheit in möglichst rührseligen Szenen. Wundert es jemanden, wenn sich Königin und Prinzgemahl als Adlige des ➱Mittelalters verkleiden? Und so sieht dann der sterbende Cavalier wie eine schlechte Kopie von diesem Gemälde von Sir Anthony van Dyck aus.
Eingestellt von jay um 11:20