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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘William Beckford’ tag

 

Conversations with Beckford

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My thanks once again to Sidney Blackmore for sending me this new publication from The Beckford Society. Conversations with Beckford reprints in facsimile Cyrus Redding’s memoirs of William Beckford, a series of essays which were published in 1844 after Beckford’s death. Of particular interest to this folly enthusiast is a chapter entitled The Tower of […]

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The Beckford Journal

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‘Reason’ and ‘Fancy’ are my Sun and Moon. The first dispels vapours and clears up the face of things, the other throws over Nature a dim haze and may be styled the Queen of Delusions. William Beckford My thanks to Sidney Blackmore, Secretary of the Beckford Society, who posted me a copy of the latest […]

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Vathek illustrated

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Frontispiece, 1815. Engraved by Isaac Taylor after a drawing by Isaac Taylor Jr. After some time Vathek and Nouronihar perceived a gleam brightening through the drapery, and entered a vast tabernacle carpeted with the skins of leopards; an infinity of elders with streaming beards, and Afrits in complete armour, had prostrated themselves before the ascent […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 5 comments »

 


Fonthill Abbey

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Views such as these are all we’ve ever have of Fonthill Abbey, a monstrous pile that would have been Britain’s most grandiose folly had it not collapsed in 1825. William Beckford (1760–1844) was the man responsible, among other things a very wealthy and bisexual writer whose Vathek (1786) is one of the better Gothic novels. […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books}, {fantasy}, {gay} | 3 comments »

 


Marsi Paribatra: the Royal Surrealist

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La Menace (1994). Two paintings by Princess Marsi Paribatra, a member of the royal family of Thailand who lists Dalí, Arcimboldo and Titian among her artistic influences. If it seems surprising that a princess should not only be an accomplished painter but also be possessed of a distinctly vivid imagination we might ask why this […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 8 comments »

 


The apocalyptic art of Francis Danby

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The Deluge (1840). In the days before cinema and the likes of Roland Emmerich, people had to visit galleries or see touring exhibitions of huge paintings for their fill of artistic cataclysm. I discovered some of these works on my first visit to the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain), aged 13. I was there to […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion} | 12 comments »

 


Las Pozas and Edward James

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Edward James by René Magritte, La Reproduction Interdite (1937). Art collector Edward James (1907–1984) was a characteristically English eccentric, a kind of 20th century equivalent of William Beckford or Horace Walpole, who was captivated by Surrealism in the 1930s and became a lifelong devotee of the movement. Much of his inherited wealth was spent supporting […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 5 comments »

 


 



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