Saturday, 5 April 2014

Modelling for Mrs Cameron- May Prinsep

Dearest Emily,

Having a bit of fun looking at Julia's 'Models'- as though she was some kind of Victorian version of Vivienne Westwood...
Both ground-breaking forces of nature- similarities do abound, and it's an enjoyable view-point as it affords me a place to see where she got her own influences in 'designing' her artworks!

Here is my 'colouring-in' of the beautiful May Prinsep, after a photograph Mrs C took in 1866.

The lovely May, adopted by her Aunt and Uncle Sara and Thoby Prinsep, was great friends with little Maud Tennyson- daughter of Horatio- who lived at GiGi's house after his Wife died in 1868. May and Maud used to help Emily Tennyson with her copious daily correspondences concerning Alfred. Later she married Andrew Kitchin, and they moved to Monks House at Compton in Surrey- later introducing G.F Watts and his second Wife to the area- where the Watts Gallery stands to this day.

After Andrew died, May married Hallam Tennyson, and it was back to dear old Farringford, and as May Lady Tennyson, she lived until she died in 1931.

May's beautiful bone structure and limpid gaze, inspired our latter-day Vivienne Westwood in her artistry- and she featured in many of her works.

'Cenci' below, could owe some of its inspiration to Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, don't you think Em?

Plagiarism? I think not Emily- more how the creative zeitgeist muse-moves in its inspirational ways. Rather like the way that the Pre-Raphaelites re-interpreted a theme they were drawn to- and the influences that interior decorations and furniture were garnered from favourite pre-loved childhood pieces.

Dear old Dodgson, constantly re-worked contemporary art and illustration for his literary and photographic works- it was good fun discovering those Emily.

With Julia- it's a whole new focus, one that involves her own unique aesthetic- and a journey to see how that in turn may be translated into the Bloomsbury Group.

A bit like how dear Vivienne loved Queenly design, a Punk attitude, and hair set in rollers. Hard to define at the time she did it- but instantly recognisable- and massively influencial.

Not too far away from what we know about Mrs C- eh?

Ta-ta for now Em,

your ever-loving Grand-mother,

GiGi xxx