Welcome

Featured

DH photo #250Welcome to Sublime Sites, the web journal of Professor Emeritus David Hill of the University of Leeds, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

The site was launched in October 2013 and is now enjoying its first facelift. Having published one hundred and eleven articles, I have now given it a makeover. Previous visitors will notice a new look. I should say that this will almost certainly require further attention to resolve any glitches. All the original material is still here; it’s just that the display might want some tweaking, here and there.

I will continue to post articles exploring places associated with Turner, Ruskin and Cotman, and many others. Some pieces will respond to current exhibitions and publications, others will report from ongoing research projects and others will draw material out of an extensive archive of unpublished material that I have accumulated over the years.

Please explore the material here.  If there’s anything here worth quoting then a citation is always best practice. In this case ‘David Hill:  SublimeSites.co’ together with the article title and date of posting would enable an interested reader to find the original. Please let me know what you think about the site or the material on it through the comments, and add further information where you think it would be helpful.

If you would like to be alerted when new articles appear, do please click ‘Follow me’, and I hope that material will be forthcoming on a reasonably regular basis.  I should say however, that if you are are addicted to 24hr newsfeeds, this will not be the place for you! And I’m not making any promises beyond that..

I wrote that last paragraph in 2013. I’ll let it stand. Anyone that has followed SublimeSites.co for any length of time will know how faithfully I have followed my promise to be irregular.

DH

Byron’s Europe: Title page, Villeneuve, Switzerland

This the second instalment of a tour through the Illustrations to the Life and Works of Lord Byron published between 1832 and 1834. The series consists of one hundred and twenty-six subjects so this promises to be a long and varied journey. Here we visit our first destination, starting out amongst the Alps on the shore of Lac Leman at Villeneuve in Switzerland.

Continue reading “Byron’s Europe: Title page, Villeneuve, Switzerland”

Byron and the idea of Europe: Introduction

As we peer out from locked down tiers and count down the days until Brexit it seems an opportune moment to give some thought to Europe. So while Boris paddles the battle bus up the creek he claims the People of Britain voted for, I propose we take back control and chart an alternative voyage around Europe in Byron’s footsteps. The poet will be accompanied by a crew of artists, with Turner at their head, but ably assisted by Clarkson Stanfield, David Roberts, J.D Harding, Samuel Prout and many others.

Continue reading “Byron and the idea of Europe: Introduction”

A Twopeny Portfolio: Introduction

I brightened a few grey days recently reviewing the contents of a portfolio of drawings that I acquired in 2017. I bought it for a Cotman watercolour that it contained, but sixteen other pencil drawings, seven watercolours and one photograph bundled with it have proved almost as equally engaging at the Cotman, in most cases of considerable artistic merit, besides almost always opening onto an interesting area of enquiry.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: Introduction”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #1 Cotman, King’s Lynn

This article describes the first work of twenty-five bought in a lot of Sundry Drawings and Watercolours, offered at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio.

The drawing by Cotman was obviously the eye-catcher in the lot for me. The low estimate (£200-300) rather suggests that the auctioneers doubted its authenticity, despite the signature and date. Or perhaps it is simply that Cotman’s monochrome works are completely out of tune with contemporary taste. Cotman was too subtle even for his own times: In the contemporary clamour for attention he simply fails to register.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #1 Cotman, King’s Lynn”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #2 after Cotman, Walsoken Chancel

This is the second work of twenty-five bought in a lot of Sundry Drawings and Watercolours, offered at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio.

Given that the principal eye-catcher in the portfolio was the Cotman watercolour of the Aouth Gate, King’s Lynn (see Part #1) the discovery of a second Cotman subject in the bundle was the cause of further excitement.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #2 after Cotman, Walsoken Chancel”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #3 David Twopeny and Northborough Manor

This is the third work of twenty-five bought in a lot of Sundry Drawings and Watercolours, offered at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #3 David Twopeny and Northborough Manor”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #4 David Twopeny, Newarke Gate, Leicester

This is the fourth work of twenty-five bought in a lot of Sundry Drawings and Watercolours, offered at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio. It is the second initialled by David Twopeny.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #4 David Twopeny, Newarke Gate, Leicester”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #5 The Old Bridge, Oxford

This is the fifth work of twenty-five bought in a lot of Sundry Drawings and Watercolours, offered at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio.

Here we begin to examine a series of fine pencil drawings, all once mounted in an album, and numbered in the original sequence. The first takes us to Oxford.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #5 The Old Bridge, Oxford”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #6 Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire, c.1827?

This is the sixth of twenty-five drawings bought at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio.

Here we continue to examine a series of fine pencil drawings, all once mounted in an album, and numbered in the original sequence

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #6 Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire, c.1827?”

A Twopeny Portfolio: #7 Forestead and Island, Little Casterton

This is the seventh work of twenty-five bought in a lot of Sundry Drawings and Watercolours, offered at Anderson & Garland Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21 March 2-17, lot 46 as Various Artists (British 19th Century) Sundry drawings and watercolours, mainly topographical and floral studies, including a grisaille “South Gate Lynn, Norfolk”, bearing the signature J.S. Cotman, various sizes, all unframed in a folio.

Here we begin to work through a sequence of five fine pencil drawings, all dated 1828, once mounted in an album, and some numbered with the original page order.

Continue reading “A Twopeny Portfolio: #7 Forestead and Island, Little Casterton”