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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

* Image provided by the "Victorian Art" website.

















Burne-Jones, the greatest of the second generation Pre-Raphaelites, was born in Bennetts Hill in central Birmingham the 28 th August 1833. His mother died within a week of his birth, & his distressed father was unable to physically touch his son as a result. He was brought up by a rather severe Low Church housekeeper. From an early age, therefore, Burne-Jones created his own dream world, to make up for his bleak & unhappy personal circumstances. This dream world lasted all his life, & in his paintings we may still visit it today. He attended King Edward's Grammar School in Birmingham, where he was a successful pupil academically, & in his last year was head boy. He also attended art classes. Edward Jones, as he then was, became a devout Christian.

He went to Exeter College at the University of Oxford in 1853, & his intention was to take Holy Orders. Here he met his lifelong friend William Morris. They called each other Ned & Topsy. Here they first heard of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They jointly developed a fascination with Arthurian legend. Edward Jones became an agnostic, & art replaced religion in his life. Jones did not stay to take a degree.

In London in the mid 1850s he met his artistic hero Rossetti, who became his mentor, & they were friends until Rossetti's death in 1882. He also met Holman Hunt. Jones then moved to London, sharing rooms with Morris. He assisted Rossetti in the creation of the unsuccessful mural at the Oxford Union. In 1860 Jones married Georgiana MacDonald, one of the remarkable Macdonald sisters. Another sister married Edward Poynter, a further sister married the ironmaster Alfred Baldwin & was the mother of the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin 1867-1947, & yet another sister was the mother of Rudyard Kipling 1864-1936.

Edward Jones acquired the extra surname Burne to differentiate himself from the legions of Jones's who painted.

Edward Burne-Jones was a nervous highly-strung individual. He combined a monkish asceticism, a mystical love of ancient legend, & a mischievous sense of humour. He had a classical artistic trait of suffering nervous collapse after the completion of a major work. Georgiana, or Georgie as she was known, was, as well as his wife, the mother he never had, & the manager of his life. They had two children who survived childhood, a son Phillip, & a daughter Margaret. William Morris founded his famous company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkener & Co in 1861. Jones worked as designer of stained glass church windows for the company, virtually to the end of his life. One of his last designs being the magnificent windows of St Phillips Cathedral, in Birmingham. In the early 1860s Jones made his first visit to Italy. In the mid 1860s, he started to gain a reputation as a painter, & to sell some pictures.

In the 1870s Burne-Jones became gradually more successful, though his patrons were a closed circle of wealthy & sophisticated people. He became friendly with the aristocratic artist George Howard, Earl of Carlisle, who produced some excellent drawings of him. His diffidence, & reluctance to exhibit publicly, however, still meant he was unknown to the wider public. In 1877, Burne-Joneswas persuaded to exhibit at the Grosvenor Gallery, & virtually overnight became a famous painter. In the 1880s, he even outshone Millais & Leighton, being regarded as our greatest living artist. In the 1890s his health declined, & the death of William Morris in 1896 was a crushing blow. He had been created a baronet in 1894, but was unhappy about accepting the honour, & he told friends that the contempt of his wife for it was ‘withering.' Burne-Jones died suddenly at his house at Rottingdean in 1898. He was the most interesting & most loveable of all these great artists, & one of our greatest 19 th century painters.

His son Phillip Burne-Jones 1861-1926 was a talented portrait painter.

* Biography provided by the "Victorian Art" website.

Gustave Dore

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A Biography of Gustave Doré written by Dan Malan, author of:

"Gustave Doré-Adrift on Dreams of Splendor"

G ustave Doré (1832-83) was the most popular illustrator of all time, both in terms of number of engravings (10,000+) and number of editions (4,000+). In the forty year period from 1860-1900 a new Doré illustrated edition was published every eight days! His 238 Bible engravings were by far the most popular set of illustrations ever done, with nearly 1,000 editions. Yet Doré was much more than just an illustrator. He did over 400 oil paintings. Millions of people came to see a gallery of his paintings. He also did several hundred watercolor landscapes and dozens of works of sculpture. He did the monument to Alexandre Dumas that sits in Paris today.

W hy then have so many people never heard of Gustave Doré? They may not be familiar with his name, but his engravings are everywhere, like on the cover of Time Magazine. Doré is also one of the best kept secrets in Hollywood. His engravings were used in many classic films like King Kong, Great Expectations, and The Ten Commandments, as well as many recent films like Amistat, Seven & What Dreams may Come. Doré's name may fade in and out of pop culture usage, but his art has had an enduring influence to generations of romantics and realists alike.

G ustave Doré was born in Strasbourg in January 1832. He was the ultimate child prodigy. His earliest dated drawings were from the age of five. The stories of his early artistic prowess are legendary. By the age of 12 he was carving his own lithographic stones, making sets of engravings with stories to go with them. The great French illustrator J. J.Grandville met Gustave and predicted great artistic success. But no one could have dreamed just how quickly that success would come.

D oré exploded onto the Parisian art scene at the age of 15, even though he was short and looked about ten years old. The Doré family visited Paris for the first time when Gustave was 15 and he fell in love with that capital of artistic sophistication. One day they went by a publishing company, with a set of engravings displayed in the window. Gustave immediately hatched a plan. The next morning he feigned illness and told the family to go on without him. He quickly made several sketches and headed for that publishing company. He walked in the front door, found the office of the publisher Charles Philipon, and barged right in. He plopped his drawings down on Philipon's desk and exclaimed, "This is how that set of illustrations should be done." Philipon was amused at Gustave's antics, but when he looked down at the drawings he almost cried. He called several other people into his office. No one could believe that little boy had actually done the drawings. So they asked him to do some more drawings right there. He did additional drawings in literally seconds. A collective gasp went up from the group. At this point Philipon refused to let Gustave leave his office. They tracked down Gustave's father and brought him to Philipon. They talked him into signing a lucrative contract for Gustave on the spot. Since the Dorés were headed back home, little Gustave moved in with Monsieur Philipon.

B y the age of 16, Gustave Doré was the highest paid illustrator in France, making more per page than Honore Daumier made at the height of his career. The timing of it all was almost supernatural. Philipon was just launching a new humor weekly, Journal pour Rire. Doré, the "Boy Genius" (as Theophile Gautier dubbed him) was the featured artist. But even prior to that, Philipon published Doré's first book when he was just 15. It was a satire entitled The Labours of Hercules. The 1847 book is now extremely rare. The book was entirely by Gustave, who wrote the text, did the drawings & engraved them all on stone. Little Gustave became the toast of Paris.

By the way, did I mention that he never had an art lesson in his entire life?

A s a teenager, Doré did over 2,000 satirical caricature engravings. But he longed for more. In 1854, he launched out into the field of literary engravings, with sets for Rabelais and Balzac. During the 1850s he did dozens of literary works, but once again he longed for more. Then he took a step almost as bold as the steps he took in 1847 into Philipon's office. By this time Doré was with the leading French publisher Hachette. Doré told Louis Hachette he wanted to do the ultimate art book, a giant literary folio of Dante's Inferno. Up to this time no Doré book had retailed for more than 15 French Francs. The proposed Inferno volume would sell for 100 Francs. Hachette turned him down, saying no one would pay that much. Doré said he would pay for the entire edition. Hachette was listed as the publisher but was actually just the printer. But again Hachette cautioned Doré to only have a hundred copies bound, so as not to waste all that money on binding. Doré did 76 full-page folio engravngs for the elephant folio edition. It came out in early 1861. A couple weeks later, Doré received a famous telegram from Hachette. "Success! Come quickly! I am an ass!" Far from selling 100 copies, there have now been over 200 editions of that set of engravings. The horror genre as we know it today has two major sources - the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and the engravings of Doré for Dante's Inferno. The early 1860s solidified Doré's position as France's foremost illustrator.

A series of childrens' classics folios followed, from Don Quixote to Baron Munchausen to Fairy Tales. But Doré was still relatively unknown outside of France. All that would change in December of 1865. In a three year period, the English-speaking world saw twenty Doré folios containing over 2000 engravings. There were fears he would kill himself from overwork. For nearly twenty years Doré would be literally the most famous artist in the world. It was often said that you c ould find Doré folios in every English-speaking home where they could spell the word "art."

B ut we are getting ahead of our story. In December of 1865, four Doré folios were published in England. Shortly thereafter they began a serial of the Doré Bible, so famous it's mentioned on page 46 of Tom Sawyer. British commissions soon followed of Milton and Tennyson. The main British publisher was Cassell, but by the late 1860s Doré folios were published in dozens of languages.

D oré greatly benefitted from another coincidence. It was at this time that electrotypes came into widespread use, allowing unlimited reproduction of engravings thru the use of molds. Foreign publishers only needed electrotypes of Doré's engravings from his original French publishers.

D oré moved into the field of Fine Arts in the late 1860s, but first let us finish up with his folios. After the Franco-Prussian War, Doré became a much more serious artist. The year 1872 saw his great social commentary folio masterpiece, London, a Pilgrimage, hailed by everyone from Vincent van Gogh to Lord Kenneth Clark.

D oré continued to produce a steady flow of folios in the 1870s, but they became more diverse, from a travel folio of Spain to a historical folio of The Crusades to literary classics of Rabelais, Ariosto, and The Ancient Mariner.

I n 1882, Doré took on his only U.S. commission ever for Poe's The Raven. Doré died in early 1883, just as he was finishing the Raven engravings. He had just turned 51.

I n the late 1860s, Doré was restless again. During the course of his entire artistic life, he moved into a new field about every five years. Doré's greatest disappointment in France was the fine art establishment's refusal to accept him as a painter. Doré admittedly had difficulties with color shading. Some have conjectured that he was actually color-blind. French artists were afraid he would come to dominate their field as he had illustration. But Doré found in England the full artistic respect he so sought. For the last 15 years of his life, Doré was almost more British than French.

I n 1867 a gallery was opened in London to display Doré's paintings. The Doré Gallery (New Bond Street) was open continuously in London for 25 years and then it toured the U.S. The British proprietors of the The Doré Gallery commissioned him to do a large religious painting, similar to one of his Bible engravings. That began a series of enormous religious canvasses for which he became world-famous. They became known as the greatest collection of religious paintings in the world. The French would say, "But his paintings are really just enormous illustrations," and the British would reply, "So what?"

D oré's final vindication as a painter came in 1896 in Chicago, long after his death. That was the westernmost stop of the Doré Gallery. The common folks in the midwest of the U.S. dearly loved Doré and proceeded to break every attendance record at the Art Institute of Chicago. Daily attendance exceeded 16,000 and on the final day, over 4,000 people came thru the turnstyles in the final HOUR !!! In eight months 1.5 million people came to see the Doré exhibition. To put that in perspective, the previous record for attendance at any U.S. art museum for an entire year had been 600,000.

D oré has often been called the last of the Romantics. In the 1870s, Doré took up watercolor landscapes, particularly in the Alps and in Scotland.

T hen in the late 1870s, he turned to sculpture. He found the French more receptive to his sculpture (no problems with coloring). But it was again after his death that he was really accepted. Doré died just as he was finishing his monument to his good friend Alexandre Dumas. No record can be found of a single negative comment by any French art critic concerning the Dumas monument. Many of them had felt that success came too easily to Doré, that he had not paid his dues. Instead Doré paid his dues after he was successful and he died a broken man, even though millions of fan around the world adored his art.

V incent van Gogh referred to Doré as an "Artist of the People" because Doré took his art directed to the masses thru his literary folios. Now all of Doré's art is in the public domain and it is reprinted all over the world. Doré's sets of engravings are etched into the memory of society's collective subconscious. That is his true legacy.

* Biography provided by the "Post a Print" website.

The Walt Disney Company

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After his first animated film business failed, artist Walt Disney and his brother Roy started a film studio in 1923 in Hollywood. Walt directed the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, "Plane Crazy," in 1928 (the 3rd, "Steamboat Willie," was the first cartoon with a soundtrack). Disney's studio created short cartoons such as "The Three Little Pigs."

The studio produced its first animated feature film, "Snow White," in 1937 and "Fantasia" and "Pinocchio" in the 1940s. Disney produced "The Mickey Mouse Club" (1955-59) and a weekly television series (under a number of titles) that ran for 29 straight years. Disneyland opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California.

Walt Disney died in 1966 of lung cancer, and Roy became chairman. Disney World opened in Florida in 1971, and Roy died the same year. His son Roy E., then animation VP, became the company's principal individual shareholder. Without Walt's and Roy's leadership and creativity, Disney films went from producing over 50% of company revenues in 1971 to only 20% in 1979.

Walt's son-in-law Ron Miller became president in 1980. Two years later Epcot opened in Florida. Miller started Touchstone Pictures in order to produce films like "Splash" (1984), Disney's first hit since "The Love Bug" (1969). Texas's Bass family, in alliance with Roy E. Disney, bought a controlling interest in the company in 1984. New CEO Michael Eisner (from film maker Paramount) and president Frank Wells (from movie producer Warner Bros.) ushered in a new era of innovation, prosperity, and high executive salaries.

The company started the Disney Channel (cable TV) and opened retail stores in the 1980s. Disney opened Tokyo Disneyland in 1984 and Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Florida in 1989.

Disney established Hollywood Records, a mainstream label, in 1990. Euro Disney opened near Paris in 1992 amid French concern over the park's possible effects on the nation's culture. The next year Disney bought Miramax Film Corp.

In 1994 Eisner underwent heart bypass surgery and president Frank Wells died in a helicopter crash, raising concerns about the company's future leadership. These worries were compounded by the resignation of Jeffrey Katzenberg (chairman of Disney's film unit) but apparently resolved with the naming of Creative Artists Agency chairman Michael Ovitz as the new Disney president in 1995.

That year Disney teamed up with 3 Baby Bells to develop, market, and deliver video programming. In 1996 Walt Disney Television signed a multimedia deal with production company Colossal Pictures. To accommodate newly acquired Capital Cities/ABC, Disney aligned itself into 3 divisions in 1996: creative content, broadcasting, and theme parks.

*Biography provided by: home.neo.rr.com/memoriesofpast

Image provided by: Artmagick.com

Walter Crane was primarily a designer and book illustrator, specialising in children's books. He was born in Liverpool on 15 August 1845, moving to London with his family in 1857. After a period during which he worked on illustrations for a poem of Tennyson, he became apprenticed to the famous wood engraver William James Linton and studied drawing in his spare time. In 1862 he exhibited The Lady of Shalott at the Royal Academy. His first illustrated book, The New Forest , was published the following year.

He was a great admirer of Edward Burne-Jones, whose work he first saw at the Old Watercolour Society in 1865. In his autobiography he recalled what a deep impression Burne-Jones' pictures made upon him:

'The curtain had been lifted, and we had a glimpse into a magic world of romance and pictured poetry, peopled with ghosts of "ladies dead and lovely knights" - a twilight world of dark mysterious woodlands, haunted streams, meads of deep green starred with burning flowers, veiled in a dim and mystic light, and stained with low-toned crimson and gold..'
[ An Artist's Reminiscences , 1907]

Crane's later watercolours of slightly menacing wooded landscapes and vague but sinister mythical events represent a world which the artist has dreamt of rather than visited. In 'Diana' the huntress seems to be leading her male followers through a primeval forest, perhaps to their destruction. He died in London on 15 March 1915.

Biography provided by: Artmagick.com