Category: ART015000

Contraptions: a timely new edition by a legend of inventive illustrations and cartoon wizardry

A timely new edition featuring the brilliant work from among the most inventive minds in illustration and cartoon wizardry.

Heath Robinson was one of Britain’s most successful graphic artists. His work has had a huge influence on comic art in this country, but also on the image and self-image of the British.

As the champion of pragmatic man, Heath Robinson presented a vision of the British as an unflappable, ingenious and slightly demented breed of inventors that persists to the present day. The British are still a nation of garage-haunting amateur engineers who will recognise the inhabitants of Heath Robinson’s world, with their pot bellies and pots of tea, archaic faces and sturdily commonsensical approach to the problems of existence.

How to hunt tigers by elephant, how to get an even tan, rise with the sun or put out a chimney fire, these and many more pressing questions are answered in the pages of Contraptions.

With illustrations salvaged from the family archives and commentary by Heath Robinson expert, Geoffrey Beare, Contraptions is the best possible introduction to the work of one of Britain’s great comic talents.

Young Michelangelo

This is a long-awaited and authoritative reinterpretation of the early life and career of arguably the greatest artist in history. Author John T. Spike surveys Michelangelo’s early life from birth to his early thirties, probing the thinking, artistic evolution and yearnings of a young man thoroughly convinced of his own exceptional talent. Spike explores Michelangelo’s involvement in the most troubling controversies of his age, and recreates Florence and Rome with vivid sketches of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Leonardo, Julius II and Machiavelli. This is a prodigiously informative and compelling account that will fulfil the need for a major Michelangelo biography for this generation and many to come.

Effie

‘A joy to read – a wonderful, rich book.’ Dame Emma Thompson

The scandalous love triangle at the heart of the Victorian art world. Effie Gray, a Scottish beauty, was the heroine of a great Victorian love story. Married at nineteen to John Ruskin, she found herself trapped in a loveless and unconsummated union. When her husband invited his protégé John Everett Millais away on holiday, she and Millais fell in love. Effie would inspire some of Millais’s most haunting images, and embody Victorian society’s fears about female sexuality.

Effie risked everything by leaving Ruskin. She hoped to find fulfilment as Millais’s wife, becoming a society hostess and manager of his studio, but controversy and tragedy continued to stalk her. Suzanne Fagence Cooper has gained exclusive access to Effie’s family letters and diaries to reveal the reality behind the scandalous love-triangle. She shows the rise and fall of the Pre-Raphaelite circle from a new perspective, through the eyes of a woman who was intimately involved in the private and public lives of its two greatest figures. Effie’s charm and ambition helped to shape the careers of both her husbands. Effie is a compelling portrait of the extraordinary woman behind some of the most famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making

Awestruck by the sight of a Grinling Gibbons carving in a London church, David Esterly chose to dedicate his life to the art – its physical control, intricate beauty and intellectual demands. Until his death in 2019 he was the foremost practitioner of Gibbons’s forgotten technique, which revolutionised ornamental sculpture in the late 1600s.

After a fire at Hampton Court Palace in 1986 destroyed much of Gibbons’s masterpiece, the job fell to David Esterly to restore his idol’s work to its former glory. It turned out to be the most challenging year in Esterly’s life, forcing him to question his abilities and delve deeply into what it means to make something well.

Exploring the determination, concentration and skill that go into achieving any form of excellence, Esterly breathed life into the world of wood carving. This special collector’s edition of The Lost Carving reveals an astonishing life and deftly illustrates the union of man and material necessary to create a lasting work of art.

The Optickal Illusion

In The Optickal Illusion, Rachel Halliburton’s meticulous recreation of Georgian society reveals the sordid details of a genuine scandal that deceived the British Royal Academy.

Her debut novel questions the lengths women must go to make their mark on a society that seeks to underplay their abilities – a theme only too relevant today. It is three years from the dawn of a new century and in London, nothing is certain any more: the future of the monarchy is in question, the city is aflame with right and left-wing conspiracies, and the French could invade any day.

Against this feverish atmosphere, the American painter Benjamin West is visited by a strange father and daughter, the Provises, who claim they have a secret that has obsessed painters for centuries: the Venetian techniques of master painter Titian. West was once the most celebrated painter in London, but hasn’t produced anything of note in years so against his better judgment he agrees to let the intriguing Ann Jemima Provis visit his studio and demonstrate what she knows. What unravels reveals more than he has ever understood – about himself, about the treachery of the art world and the seductive promise of genius. The nature of truth itself is called into question in this story of envy, lust and corruption.

Contraptions

A timely new edition featuring the brilliant work from among the most inventive minds in illustration and cartoon wizardry.

Heath Robinson was one of Britain’s most successful graphic artists. His work has had a huge influence on comic art in this country, but also on the image and self-image of the British.

As the champion of pragmatic man, Heath Robinson presented a vision of the British as an unflappable, ingenious and slightly demented breed of inventors that persists to the present day. The British are still a nation of garage-haunting amateur engineers who will recognise the inhabitants of Heath Robinson’s world, with their pot bellies and pots of tea, archaic faces and sturdily commonsensical approach to the problems of existence.

How to hunt tigers by elephant, how to get an even tan, rise with the sun or put out a chimney fire, these and many more pressing questions are answered in the pages of Contraptions.

With illustrations salvaged from the family archives and commentary by Heath Robinson expert, Geoffrey Beare, Contraptions is the best possible introduction to the work of one of Britain’s great comic talents.

The Lost Carving

Awestruck by the sight of a Grinling Gibbons carving in a London church, David Esterly chose to dedicate his life to the art its physical control, intricate beauty and intellectual demands. Forty years later, he is the foremost practitioner of Gibbons’s forgotten technique, which revolutionised ornamental sculpture in the late 1600s. After a fire at Hampton Court Palace in 1986 destroyed much of Gibbons’s masterpiece, the job fell to David Esterly to restore his idols work to its former glory. It turned out to be the most challenging year in Esterley’s life, forcing him to question his abilities and delve deeply into what it means to make something well. Esterly breathes life into the world of wood carving and deftly illustrates the union of man and material necessary to create a lasting work of art. He also describes the determination, concentration and skill that go into achieving any form of excellence.