Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Brockley Murals (1933-36) Part 2: Ceiling, lunettes and spandrels (2)

Evelyn Dunbar and Charles Mahoney: The Brockley Murals, Ceiling, Lunettes and Spandrels 1933-36 (Author's photographs throughout)

All these images should enlarge if you click on them

The second cycle of Evelyn's spandrels, two of which are facing us in the lower centre middle distance in the photo above, continue to delight and puzzle where the first cycle, which I analysed here, left off. In the first cycle Evelyn allowed Aesop, the mainspring of her subject matter, free rein in a garden very similar to the Dunbar family garden in Rochester.

In the second and central section of the sub-gallery arcade at Prendergast-Hilly Fields College (at the time of painting Brockley County School for Boys) Evelyn takes us indoors, with an extraordinarily rich and diverse series of interiors, some based on fables, others on moral metaphors. Each spandrel has its own subject, and one subject - The Nurse, the Child and the Fairy - she slips in across the necks of two adjacent spandrels, making a total of nine subjects.

For the first spandrel, The Knight's Move in Chess, she moves clockwise from the central axis and invites us into the Dunbar family home, The Cedars. Her elder brother Ronald was a chess player. Ronald taught me to play chess when I was ten or eleven. He was an amiable man, a local businessman suffering from dyspepsia for which he continually sucked somebody-or-other's Little Liver Pills. At a certain point in our games, generally far too early on, he would lean forward with a silent snort of triumph to make the move that checkmated me. (I wonder who else he played with? The older Dunbars, Ronald, Jessie and Marjorie, seemed to have very few outside contacts. 'They lived within themselves', Evelyn's husband Roger said of them once, inferring that the brilliant and charismatic Evelyn was something of a cuckoo in their nest, particularly after their mother Florence died in 1944.)

Chess, which originated in India, didn't arrive in Europe until at least a thousand years after the time of Aesop (c.620-560BC). Certain moves in chess, however, have often been used as metaphors for aspects of human behaviour. G. K. Chesterton, for instance, a very popular writer at the time Evelyn was painting (and who died in the summer of 1936, even as her Brockley paint was drying), conflated the Knight's crooked or even devious move in chess - two straight squares in any direction then a swerve or lurch to the side - with a fable even more ancient than Aesop, The Fox and the Cat (or Hedgehog):

Aesop [...] understood that, for a fable, all the persons must be impersonal. They must be like abstractions in algebra, or like pieces in chess. The lion must always be stronger than the wolf, just as four is always double of two. The fox in a fable must move crooked, as the knight in chess must move crooked.¹

In this fable the fox boasts to the cat/hedgehog of the many ways he has to escape from danger. The cat replies that he has only one means of escape, to run up a tree, and the hedgehog to curl up into a ball. Both are perfectly and consistently effective. Just then a pack of hunting dogs appears: the cat runs up the nearest tree, the hedgehog rolls into a prickly ball, and while the fox dithers over which is the best of his many boasted means of escape the dogs tear him limb from limb.

Evelyn's chessboard, what we can see of it, is tightly organised. I can imagine her asking her brother Ronald to set up a particular game of chess, and Ronald has obliged with his chessmen of the classic Staunton design. He has left the game frozen at a point of high drama, commensurate with the arrival of the hunting dogs in the fable. All depends on whose move it is, but the black knight is pinned: he can't be moved without exposing the black king to check from the white bishop. For all his supposed flexibility of movement, the black knight is immobilised, the helpless prey of several other pieces.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Knight's Move in Chess and The Artist and his Patrons

The chessboard has been placed on a circular table covered with a blue cloth, one that we'll see four times altogether. Segments of this table set up a logical sequence, complementing each other on opposite sides of this central section of the gallery, like 90 º slices of cake, forming a unifying factor among so much disparate material. (Elsewhere in this cycle yellow and red tablecloths match each other diagonally.) In the background there is a sideboard and two chairs, and two figures not much larger than the chessmen, one of whom is reading a newspaper. The left side of the scene is taken up with a large brilliantly leaved coleus. If The Knight's Move in Chess seems abstruse, its obscurity is bright compared with The Artist and his Patrons.

In The Artist and his Patrons, clockwise to the right of The Knight's Move in Chess, we come to the heart of the entire sub-gallery spandrel cycle. It's the 10th (or 11th, depending on which end you count from) of the 22 spandrels she painted, so if Evelyn had a particular message to give or point to make, it's likely to be found here, on the spandrels inside the central arches of the gallery.

It came as a surprise to discover that among the 700-odd fables ascribed to Aesop or his successors, there isn't one called The Artist and his Patrons. There are one or two fables involving sculptors and the relative values of art and nature (nature always wins, of course), and others about the worth of artists compared with those who buy their work, an idea maybe reflected in Evelyn's adjacent ceiling roundel in the photo above, which is entitled Industry and Sloth.

With this mind, it's with some trepidation that I advance the following ideas, which owe almost everything to an article in Volume 119 (No.1 Supplement) of the January 2004 edition of Modern Language Notes (MLN), entitled Fables, Ruins, and the "bell' imperfetto" in the Art of Dosso Dossi by Giancarlo Fiorenza, currently Assistant Professor of Art History in California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

The fables of Aesop existed firstly in Greek and then in Latin, and it wasn't until the Renaissance that the first translation into a contemporary language appeared, the Italian edition of 1479. This was published in Verona, and was illustrated with 'lively woodcuts', to quote Professor Fiorenza. It became a best-seller, not least because Aesop opened the door to the popular wisdom of the ancient world just at a time when the humanist movement was searching for something to parallel, complement or even challenge the otherwise universal Christianity.

Among the artists who were drawn into the world of Aesop was the agreeably nicknamed Dosso Dossi (c.1490-1542), whose real name was Giovanni di Niccolò de Luteri: Dosso was the name of the village he came from. In 1531 Dosso Dossi was one of several artists engaged by Bernardo Clesio, the Prince-Bishop of Trento, to decorate the extensions he was undertaking to his palace in the mediaeval Castello del Buonconsiglio. Today this is a massive fortified palace dominating the town of Trento, in the foothills of the Italian South Tirol.

From the surviving correspondence between the frequently absent Prince-Bishop Clesio and his clerks of works we learn that - maybe this gives a pointer to where all this is leading - Dosso was given free rein with his decorations, indeed encouraged to invent them. Clearly his patron was a man as open and kindly with his spirit as with his purse. Among the 19 rooms Dosso decorated was La Stua de la Famea (15th Century dialect for the family dining-room, or bar, even) an upper-floor dining room. Here Dosso painted ten lunettes in fresco of the fables of Aesop, drawing on the 1479 Verona edition and especially its 'lively' woodcuts for some of his ideas.

Dosso Dossi (c.1490-1542): Fables and Ruins La Stua della Famea, Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trento, Italy

So we can imagine the Prince-Bishop's entourage and guests sitting at his generous table and discussing Dosso's lunettes and the meaning of the fables illustrated in them, some of which they would recognise instantly, not too unlike the boys at Brockley School queuing up at the serving hatches beneath the gallery for their school dinners. Clesio's guests would perhaps notice that the horizons in Dosso's lunettes were on a continuous level, just as Evelyn's are in Brockley School, as though they were looking out from the heights of the Castello on to the outside real world which Aesop's fables evoked.

And some, sensitive or censorious, would remark on Dosso's between-lunette spandrels, which he has decorated with paintings of Classical statuary, as knocked about a bit - the bell' imperfetto (beautiful imperfection) of Professor Fiorenzo's title - through the ages, I suppose to imply the approval and legitimisation of then contemporary culture by its ancient Graeco-Roman ancestors. The statuary is nude and explicit, as indeed it originally was. Later, I don't know when, maybe during the great ecumenical Council of Trent some 15 years afterwards, offending genitals were painted out. Now, in the top right-hand corner of Evelyn's spandrel of The Artist and his Patrons there's an extraordinary and unique thing: so far all Evelyn's human figures have been reduced in size almost to invisibility, but here a life-size left hand holds up a piece of fine material stretched across the neck of the spandrel and into the neighbouring one, The Parrot and his Cage, where the right hand holds it, like a kind of screen, in much the same way as a towel might be held up to screen someone changing on the beach.

What's happening? At Prendergast-Hilly Fields College (i.e. the former Brockley School), the open arch corresponds inversely with the spandrels in Dosso's Stua de la Famea, that is, it occupies the space between the paintings. This is exactly where the over-explicit statuary would have been, had Dosso's design in Trento been somehow magically transported to Lewisham . . . and Evelyn's hands are holding up what I believe is called a modesty drape. Modesty drapes are very common in Renaissance and later painting and sculpture, effectively and sometimes with stunning artistry screening out prurient eyes: this is Evelyn's witty and joyfully sympathetic response to Clesio's guests and their descendants. Maybe this is a little private joke between Evelyn and Mahoney.

It's difficult to believe that Evelyn and Mahoney didn't discuss every aspect of the proposed Brockley decoration before the work started and while it was in progress. It's equally hard to believe that they weren't aware of Dosso's work. There are so many parallels: the continuous horizons we see in the first eight and the last six spandrels, which we'll look at in the next post; the diminutive size of the principal figures; the inclusion of everyday activities unconnected with the fable that's being illustrated, like someone reading the paper in The Knight's Move in Chess; the fascination with plants and flowers; a certain wit and deft light-heartedness.

The spandrel itself shows an artist's paintbox with the lid open, standing on a table with a red cloth on it. In the box are tubes of oil paint, bottles of various oils and solvents and a selection of brushes. In the top left-hand corner the artist, maybe the forward figure in a blue smock of the type Evelyn often wore, and standing for all artists male or female, is in discussion with two patrons. The upright lid of the paintbox separates the two halves of the image. To the right are spring flowers - tulips, grape hyacinths, polyanthus - of the type which Evelyn's mother Florence used to include in her floral still lifes. The whole is not a fable at all, but a permanent and lasting tribute to all those who helped Evelyn to her present position: Charles Mahoney, Sir William Rothenstein, Dr Sinclair (the headmaster of Brockley County School for Boys) and his staff, her mother Florence Dunbar and no doubt many others.


Evelyn Dunbar The Brockley Murals The Parrot and his Cage (left), and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (right)

Aesop's fable of The Parrot and his Cage is simply told, and with some relief after the previous heavy going. His mistress has allowed the parrot a little freedom, and has inexplicably left the window open. We can't see the parrot, because, having long been envious of other birds' liberty despite living an in-cage life of Reilly, he has flown away. In the background we can see his distraught mistress, waving her arms in the air as she vainly calls him back. The Ven. Dr Croxall, the Aesopian ex-archdeacon of Hereford, described it as follows in his 1722 version of Aesop's fables:

But alas! poor Poll was mistaken; a thousand inconveniences, which he never dreamt of, attended this elopement of his. [...] He is buffeted by the savage inhabitants of the grove; and his imitation of a human voice, which formerly rendered him so agreeable, does but the more expose him to the fierce resentment of the feathered nation. The delicate food with which he used to be fed, is no more; he is unskilled in the ways of providing for himself, and even ready to die with hunger. But just before he breathed his last, he is said to have made this reflection: ah, poor Poll! were you but in your cage again, you would never wander more.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (right)

In The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse Evelyn draws on Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Johnny Town-mouse rather than Aesop. Somehow Johnny Town-mouse has scrambled up the blue tablecloth covering the circular table that we saw three spandrels ago in The Knight's Move in Chess. Instead of a chess-board there's a splendid pierced-work porcelain fruit bowl, overflowing with fruit, apples, a quince, a banana and trusses of grapes, complemented by a similarly decorated dish with unshucked hazelnuts in it. Following Johnny Town-mouse, a bit uncertainly, is Timmy Willie, the country mouse, who may have arrived accidentally in town that very morning in a hamper of vegetables. In the background a human figure in the doorway is shooing them away. Devotees of Beatrix Potter will recognise the names, and of course the story, and some may have noticed that Beatrix Potter prefaces her story with the dedication 'To Aesop in the Shadows'.

In fact Beatrix Potter expands on Aesop's original fable, inverting it to have the country mouse first visiting the town mouse. Aesop has the town mouse making an uncomfortable visit to the country mouse, and there's no reciprocal visit, as in Beatrix Potter. There's no mention of fruit in either Aesop or Potter, so Evelyn has gone to another version of the many versions of this very ancient fable, or to her own imagination, for the abundance of forbidden fruit which gives the country mouse the collywobbles.

(This is very probably the first time that mice appear prominently in Evelyn's work. Among her possessions was a carved wooden mouse dressed in a bouffant skirt, which served her as a sort of mascot. In the later 50s she decorated a bedroom frieze with mice for Anne Skilbeck, the daughter of the then Principal of Wye College. However, the locus classicus, if that's the term, for Evelyn's mice drawings is An Episode in the History of the Lake District, an illustrated diary of a short Lakeland holiday in 1941, where the four protagonists - herself, her then fiancé Roger Folley, Roger's friend Glynn Burton and Margaret Goodwin, a former fellow Royal College of Art student - feature as mice.)

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Flies and the Honeypot (left) and The Spider and the Silkworm (right)

Evelyn has made an engaging little household vignette out of the fable of The Flies and the Honeypot. The fable, not among the most profound, tells how some flies were attracted to a jar of honey. Being obliged to stand in it in order to eat it, they soon found they were stuck. So they expired, but not before remorse set in: 'Foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves.'

The Dunbars' circular table with the blue tablecloth puts in its third appearance, complementing the mice-infested segment of table we've just left. Afternoon tea is being cleared away. A woman is carrying everything away into the kitchen, followed by a frankly-painted cat hopeful of a saucer of milk. She will return for the very fine teapot and the honeypot next to it, and maybe for a linen napkin rolled up and enclosed in a gilt napkin ring. And there's a letter, with a red stamp, with the envelope torn as to suggest that it has just been opened, hinting at leisured days when there were two daily postal deliveries. The envelope reads A. Pratt, esq, The Limes, Princes Rd, SE 13. Mr Pratt was probably the school caretaker.

Then there's the honeypot, and some large fat flies, and what was a cosy, genteel, assured, unquestioningly bourgeois and English middle-class domestic scene is instantly disturbed. Of all Evelyn's Brockley images - I might say anywhere - this is the most brutal.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Spider and the Silkworm (right) and The Flies and the Honeypot (left)

The Northumbrian engraver Thomas Bewick's reading of the The Spider and the Silkworm, the subject of Evelyn's next spandrel, goes as follows:

He that is employed in works of use generally advantages himself or others; while he who toils alone for fame must often expect to lose his labour.

How vainly we promise ourselves that our flimsy productions will be rewarded with immortal honour! A Spider, busied in spreading his web from one side of a room to the other, was asked by an industrious Silkworm, to what end he spent so much time and labour, in making a number of lines and circles? The Spider angrily replied, Do not disturb me, thou ignorant thing: I transmit my ingenuity to posterity, and fame is the object of my wishes. Just as he had spoken, a chambermaid, coming into the room to feed her Silkworms, saw the Spider at his work, and with one stroke of her broom, swept him away, and destroyed at once his labours and his hope of fame.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Spider and the Silkworm (detail)

Evelyn's illustration of this is dominated by a strange artefact in the middle of the spandrel, which turns out to be a lamp, mounted on a curly bracket or gimbal so that its light can be directed wherever it's wanted. It's burning very dimly at the moment, if it's alight at all. The right-hand side of the shade is festooned with a proprietorial web, while the spider herself is hanging just above the silkworms' box. Maybe this low level of illumination isn't surprising, because I see this lamp as representing the fame the spider so ardently seeks, and which is being summarily suppressed by the chambermaid sweeping all his work away. We can see her in the background with her broom, so thoroughly busy at her spring cleaning that she has piled a couple of Evelyn's spindly chairs on to the bed the better to clean any offending webs away. Meanwhile, there is a blue box covered with an open-work cloth, in which her utilitarian silkworms are munching away at the dark green mulberry leaves, of which there appears to be a plentiful supply just beyond the box.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Nurse, the Child and the Fairy (extreme upper left) and The Needle and the Pin (centre and right)

In The Nurse, the Child and the Fairy Evelyn spreads her illustration over the necks of two adjoining spandrels, just as she did with the two hands holding up a length of material, maybe a modesty drape, across the necks of the pair of spandrels directly opposite, otherwise occupied by The Artist and his Patrons and The Parrot and his Cage. The two parts are linked by black and white tiled floors in each. It's not clear to me whether The Nurse, the Child and the Fairy travels from left to right, or vice versa. This is annoying because it might give a clue as to whether the whole ensemble of spandrels moves clockwise, anti-clockwise or in some other order.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The Nurse, the Child and the Fairy (detail)

I hope there's no shame in admitting defeat: I've no idea what The Nurse, the Child and the Fairy is about. In the detail above the Nurse is holding the Child by the hand, while the Fairy hovers above and to the left, to what purpose I don't know. There's no such fable in Aesop or in any of his successors, although there are other fables about changelings that echo the title, notably by John Gay. I'm afraid I can't make head nor tail of the meaning of Evelyn's illustration.

I don't know if Evelyn's The Needle and the Pin is taken from the following poem by the American poetess Eliza Lee Follen (1787-1860), but it will do excellent service for any other version:

The Pin, Needle, and Scissors: A Fable

'Tis true, although 'tis sad to say,
Disputes are rising every day.
You'd think, if no one did deny it,
A little work-box might be quiet;
But 'tis not so, for I did hear,
Or else I dreamed it, 'tis so queer,
A Pin and Needle in the cushion,
Maintain the following discussion:

The Needle, 'extra fine, gold-eyed,'
Was very sharp, and full of pride.
And thus, methought, she did begin:
'You clumsy, thick, short, ugly Pin,
I wish you were not quite so near;
How could my mistress stick me here?
She should have put me in my place,
With my bright sisters in the case.'

'Would you were there!' the Pin replied;
'I do not want you by my side.
I'm rather short and thick, 'tis true;
Who'd be so long and thin as you?
I've got a head, though, of my own,
That you had better let alone.'

'You make me laugh,' the Needle cried;
'That you've a head can't be denied;
For you a very proper head,
Without an eye, and full of lead.'

'You are so cross, and sharp, and thin,'

Replied the poor insulted Pin,
'I hardly dare a word to say,
And wish, indeed, you were away.
That golden eye in your poor head,
Was only made to hold a thread;
All your fine airs are foolish fudge,
For you are nothing but a drudge;
But I, in spite of your abuse,
Am made for pleasure and for use.
I fasten the bouquet and sash,
And help the ladies make a dash;
I go abroad and gaily roam,
While you are rusting here at home.'

'Stop!' cried the Needle; 'you're too much;
You've brass enough to beat the Dutch;
Do I not make the ladies' clothes,
Ere I retire to my repose?
Then who, forsooth, the glory wins?
Alas! 'tis finery and pins.
This is the world's unjust decree,
But what is this vain world to me?
I'd rather live with my own kin,
Than dance about like you, vain Pin.
I'm taken care of every day:
You're used awhile, then thrown away;
Or else you get all bent up double,
And a snug crack for all your trouble.'

'True,' said the Pin, 'I am abused,
And sometimes very roughly used;
I often get an ugly crook,
Or fall into a dirty nook;
But there I lie, and never mind it;
Who wants a pin is sure to find it.
In time I am picked up, and then
I lead a merry life again.
You fuss so at a fall or hurt,
And if you touch a little dirt,
You keep up such an odious creaking,
That where you are there is no speaking;
And then your lacquey Emery's called,
And he, poor thing, is pricked and mauled,
Until your daintiness--O shocking!
Is fit for what? to mend a stocking!'

The Needle now began to speak--
They might have quarrelled for a week--
But here the Scissors interposed,
And thus the warm debate was closed:
'You angry Needle! foolish Pin!
How did this nonsense first begin?
You should have both been better taught;
But I will cut the matter short.
You both are wrong, and both are right,
And both are very impolite.
E'en in a work-box 'twill not do
To talk of every thing that's true.
All personal remarks avoid,
For every one will be annoyed
At hearing disagreeable truth;
Besides, it shows you quite uncouth,
And sadly wanting in good taste.
But what advantages you waste!
Think, Pins and Needles, while you may,
How much you hear in one short day;
No servants wait on lordly man
Can hear one half of what you can.
'Tis not worth while to mince the matter;
Nor men nor boys like girls can chatter.
All now are learning, forward moving,
E'en Pins and Needles are improving;
And, in this glorious, busy day
All have some useful part to play.
Go forth, ye Pins, and bring home news!
Ye Needles, in your cases muse!
And take me for your kind adviser,
And only think of growing wiser;
Then, when you meet again, no doubt,
Something you'll have to talk about,
And need not get into a passion,
And quarrel in this vulgar fashion.
Less of yourselves you'll think, and more
Of others, than you did before.
You'll learn that in their own right sphere
All things with dignity appear,
And have, when in their proper place,
Peculiar use, intrinsic grace.'
Methought the polished Scissors blush'd
To have said so much,--and all was hush'd.

Evelyn's The Needle and the Pin spandrel is a complex composition. It may take some time and application, as though we were waiting for an optical illusion to click into place, to see that what appears to be a central pillar leaning to the right is in fact the frame of a mirror, shown almost edgeways-on, hinged on to a moulded wooden support. A blue felt needle-holder fringed with a yellow trim, or maybe a shallow pin-cushion, is hanging from the frame, with the warring needle and pin stuck into it. The mirror and its frame and base is standing on a dressing table covered with a fringed yellow cloth. There's a tortoiseshell comb in the foreground, and the whole design is given depth by the  bedroom in the background. Two figures, one dressed in a housemaid's apron are making a bed on a handsome iron bedstead: they're stretching a sheet over, while a pillow lies on the floor and more bedclothes are lying folded on a bedside chair. The mirror, of late Victorian design, is a miniature feat of trompe l'oeil perspective, a scene portrayed from above while actually viewed from below.

Evelyn Dunbar: The Brockley Murals The House of Cards

We move on to the final spandrel in this central cycle, The House of Cards. We're in the Dunbar sitting-room again, where we started with The Knight's Move in Chess. The same round or oval table, with the same blue tablecloth that has been a unifying factor in several spandrels in this central group, now serves as the base for a house of cards. Aesop predated chess and playing cards by at least a thousand years, but the house of cards in itself stands (or falls) as a metaphor for insubstantiality and impermanence, for all that is fallible, without the need for an accompanying fable.

Evelyn was working on this cycle, and in particular on The House of Cards,  almost until the eve of the official opening of the Brockley murals on February 21st, 1936. There's a tantalising letter, dateable only by inference, from Evelyn to Mahoney, in which she writes 'I didn't write yesterday because I was going all in at the old king [...] I've got him about a third done in about 3½ hours. I think he's looking alright. [...] It's less than two weeks now to the opening & there's still a good bit to do.'

What 'old king' was this? If Evelyn's reference is to her work in the Brockley Murals, the only place in which a king appears is in The House of Cards. The court cards featured are the queen of diamonds on the lower level and a jack, or knave, two levels above. However, among the other cards to the left of the structure is another court card, which turns out to be the king of clubs, whose features are very sketchily done in a way sometimes typical of Evelyn when she is a very great hurry. The following is the merest conjecture, but on January 20th, a fortnight at most before Evelyn wrote this letter to Mahoney, King George V died. A state funeral followed on the 28th. Evelyn was neither particularly pro- nor anti-monarchy, but she would have felt it tactless at that particular moment to have represented the late King being associated with something doomed to failure, like a house of cards.

 The jack's face is as scumbled and imprecise as the queen is exact and carefully rendered - and, while we're at it, unusually white in her background. And there's a strange anomaly: the border shows the trefoil symbol for clubs, while next to the jack's head is the symbol for spades. Which is he, clubs or spades? If any sense is to be made of Evelyn's reference to the 'old king', I think she repainted all the court cards on hearing of George V's death, but forgot to change the marginal clubs to spades on the jack.    

The House of Cards is Evelyn's final comment on this cycle, where all the images imply some human element or activity taking place mostly indoors. People - or mice masquerading as people - feature much more strongly here than in the previous cycle, where everything takes place in the garden and where human figures are reduced to marginal ciphers, something like the occasional human figures in the Bayeux Tapestry. Evelyn's choice of cards may cleverly suggest that we're all, men and women, at sixes and sevens, when we're left to our own devices, which can hardly be denied. The true, substantial, permanent and infallible morality is that of nature.

Many thanks to my wife Josephine for her invaluable and untiring help in the preparation of this essay.

¹G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to V.S.Vernon Jones: Aesop's Fables, A New Translation. New York, 1912

(Original text © Christopher Campbell-Howes 2013. All rights reserved.)

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