Seems to me that TD’s book illustrations (I described one in the last post because I had notes) are not, on the whole, his most interesting work. It’s high time to show him at his more sophisticated/characteristic and I’ll do that shortly. I’ll also catalogue the book illustrations gradually.
Kenneth McConkey offers this feedback:
The Judgment of Paris [...] seems very interesting to me. I wonder where it is now? It reminds me of the work of classical painters of the twenties like Harold Speed and Fred Appleyard, neither of whom have been studied.
“Prix de Rome”, although confusing, was a term commonly adopted by competitors for the British School prizes.
He adds an important insight:
I’m sure I have a note somewhere about an early mural-style painting illustrated in Colour magazine, but I cannot now locate it. I suspect that the important contact for the early Derrick was William Rothenstein and the Mural Decoration school at the Royal College, inspired by the current, pre- and post-Great War interest in the revival of tempera painting and mural painting in general. There has been some work done on this, mostly by dealers, and it will take a little time to get together, but I will see what I can do.
It should be pointed out that TD did not actually do any murals that survive (The Judgment of Paris seems to have been a design for one) – but the mural manner was part of his style. See All dressed up and nowhere to go. He did do many stained glass windows.
I also found the comments on Clausen’s Sheffield lecture very interesting in that they establish a connection between Rothenstein and [GC]. Their work was moving in parallel in the years leading up to the Great War - ie being executed in that rather dry mural style.
Clausen’s style did become more monumental in some works from roughly 1908 until after the end of the first war, and he did some murals – and one could also say that he was returning to a monumentality which he had explored in a different way in the 1890s.
The post on GC in Sheffield mentioned William Rothenstein’s A Plea for a Wider Use of Artists & Craftsmen, A Lecture Delivered at the Invitation of the Chairman & Managers of the Technical School of Art at Sheffield, on the 8th November, 1916, Constable, presumably 1916 or ’17. TD’s letter of 1923 was exactly such a plea.