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Richard Doyle

(1824 -  1883 )
DOYLE Richard Political Satire On The Crimean War

Swann Galleries
Jan 28, 2016
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Artworks in Arcadja
77

Some works of Richard Doyle

Extracted between 77 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Richard Doyle - Nursery Rhymes

Richard Doyle - Nursery Rhymes

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Lot number: 21
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Sale 2511 Lot 21 RICHARD DOYLE (style of). Nursery Rhymes. Together, three illustrations for an unrealized project. Watercolor on paper. Each measures approximately 89x121 mm; 3 1/2x4 3/4 inches, on 4x5 1/4-inch sheets. Unsigned but captioned on verso. All are taped to a window matte; framed together.
Richard Doyle - Pied Piper Of Hamelin

Richard Doyle - Pied Piper Of Hamelin

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Lot number: 57
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Richard Doyle (1824 - 1883) Pied Piper of Hamelin Watercolour, 51 x 77cm (20 x 30¼) Signed Exhibited: The works of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., and a collection of drawings by the late Richard Doyle, The Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1885, no. 287 in the catalogue, lent by A. H Christie, esq of East Runton, Norfolk. From an early age Richard Doyle or ‘Dickie Doyle’ as he was affectionately known, showed a natural ability for creating original and humorous designs. A consummate draughtsman, during his teenage years he kept a manuscript journal, now housed in the Print department of the British Museum, which consists of 156 pages of pen and ink sketches. He developed a successful career as an book illustrator with William Thackeray declaring on the advent of a new translation of Brother Grimm’s fairytales ‘The Fairy Ring’ in 1846, that he was the new ‘master of the fairyland’ supplanting the artist George Cruikshank. (The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle by Russell Miller, 2010). Doyle also worked for many years as an illustrator for the satirical magazine Punch (1841 - 2002), designing their first cover and masthead and producing more than one thousand drawings during his seven years of employment. A staunch Catholic all his life, his relationship with Punch came to a drastic end in 1850 when he resigned due to their hostility towards the current Pope. From this point onwards there is a significant shift in the trajectory of his artistic career. Although he continued to provide fantastical illustrations for books, such as his celebrated 'In Fairyland' (1869), by the mid-1870s, he had begun to experiment with larger scale works in watercolour, such as the present example. It is important to note he never had any formal training in the medium; these works were therefore technically experimental. This unconventional approach, lends itself to these mythological subjects in which he imbued them with a surreal or dreamlike quality. He exhibited in 1868 and 1871 with the RA and two years following his death in 1883, the Grosvenor Gallery in London exhibited a collection of his drawings in which The Pied Piper of Hamelin was included. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a particularly interesting subject to depict, as there are numerous contradictory endings to the story. The legend dates back to the Middle Ages, and tells the tale of people of Hamelin, Lower Saxony, whose city is suffering from a plague of rats. The Pied Piper is hired by the mayor to lure the rats away with his magical instrument, in return for payment. However, when he has accomplished his task, the mayor reneges on their agreement. It is at this point that the sequence of events becomes confused. In certain versions, the piper takes revenge on the town by returning and in the same manner and luring all of the children, bar three, from the town to the Weser River, to their death. In others, again he transfixes them with his music but leads them instead to the beautiful lands surrounding the Koppenberg Mountain. In this more pleasant account, once his debt has been paid he returns all of the children unharmed. It is difficult to ascertain from Doyle’s work which version of events he has decided to depict. What fate lies just beyond the frame for the innocent children of Hamelin The two figures closest to the Piper seem to belie a more sinister turn of events, as they hold onto one another turning away from the music in fear. Their newfound understanding is visually contrasted with the hoards of smiling children behind them, blindly following the Piper. They have not yet crossed the town’s threshold, here a physical as well as metaphorical space, that seems to illustrate the moment in our lives in which our childhood innocence is lost to the cruel adult world. This is further heightened by the anguish and torment of the parents in the distance calling in desperation after their lost children.It could be argued that Doyle’s resignation from Punch, due to his dislike of their contemporary politics, made him outdated for the period in which he was working, a time of great turmoil and change in British and Irish society. His commitment to depicting the fantastical, through traditional forms of story telling, could be read as mere romantic folly. However, to a higher degree, mythology had been used for centuries by societies to make sense of the world in which they lived. Doyle’s work was concerned with awakening the viewer's imagination and challenging conventional ways of seeing by drawing their attention to the ambiguity of everyday experience. Contemporary European and Anglo-Irish literature was often a vital resource for artists of a Romantic tradition, which celebrated the natural over the rational. Worlds represented in the stories and poems in which Doyle illustrated were not ordered, they were filled with wonderful and at times, in the case of the town of Hamelin, terrifying phenomena. Niamh Corcoran
Richard Doyle - The Enchanted Fairy Tree, Or A Fantasy Based On The Tempest By William Shakespeare

Richard Doyle - The Enchanted Fairy Tree, Or A Fantasy Based On The Tempest By William Shakespeare

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Lot number: 48
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Richard Doyle (British, 1824-1883) The enchanted fairy tree, or a fantasy based on The Tempest by William Shakespeare watercolour and bodycolour over traces of pencil 89 x 62cm (35 1/16 x 24 7/16in). Footnotes Provenance Anon. sale, Decoration Co, Melbourne, 7 August 1964. Private collection, Australia (acquired from the above for £52.10). Thence by descent to the present owner. Exhibited (Either this or another version dated 1845) London, Grosvenor Gallery, The works of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., and a collection of drawings by the late Richard Doyle 1885, no. 232 (titled The Enchanted Tree). Literature Victorian Fairy Painting, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy, London; The University of Iowa Museum of Art and The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1997-1998, no. 51 (illustrating and describing Doyle's unpublished sketchbook, More Nonsense from Dick of 1843, which includes a pen and ink drawing of the same composition as here; and no. 52, illustrating and describing another version of this watercolour (lent by Jimmy Page) which, dated 1845 and of similar size, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1868 under the title The Enchanted Tree). The present lot bears an old label on the reverse noting: "133 Doyle (Richard) – An Original Water Colour Drawing, representing a magician with his baton standing on terra firma, conjuring up a fictitious realm in the form of an Isle covered with shrubs, and bushes, and peopled with sea nymphs dancing in contortious movements to the tunes played on a lute by one of them, frolicsome and grotesque figures, monsters with their appalling looks and frantic gestures, gruesome and fierce creatures in human shape, bent on mischief and diabolic tricks, picturesque groups, and squirrels, imps and apes scattered about, the whole being blended into an harmonious ensemble most vivid in effect, measuring 35 by 24 ins, in the old handsome carved gilt frame / In this which we believe to be Doyle's largest work and his masterpiece, the artist allowed his fertile imagination full play, and the wealth of details accumulated in this picture, and the consummate skill he exhibits in handling so intricate a subject entitles him to be ranked among the best artists of the day. It may truly be surmised that his love of the little mites inspired him to produce such noble work for their decoration. If the artist had in mind Shakespeare's stirring play The Tempest, when making his sketch, such figures as Prospero, Caliban, Ariel, Trinculo, Stephano, Ferdinand and Miranda could easily find their place in it." Fairy painting did not begin with the Victorians but in their hands it found its fullest expression. Their interest was multi-layered, embracing such aspects as the desire to explore the subconscious mind, the advent of spiritualism as well as the wish to escape the harsh realities of the material, industrial and scientific world – themes that have as much relevance today as they did then. The Victorians also had an insatiable appetite for subject paintings and ones that told a story, whether based on a topical theme or those inspired by literature. Of them Kinder- und Hausmärchen by the brothers Grimm (first published in England, 1823 under the title German Popular Stories) was a popular source, as too were Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. The present watercolour is based on the latter. This exciting new discovery, crammed with an array of fantastic creatures, sprites, nymphs, fairies and monsters, together with animals, human figures and exotic vegetation is a masterpiece of extravaganza that shows Richard Doyle at his best. It is one of two large watercolour versions. The other, dated 1845 and slightly smaller (81.3 x 58.4 cm), was shown at the Royal Academy in 1868 (noted in the Master Catalogue as not for sale). That was 23 years after its creation and was one of only two works by Doyle to hang at the Summer Exhibition. Either the latter or this work was also exhibited after Doyle's death at the Grosvenor Gallery, 1885 where "One of the most important of his watercolour drawings 'The Enchanted Tree' (232), a huge palm, peopled with hundreds of quaint creatures, fairies emerging from flowering plants, mischieful imps, butterflies, and so on, is a work of patient industry and skill" (John Bull, 3rd Jan 1885, p. 16). The Manchester Courier (16th Feb 1885, p. 5) described it as "inexpressibly full of movement, variety of elfin character, and magic", while a review in The Artist of 1885 (vol. 6, p. 39) noted "A comparatively large water-colour (232) would alone repay examination of a morning. The figures circling round the enchanted tree, the lovers in the arbour to the left, the little sprites and fays inhabiting the air, display a power of drawing the human figure, both in motion and in repose, with which, strange as it now appears, Doyle, in his lifetime was by no means invariably credited." We also know from the label verso that this work was exhibited elsewhere. Whilst the label may refer to its sale at auction in Melbourne, 1964, the style of prose is closer to that of the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Although the individual details slightly differ, compositionally the two versions are very similar; the main distinction being that the dated watercolour was either intended or framed to have an arched top. Whilst Doyle's two watercolours were based on The Tempest he deliberately avoided depicting a specific scene, nor did he provide an accompanying quotation from Shakespeare's play within the RA 1868 exhibition catalogue. Rather he was more interested in establishing a feeling for the same supernatural atmosphere that pervaded The Tempest itself. As in the play the setting is an island where Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, had been washed ashore on a raft along with his three-year-old daughter Miranda and his books of magic spells. For the next twelve years he and Miranda were the island's only inhabitants except for Caliban, a deformed creature that Prospero had magically ordered to become his slave. There were also numerous spirits on the island, amongst whom was Ariel who Prospero rescued from being trapped in a tree by Caliban's mother, a witch named Sycorax. Shakespeare tells how, after twelve years of being marooned, Prospero orchestrates a mighty tempest at sea causing his former enemies on board a ship to be wrecked and cast onto the island. Among them is Alonso, the King of Naples, his brother Sebastian as well as Prospero's brother Antonio who, now Duke of Milan and with the help of Alonso, had originally usurped Prospero from power. Fellow passengers also washed ashore include Alonso's son Ferdinand, Trincalo a court jester, Stephano a boisterous butler and Gonzolo an old Milanese courtier. The complex plot unfolds to describe how Alonso fears that his son Ferdinand did not survive the tempest, how the latter and Miranda fall in love at first sight and how Prospero tries to prevent their relationship developing too quickly. Meanwhile Ariel begs that Prospero releases him from servitude but Prospero reminds him of his position and orders Ariel to be transformed into a sea nymph, to make himself invisible and continue to be his aide so as to gain his early freedom. In another part of the island, Antonio persuades Sebastian that if he kills Alonso he would become King of Naples but the plot is foiled by Ariel. Meanwhile Caliban recruits Trincalo and Stephano to overthrow Prospero but again Ariel intervenes. The play concludes by Prospero freeing Ariel, forgiving those who had plotted against him, Miranda and Ferdinand's betrothal and Prospero's rightful return to his dukedom. Since Doyle's work recreates an illusion rather than a part or even a summary of the play, many of the incidents within The Tempest are alluded to rather than specifically represented. Yet amongst the fabulous array of fairy forms, spirits and Bosch-like creatures that inhabit the land and air, specific characters and scenes emerge. Among them are the two lovers Miranda and Ferdinand who are seen to the left while Ferdinand may also be seen kneeling beside Prospero in the foreground. Then there is Ariel who, with other sea nymphs, dances mid-air around the tree and may also be seen playing music atop the right-hand palm fronds. Richard Doyle was not alone in finding inspiration in The Tempest. Another great master of Victorian fairy painting was Richard Dadd whose Come unto these Yellow Sands was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1842. Prior to that David Scott had shown Ariel and Caliban at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1838 while Paul Falconer Poole exhibited three scenes from The Tempest in 1849. Likewise, Ferdinand Lured by Ariel by Sir John Everett Millais hung at the Royal Academy in 1850 and fellow Pre-Raphaelite, Arthur Hughes depicted another version of Ferdinand and Ariel, circa 1851-58. Like Dadd, Sir Joseph Noel Paton, John Anster Fitzgerald and other leading painters of fairy scenes, Doyle was not only concerned with their mystical allure but also minutia of detail in which the whole picture plane is filled with fantastic creatures. But what singles Doyle out from the rest is his humour and preference toward the gentler rather than darker side of magic – an aspect that reflected his genial nature. Richard Doyle, also known as Dick, was born in London into a rather remarkable family. His Irish born father John (who signed his work HB) was a caricaturist and political satirist; Dick's younger brother Henry Edward became the Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, his eldest brother James William was an historian and artist while his youngest brother Charles Altamont also illustrated fantasy scenes but is perhaps better known as the father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famed as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Primarily a book illustrator of themes from everyday life and fairy subjects, Doyle's infinite skill and creative imagination was present from an early age. Aged fifteen he began a diary filled with illustrations that defied his youth and then in 1843, aged nineteen he joined the staff at Punch. For the next seven years he was a regular contributor to its pages, designing its iconic cover in 1849. However, the following year Doyle, who was a devout Catholic, resigned from Punch owing to their anti-papal leanings. 1851 saw him illustrating Ruskin's The King of the Golden River followed by Thackeray's The Newcomers, William Allingham's In Fairyland and many others. In addition to pure illustrative work Doyle executed some admirable fairy pictures both in oil and watercolour. As here, the latter were usually sizeable, included numerous figures and animals and often featured the roots or branches of a tree, as in The Fairy Tree (Cotsen Children's Library, Princeton University Library). In a letter to his father dated 10th September 1843, Doyle wrote "I would prefer doing something serious next, but whether it be an illustration of the History of England, of France, of the Low Countries, of Lord Byron's Corsair, of any of Walter Scott's historical novels, of Victor Hugo's Legend of the Rhine, of the 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' The Tempest, the 'Fairie Queene, or anything else that is interesting, it is all the same to me." From the same year came one of Doyle's early sketchbooks (unpublished; dated 1843). The first full page features a highly detailed pen and ink drawing of the same dual-stemmed palm tree encircled by dancing sea nymphs that we see here. Likewise, Prospero stands in the same position as do so many other figures in and around the central tree. This is how the genesis for this composition began which Doyle then worked up into his large-scale watercolour of 1845. When exactly the present version was executed is unknown but it can be assumed to be of a similar date. Interestingly when the dated version was included in the Richard Doyle and his Family exhibition, held at the V&A, 1983-84 and again at the Victorian Fairy Painting show in 1997-98, no reference was made to the present watercolour, implying that at that stage its existence was still unknown. But that is understandable since from at least 1964 up until the present day it has been in a private collection in Australia, where Doyle had a strong following, both during and after his lifetime. We are grateful to Alice Munro-Faure for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
Richard Doyle - Political Satire On The Crimean War

Richard Doyle - Political Satire On The Crimean War

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Lot number: 178
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Description:
RICHARD DOYLE.
Political satire on the Crimean War. Watercolor, pen and ink on paper. Showing a crowd with Russia in the center as the dancing bear, lead by the animal trainer as Turkey, with England as musician, Austria, a crowned monkey, and France represented by childlike soldier. 276x377 mm; 10 7/8x14 7/8 inches. Signed in ink, lower right.
Richard Doyle - The Swan Boat; Ariel

Richard Doyle - The Swan Boat; Ariel

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Lot number: 263
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Christie's, London, 14 June 1991, lot 25

263

Richard Doyle

1824 - 1883

THE SWAN BOAT; ARIEL

pencil and watercolour heightened with white, framed together

one signed with initials (lower right); the other inscribed AIR (upper right) and ARIEL (lower left)

pencil and watercolour

each 8 by 14.5cm., 3¼ by 5¾in.

Estimate

300 - 500 GBP

Print

Both sheets appear sound and in good overall condition. Framed together in artists original gilt wood frame under glass with cream mount; unexamined out of frame.
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