Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Interesting collection of Victorian sketches

I just happened upon this collection of sketches by William Henry Charlton, a Victorian gentleman artist. That's a self portrait of him, naturally, to the left.

I find his sketches quite nice, most of those on this site are from circa 1900, and center around a busy British port of the era. In ways I am fascinated by his subject matter as a cultural and historical artifact.

But I have to add that his technique in these is frequently stunning. The pen and inks, in particular, are quite fresh. Clean and bold, what a great steampunk comic could be set in these scenes...
... SINE has digitised a set of images which focus on North Shields, primarily the Fish Quay area, in the early nineteen hundreds. By this time Charlton was in his fifties and a mature artist. The works selected vary enormously in speed and quality of execution and medium used. Charlton experimented with charcoal, graphite, pen and ink and watercolour and often combined the use of different media in one sketch. The fact that Charlton revisited North Shields many times during the span of a decade or more serves as testament to the vibrancy of this busy, working port and the inspiration he drew from it.

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