Charles Oppenheimer From Craftsman To Artist£30.00
Charles Oppenheimer’s paintings are treasured possessions that are passed down the generations. They come on to the market less often than those of many of his contemporaries and the best command high prices that would have astonished the artist.
Born in Manchester, Oppenheimer seemed destined for a career as a craftsman in his family’s mosaic business. Gradually his artistic temperament prevailed and he moved to Kirkcudbright in Galloway for the open air and superb light where he established himself as a Scottish artist of the first rank. He painted the beautiful Galloway countryside and also produced some wonderful canvasses of Italy and Switzerland for over fifty years.
Oppenheimer’s business training never deserted him. He was ‘the antithesis of the bohemian artist’. His working day was clearly defined and his studio was neat and ordered.
Oppenheimer took part in the great causes of his day. He advocated ‘Free Trade’ in the early years of the twentieth century publishing one of the first political cartoons in the Manchester Guardian. He was in favour of women’s suffrage before the Great War. He served with distinction in Army Intelligence in 1917 and 1918 despite being well over call up age. Afterwards, back home, he championed the rights of ex-servicemen and was vociferous in support of Kirkcudbright’s built heritage.
No book has been written about Oppenheimer hitherto. Details are drawn from primary sources and family documents. The text is supported by over 80 illustrations. Many of the paintings depicted have never been seen before in the public domain. Oppenheimer’s place as one of the foremost Scottish artists of his generation will be secured by this monograph.
George Houston – Nature’s Limner£20.00
George Houston’s beautiful and tranquil paintings of the lowlands and west of Scotland were, according to the Royal Scottish Academy’s eulogy, “amongst the finest landscapes produced in Scotland”.
Contemporary with the Glasgow Boys he developed his own distinctive style which was “… direct and simple and was interpreted with a technique baffling in its apparent ease.” Houston had a life-long passion for fishing which influenced his choice of painting grounds – Ayrshire, Argyll and Iona were his favourites with occasional forays elsewhere in Scotland. Always accessible, his paintings were the subject of considerable critical acclaim during his lifetime and were much sought after by collectors. However after years of critical neglect, George Houston – Nature’s Limner, the first monograph to be published on the artist sets him in his rightful place in the history of Scottish landscape painting.
Hornel£15.00 – £20.00
Bill Smith’s richly illustrated book is the first biography of Edward Atkinson Hornel, an artist who was one of the foremost of the Glasgow Boys. Hornel was born in Bacchus Marsh in Australia in July 1864. He and his family moved to Kirkcudbright in Galloway in 1866 from whence the family had originated. Other than during student days, he was to call Kirkcudbright home for the rest of his life. Broughton House in High Street, now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, became his eventual residence.
Hornel is perhaps best known for his paintings of children playing in woods carpeted by flowers or by the sea shore. However his early work placed him at the forefront of progressive painting and led to international acclaim. He was widely travelled and his work much influenced by a trip to Japan with friend and fellow artist George Henry.
Bill Smith’s monograph not only records Hornel full and rich life but also secures his reputation as one of Scotland’s most important artists.