Sunday, 6 October 2013

Golden Brown

It is just a hundred years this year since the death of American artist John George Brown. The USA has claimed this guy as one of their own, but he was born in Durham, England,in 1831. His parents had tried to dissuade him from a career in art, and he initially trained as a glass worker. He moved to the New York when he was in his early twenties, working for a glass company, but also studying art in his spare time He married the bosses daughter [shrewd move!] and his wealthy father in law, spotting his gift, encouraged him to pursue art full time. He’s most famous for his pictures of the street children, paying many of them to come and model for him. He died in 1913, having become a popular, and very wealthy artist.

His painting have been criticised for being poor in colour, although they are executed with precise detail, and are more popular with the general public than with connoisseurs. Clearly I am not a connoisseur, because I like them!  I thought I would share a few of his autumnal canvasses today, because I love their golden colours.

Autumn Landscape Vermont

autumn landscape vermont

Leaf Gathering

Gathering Autumn Leaves

The Country Gallants

The Country Gallants

The Cider Mill


Brown tried to capture the spirit of the street children as people who "pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” and many years later, claimed that most of the children he painted had grown to become successful businessmen. He claimed to never forget his poor beginnings, saying "I do not paint poor boys solely because the public likes such pictures and pays me for them, but because I love the boys myself, for I, too, was once a poor lad like them”

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