Updates, Live

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Last of the Pre-Raphaelites: Frank Cadogan Cowper

How the Devil, disguised as a vagrant Troubadour, having been entertained by some charitable nuns, sang to them a song of love
painted by Frank Cadogan Cowper (1877 - 1958) in 1907
oil on canvas prepared with gesso
posted on Facebook by Sine Musica Nulla Vita
no copyright infringement intended

The scene represents the interior of a convent refectory, with a door leading into the cloisters on the left of the picture. The nuns are concluding their evening meal. In the foreground the wandering minstrel who has been received as a passing guest, has mounted the table, and is singing the song of Love. While the nuns are torn by feelings of varying emotions. Some are good, some evil, some in grief, some in despair.
In the background the great stained glass window represents the Last Judgement, the Archangel Michael in golden armor in the center panel weighs the souls in the scales, and separates the good from the Bad. In the left half of the window the good souls are being assisted by angels as they rise from their graves, and are being welcomed by St. Peter with the keys, as they ascend the golden stairs, robed in white and enter the gates of heaven, while in the top left hand corner The Blessed Virgin Mary looks out of Heaven to receive them.
In the right half of the window the bad souls are being torn from their tombs by demons, and are being carried by them naked into the flames of Hell. In the bottom right hand corner is seen the face of Beelzebub himself. The window is a faithful copy of the 15th Century stained glass in the west window of Fairford Church, Gloucestershire.

Frank Cadogan Cowper was born in 1877 in Wicken, Northamptonshire, a strict religious upbringing, as his grandfather was Rector of Wicken. He went to London and studied at the St John's Wood Art School in 1896 and then at the Royal Academy Schools from 1897-1902, first exhibiting there in 1899. He worked with Edwin Austin Abbey before traveling to Italy to complete his education. In 1907 he became an Associate of the Royal Academy and in 1911 a full member of the RWS. He is often thought of as the last Pre-Raphelite - and worked on a mural scheme for the Houses of Parliament in 1910 with several other similar styled artists. By the 1920s he had moved on to portraiture as history painting was becoming increasingly unfashionable. He was elected RA in 1934. Patrons in these years included the writer Evelyn Waugh. He continued to exhibit right up to his death in 1958.

(Old Masters)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home