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LOCAL GOSSIP. In the Windsor Magazine" for July an article bv Austin Chester on The Art of Mr ?Vank Bramley. A.R.A. is given^ front place. Mr. Frank Bramley is a brother of Mr E Bramley, auctioneer, of Bridgend and Laleston. and extracts from it will be of in- terest locally. The article is profusely illus- trated. •• Boldly experimental, the young men of the late 'seventies deserted the English for the French schools. and sought instruction m a place whore revolt against the conventional was in full flood. It was a time in France of great enterprise and much achievement. The first cause of romanticism, to unite Corot, Millet, and Corbet, those geniuses who were poets as well as painters, and who in romantic language in paint preached lay sermons, had passed but materialised and a little garbled by Fleurj, Butin, Breton. Lapage, Dn«, Bmet and men of that ilk. remained, and when the New .yn school, as the little group of painters estab- lished in the fishing-village on the Cornish coast, was called, was founded by Walter Langley and Stanhope Forbes. it was essen- tially French in character. "These men believed strongly in the realism to which they had been converted, and advo- cated a strict adherence to the teaching they had imbibed, not only in. subject, but in tone-gradation. They told the story of the every-day life of the men by whom they were surrounded, men whose garments smelt of the sea. and whose hands and faces were worn and toughened by the. wind and weather, in terms of paint: but although they portrayed the occupations of the people, through the paie, grey vapours cast up by a turbulent sea with the help of a close scrutiny of Xa- ture, and a great ability, it was not in their work that we found that mist of idealism which distinguished, from the time of his first joining the group, that done at Newlyn by Mr. Frank Bramley. He was influenced bv the naturalistic tendencies of the time, but he was never actHally of the so-called Newlyn school; his art was more supple; none of that painful accuracy, which de- nudes pictures of poetry, was in it observ- able and although he showed us the tragedy of daily toil' for food. and we came, in his canvases, in contact with the fisher folk, the rusticity, with which they were concerned, dea't Less with the outward parts of seafar- ing life than with the spiritual significance of simplicity. He painted, therefore, an idealised Nature holding a combination at ence judicious and appealing. His old people were creatures of sentiment as well as of earth, and his young men. maidens, and children were, seemingly, as flawless as waa the tonality in which they were shown. Thus we saw, even at that time. that. in his work he subordinated the literal to the ideal His relations with harsh facts were marked by a certain formality, which, preventing his ever coming to too intimate terms with them, caused his work to appear as a transcript of every-duy life; and the material charms of technique never lured him into eccentricity in brushwork. --Exactitude, atNewlyn. was being pushed to the utmost when. in 1888, Mr. Bramley painted A Hopeless Dawn" and voiced in paint the whole of the romance of the pluralistic school. The picture held a visionary quality which struck at onro a, sonorous and hamonious note and startled., the world into acclaiming his talent. It I was a natural, human scene that he painted, not necessarily even national, since any sea. port on any coast might have held it, and it is one by no means uncommon at Newlyn, where, on rough days, when the boats are out it is customary to see gathered on the quay, women waiting—waiting interminable hours, the non-appearing boats. It is a pic- ture of singular accomplishment, and in it Mr. Bramley holds the scale evenly balanced between knowledge and feeling. Stamped with sincerity, with keen, artistic observa- tion, subtle in technical treatment, as duma. in paint it could hardly be surpassed, The pathos of the women's figures, as we see them stupefied with fatigue and grief in the light of the early dawn, is admirably portrayed. Admitted that the pathos is a little obvious —it is the only time in Mr. Bramfey's art in which there is any suggestion of appeal being obvious—the conception and execution of the work axe so vastly clever that. when the pic- ture was exhibited in the Academy, in 1888, it brought to the artist a vertitable triumph. "The picture was bought for the nation out of the funds of the Chantrey Bequest, and although it needs no written description of its subject, we append the lines of Ruskin which are embodied1 in the official catalogue of the National Gallery of British Art: Human efforts and! sorrow going on perpetu- any from age to age. Waves Jolling for ever, and winds moaning, and faithful hearts wasting and sickening for ever. and brave tives dashed away about the rattling beach like weeds for ever, and still, at the helm of every lonely boat. through starless night and hopeless dawn, His hand, who spreads the fisher's net over the dust of the Sidonian pal- aoes, and gave into the fisher's hand the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.' "Born in May. 1857. the third son of Mr. Charles Bramley, of Fiskerton, Lincoln, Mi. Frank Bramley was educated in his native place, of the towery hill." and received his nrst airt-edueation in the local School of Art. which held, perhaps, even at that time, a loftier scheme of conventionality than do m'any of the training centres. Then came the term of tuition at Antwerp, and the full awakening of what Rousseau call's the artistio sense, that quickening process which renders U3 aiive to beauty in both life and. art; for Mr. Bramley certainly returned to England with a multiplied consciousness of the won- ders of creative art, and. for one so young, a verv complete technical equipment. Of the success achieved by his important picture, A Hopeless Dawn,' we have already told, but it was a success in no way unexpected, for the work sent into the Royal Academy from his father's house in Lincoln, in 1884. a memory of a Venetian scene, called Leisure Mo- men.t8, and that sent in subsequent years frta& Swlyifi had already marked: him as a OM&mg man. "The most important subject-picture which Mr. Bramley has painted of late was that done three years ago called Grasmere Rush- bearing,' which commemorates a very old cus- tom at-ill continued in many churches in Westmorland. This takes place in the month of July. when the floors of the aisles and pews of the church are strewn with freeh. rushes. There are two phases of Mr. Brantley's art which are, seemingly, the products of a life spent in the habit of obervation; one of these he has always pursued, and from the begin- ning of his artiotic career he has had a claim to the title of portrait-painter, but the other, that of landscape painting, is comparatively new. In looking at this out-of-door work we get a sense cf exhilaration almost physi- cal, for in it Mr. Bramley uses a wonderful fluency, thus proving that subject may be anything, the form in which it is worked everythi ng."

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BRIDGEND POLICE COURT. ♦_—-

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