“A little injustice in the heart can be drowned by wine; but a great injustice in the world can be drowned only by the sword”
Epigrams of Chang Ch’ao
This part of the mould-breaking series begins pensively.
Hoping and trusting that the Frank Gresley injustice can finally be put to bed, without any further unpleasantness.
Attentive readers of Part 3 and 4 will recall that in the latter, one of the Illuminati, Tachy, vigorously questioned the attribution of the Frank Gresley picture in the former to the year 1855. He opined that it could not possibly have been painted in the year of Frank’s birth.
Convincingly and, indeed, devastatingly, by the application of the well-known deductive method of Sherlock Holmes, he was proved wrong. Predictably, this did not go down a storm in the Tachy latifundium.
For there soon followed worrying references to shredded testicles in the comments, which froze the blood. They should not have been read, as that is a breach of the Puffin Code. But they were read. That has learnt me.
In an idle moment a few days ago, the picture was removed from its alarm fixing on the wall, after a call to Special Branch. Looking at the back, this is what it states;
It was painted in 1880!
Tachy was right all along. And Sherlock Holmes wrong. Mercifully, “The Mystery of Haymaking, Ockbrook, Derby” is finally solved. Allah be praised!
Accordingly, on behalf of Sherlock Holmes, profound and unreserved apologies are extended to Tachy. Along with an olive branch. And a glass or two of Gevry-Chambertin when our paths cross, or a ginger beer, if that is his poison.
Sherlock: A pugilist addicted to tobacco and cocaine, with a bizarre dress sense (capes, deerstalker, corsets), who played the violin badly and lived with a middle-aged man. I should have known better than to place my trust in him and his “methods”. Exposed as a double drug addict thug, cross-, dresser, anti-music and a pervert! What was Sir Arthur thinking?
Let this be an end of it.
This Part was to have started with an Argie painter, but I find Mrs Biggs has moved the collection around in my short West Country absence and it is nowhere to be seen. Or I am beginning to suffer from Sleepy Joe syndrome?
She can’t have been dusting it. This has been forbidden after the violence wreaked on the Dresden figurine, which doleful incident was recorded for posterity (and HR purposes) in Part 3.
The problem is that at 82, her hands tend to shake quite a lot, and, while I have discovered this certainly has its uses in a very personal setting, dusting is not one of them. I should explain she is also my personal masseuse.
She is due in the kitchen from digging up the potatoes at 11am tomorrow for her three-minute mid-morning break. I will ask her then what she has done with the picture.
So we are back to English painters and lithographers.
Starting in Cambridge with unquestionably the greatest College in the United Kingdom, and possibly the world. Trinity. The home of more Noble Prize winners than any other UK academic institution. 34 to date. Maybe 35 next year, if the confidential recommendation goes forward.
“And Trinity has more Nobel Prizes than the whole of France,” Lord Butler (Master 1965-78) mischievously declared every year at the Commemoration Feast, with a glorious Alan Clarke-like nonchalance for the actualitie.
Extremely distinguished and talented alumni abound and are found in all manner of unlikely places.
It has also become woke, by having Professor Dame Sally Davies foisted on it as its first female Master by Mrs Askey in 2019. Dame Sally was sometime Chief Medical Officer, which itself one might have thought was a bit of a warning sign. But it was all girls together, wasn’t it? Is that allowed?
She has taken to putting out wordy missives to alumni which she fondly imagines reflect well on her and her dreary woke opinions. The previous Master, Sir Gregory Winter was a Brexiteer, and a Noble Prize-winning biochemist (2018). From the sublime to the ridiculous, in one fell swoop.
This limited edition print is by Andrew Ingamells (1956). It is exquisite. I admire it while enthroned and occasionally straining. Part of a series he is undertaking of the Oxford and Cambridge Colleges. You can find out more about him here: http://www.andrewingamells.co.uk/About
Next is Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding (1787-1855). And yes, really, that was his name. How did his parents’ know when they christened him he would turn out to be a great artist like old Anthony Van Dyck himself? Member of the Royal Academy. P.O.W.S. (I cannot find out what this acronym stands for. I don’t think it is “Protect Our Watershed”?). Does anyone know?
Landscapes were his game. Popular. Yorkshireman, so must have enjoyed butties and black pudding. Born in Sowerby but moved to Worthing, where he died. It seems people go to Worthing to pass away. Perhaps there is something deadly in or about Worthing?
“A Distant View of Winchester from the Common Bishopstokes” c 1812. Watercolour drawing.
A lovely drawing. If he tried to paint it today, the view would be obscured by hundreds, if not thousands, of homes built of ticky-tacky that all look the same. And he would probably be arrested by Plod for the hate crime of attempting to represent England as it was before it was successively raped and violated by you know who.
From which will be seen, his works are not just in the Towers.
Moving north, picture-wise, we have a watercolour of Blea Tarn by RM Tomlinson.
According to the National Trust:
“Blea Tarn has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The mountain pool’s sediment has not been disturbed since the last Ice Age, providing valuable research. The tarn is a photographer’s dream. The famous Langdale Pikes can be viewed across the tarn, while the shores are awash with alpine flowers in the spring and summer.”
There are many here who frequent the Lakes and its car parks. This vista is well familiar to them.
For anyone remotely interested, the NT have created a Tran Trail where you can ramble for miles and miles through a veritable cornucopia of welcoming Diversity themed countryside. You can also admire the Ice Age sediment by paddling in the lake, if so inclined.
That is the NT’s intent, anyway. This ideologically driven loony left policy is already bearing much fruit by requiring the redundancy of over a thousand blameless and no doubt overwhelmingly whitey employees. Not for the Politbureau though, I’ll be bound. Their salaries and pensions will be unaffected. Dacha’s intact; they will plough on regardless, as the Communists did until their incompetence and moral depravity eventually collapsed the Evil Empire.
Well done, the Trustees of our national cultural heritage, who seem to be under the delusion they are running an ethnic theme park.
R M Tomlinson was born in Barnoldswick on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border in 1945. His first name is Robert but apparently he does not answer to it. He paints landscapes in the traditional style. No rubber hoses, buckets, abandoned cars or broken-down beds in his pictures, thank goodness. One of our best, if unassuming, living artists. Has a studio and gallery in Ambleside, Windermere, with his charming lady wife. Not Ambleside Avenue, Streatham! Where Cynthia Paine once plied her trade, as I am sure no-one here would remember when questioned under caution by Plod. Worth a visit, Colin. The gallery, that is.
Next up is a self-taught artist, Samual John “Lamorna” Birch, RA (1867-1955). Born in Egremont, Cheshire, he moved to Lamorna, Cornwall, in 1892. He died there. Quite heavy on the oils, he was. Here is a bit about him:
Loch Assynt. Painted in 1949, as you can see from the inscription. Where is there is a mermaid? Look it up if you don’t believe me.
One of the places not bombed by “our friends, partners and allies” © Mrs Askey. This is the sort of painting I might paint, if I could paint. Collectable. Not really my favourite but Lady C likes it, which is all that matters.
I have to go and have a lie down in a darkened room now, as writing and researching this stuff is hard on the body and mind.
Ars gratia artis!
© Text and images by Mr Justice “Blockhead” Cocklecarrot 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file