| "Red Riding Hood" 1899, by Thomas Bromley Blacklock
Oil on canvas, 66 x 91.5cm. London Art Market, Sotheby's, 26th August 1997, Lot 1445
Today the internet and the plethora of magazines make thousands of images available to us without having to go to a gallery or a library. We are able to enjoy so much more, but often the paintings are posted or printed without the artist's name or story attached. When we use images we always try (sometimes in vain) to find out who created them and add a link to further information.
We have a few images saved which have charmed and beguiled us, and never cease the search for their story. The name of Thomas Bromley Blacklock was unknown to us until recently when we were researching some of these images and found them on A Polar Bear's Tale enchanting and informative journal. Here We owe her a great debt for two reasons, the beauty which she shares with her readers, and the archive of information she has accumulated on art and artists. Without her we would never have known who painted these images of The Fairies Wood, or The Snow Queen and been able to then identify Little Red Riding Hood as being by the same artist.
The story of Thomas Bromley Blacklock ends tragically, but his spirit must have burned brightly to have been able to paint so vibrantly.
|Thomas Bromley Blacklock|
Thomas Bromley Blacklock was born in 1863 in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, and tragically died in 1903 at the young age of 40 when this handsome and extremely gifted man drowned himself in The Clyde.
The son of the English teacher at Kirkcudbright Academy, Thomas was trained in painting in Edinburgh, working mainly in pen and ink and later in oils in East Lothian before returning to Kirkcudbright. He was inspired by the local landscapes which feature in much of his work and he captures their haunting beauty perfectly. At some point he began to include children and fairies in the scenes and some of his later works allude to Galloway folklore. This does not detract from the landscapes but only adds to the enchanting quality. It is easy to imagine that he felt happy in such places and was cheered by the presence of the children and fairies while working alone in solitude.
His last residence was at Church Place, Kirkcudbright which became well known as something of an artist's community with William Stewart MacGeorge and E A Hornel also working there.
There is little recorded about Thomas and we know almost nothing of what torment drove him to end his life when he was at the height of his artistic development. Apparently he suffered a severe spinal ailment which is believed to have made his life intolerable. He lies buried in Kirkcudbright Cemetery.
His work was exhibited Royal Academy; Royal Scottish Academy; Aberdeen Artists' Society; Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts; Liverpool.
"In the Fairies Wood", 1903. Oil on canvas, 60 x 72.5cm. London, Sotheby's. Lot 856, 8/83
|Probably the picture shown as 'Fisher Girls' at the RSA, 1903, and RGI 1904. |
sold at Bonhams Edinburgh 'Scottish Sale' in 2009 for $75,471
On the BBC website you can see a slideshow of 17 works by Thomas. Do have a look, they are stunning. His remarkable spirit lives on in his paintings.
Thomas Bromlety Blacklock on the BBC website
Thank you to James Alder Fine Art for some of the information used in this post.
James Alder Fine Art