Previously hidden wall paintings by pre-Raphaelite artists that have been discovered at the Red House.The near-lifesize figures on the wall at the Red House, at Bexleyheath, are now believed to represent the joint work of Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his wife Elizabeth Siddal, Ford Madox Brown and Morris.
Photograph: Linda Nylind
The paintings at Lascaux were immediately recognized as the work of Stone Age man. Carbon-dating, a scientific method which dates the age of plant or animal remains by the amount of carbon 14 left, was used to date the pictures at Lascaux. In this case, carbon-dating placed the paintings at about 17,000 years old - even older than Altamira. The cave was covered with a thin transparent layer of calcite, which served as a kind of protective coating over the limestone rock walls. This protective covering kept the paintings from fading in the thousands of years since they were drawn. The paintings at Lascaux were in several sections. These were later designated as six galleries:
1. The Painted Gallery
2. The Great Hall of the Bulls
3. The Chamber of Felines
4. The Chamber of Engravings
5. The Main Gallery
6. The Shaft of the Dead Man
“They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To” ~ Mary Sibande
Mary Sibande is a South African artist based in Johannesburg. Her recent series ‘long live the dead queen’ was featured within the city on the side of buildings and other structures as large, photographic murals. the series, like Sibande’s practice as an artist, ‘attempts to critique stereotypical depictions of women, particularly black women in our society.”
Loving the work itself; also very fond of the set-up—the central small panel and bottom left are stunningly arresting.
Red House (a Grade I Listed Building), Bexleyheath ~ a fragment of a Mural thought to be by Elizabeth Siddal (wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti) in the Morris’s Bedroom
‘Elizabeth Siddal was an artist’s model who posed for members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Her features helped to create a Pre-Raphaelite ideal. She is widely recognized from the Ophelia painting by Sir John Everett Millais and the story of her posing as Ophelia is as famous as the painting itself. Eventually she would pose only for Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who encouraged her pursuit of art. He became her mentor and art tutor, he drew her obsessively, and he loved her. Yet he put off marriage. Lizzie developed a reputation for being ill and at some point she became addicted to Laudanum. After a ten year relationship, Lizzie and Gabriel married. They suffered a stillborn daughter and in 1862 Lizzie died from a Laudanum overdose. Seven years after her death, Gabriel has her body exhumed so that he could recover the poems he had enclosed in her coffin.’ See … lizziesiddal.com/portal/ …
Red House: ‘1859. By Philip Webb (his first commission) for William Morris, who lived here until 1864. Moderately sized L-shaped building, of 2 storeys. Picturesque design in the simplified Gothic style of Street and Butterfield’s domestic work. Red brick, with hipped tiled roof. Gabled, 2 storeyed, porch to north front. Oriel to west lighting main room on first floor. Staircase tower in angle, with pointed roof and finials. Sliding sash windows, singly and in pairs, with cambered heads beneath relieving arches. Casements with leaded lights of circular form to upper floor. Interior almost unaltered. Important fixed cupboards, settle and other furnishings with some painted decoration by Burne-Jones and others.’
Any venue designed for the entertainment of hundreds, or even thousands, of people in a single viewing is bound feel rather spooky once the crowds have despersed. Disused theatres and movie palaces are among the most mysterious abandoned buildings, and thanks to the advent of television and multiplexes, they exist in abundance. While their faded elegance makes for a melancholy scene, their vibrant colours and peeling grandeur offer a spectacular subject for photographers like Matt Lambros who captured these stunning images.
Abandoned architecture has fascinated me since I was five years old. My grandmother used to take my brother and I in to investigate any old barn she happened to drive past. She was curious about what was left behind, and her inquisitive nature made a lasting impression on me.I grew up in Dutchess County, New York, and like most places there were quite a few supposedly “haunted” buildings begging for a closer look. Hudson River State hospital, one of the first places I went to on my own, was one of them. My friends and I used to drive around the campus late at night trying to scare each other. It was then that my interest in abandoned buildings evolved into a vehicle for artistic expression.
I’ve spent ten years composing photographic obituaries for once-thriving buildings that are now crumbled and forgotten. My hope for my work is that it will shine light on beautiful, dated architecture and on the equal yet sinister beauty in decay.
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