Monday, 7 September 2015

Charles Bartlett at the Academy Julian, Paris, 1887/1888


It might seem a bit odd to pick out Charles Bartlett from such an illustrious group of young artists at the Academy Julian in Paris but it continues a conversation between Darrel Karl at Eastern Impressions and myself about students who attended the Paris academies in the mid 1880s. Some of this has been by email, which doesn't draw in others. So here for the first time for me at least is the first photograph I have seen of a young British colour woodcut artist. (He was 27 or 28 at the time). He is un-missable on the left, with his arm stretched out above the easel.
I will just pick out four others. Paul Gaugin is right at the top and rather out of focus. The man with the delicate features and in a light waistcoat below Gaugin is Vincent van Gogh. To the back of him, with equally fine features and watch chain is Pierre Bonnard. Less well-known is the Scots artist, A.S. Hartrick, front centre with the handsome moustache and hand rested on the shoulder of his companion. (He was a friend both of van Gogh and Frank Morley Fletcher who attended the academy soon afterwards.) Other British colour woodcut artists-to-be who attended were Ethel Kirkpatrick and Elizabeth Christie Austen Brown who also became a neighbour of Bartlett's back in London - and long-term readers of the blog will know just how much I would like to find a photograph of either of them.

And before anyone thinks that the research is mine, the photograph and identification of the artists can be found on a Van Gogh post on the library blog at L'institut national d'histoire de l'art or INHA. I was hazy about how to get the link working, I'm afraid.


  1. I find it fascinating that you found such a group photo and could identify so many of the artists. Bartlett was in august company indeed. Bartlett entered the Académie Julian in 1886, so the first image dates to the middle of his time in Paris. (He returned to England in 1889.) I'd have to check my files, but I think it's probably the earliest photograph of the adult Bartlett that I've seen.

    The original photo for the second image actually resides in my personal collection (ex. David Dolan/Bartlett Family Collection) and dates from around 1895.

  2. Well, I withheld information about my source for dramatic effect but as you will now see it was from the blog at L'institut national de l'histoire de l'art at the Bibliotheque national (I think).But then it was no easy thing finding the post, the point being that there is a great deal of very good information out there on the web nowadays and working co-operatively, as Batten did with Fletcher, can help us all to gain access to it

    If readers wonder where the photograph Darrel Karl refers to is, it has been removed. It is not just that Darrel may well own the copyright, he has been very generous with me and I wouldn't want to take that for granted. Put simply, the photo went up before the excitement of finding the main photograph had subsided.

  3. The image Gordon had posted appears to be a scan of the photograph reproduced in A Printmaker in Paradise: The Life and Art of Charles W. Bartlett by Richard Miles. I own the physical photograph, but the copyright in the photograph expired before either of us were born, so I certainly don't have any objection if he reposts it. It is a much better image of Bartlett and it goes well with his post.

  4. Nice posting and information. Although you've been very courteous to photo-lender I sincerely hope we do not grow as neurotic to picture rights as is the case in America: artificial and self produced food for lawyers. But that is an altogether different discussion. Modern Printmakers has no commercial intentions and is used for friendly and educational purposes only. No Problemo I would think.
    Thank you Charles and Darrel.

  5. Oh, well, I suppose Darrel must have heard it all before.

    As for myself, Modern Printmakers may not have commercial intentions but it does have a commercial effect as I know from the recent sale of the Kenneth Broad in the US. To some extent I can also understand the grievance of people running websites when we snaffle images without permission or credit but then blogs like ours and Clive's have raised the profile of many, many artists. It should be give and take but it doesn't always work that way.