- c. 1901
- Tempera on wood panel
- Presented by the family of James Jamieson 1932
- 400 x 445 x 25mm
Christchurch builder and arts supporter James Jamieson probably bought Robert Anning Bell’s The Romance while on a business trip to England in 1901, sourcing machinery to build the Roman Catholic Cathedral. When lent to a Canterbury Society of Arts exhibition of privately owned works in 1909, it was described as “a very fine piece of work, rich in colour and interesting as the only example present of tempera painting”. Born and trained in London, Bell became part of a revival in the egg-yolk based technique that was first reintroduced by the Pre-Raphaelites and gained new impetus in 1901 with the formation of the Society of Painters in Tempera, to which he belonged. Bell was a versatile artist who embodied Arts and Crafts ideals as a painter, illustrator and designer, and as an influential teacher in design at Liverpool University, Glasgow School of Art and London’s Royal College of Art. His architectural commissions included many stained glass windows, plus mosaics for the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Cathedral.
(The Moon and the Manor House, 12 November 2021 – 1 May 2022)