Vintage paintings as source of inspiration for the next vacation

Do you like vintage paintings of country houses?

I owe my today’s inspiration to Helen Allingham, fine painter who’s specialty were watercolor paintings of old country houses. By old I mean they were already old when she decided to portray them on canvass. Why she did that, apart from the obvious ‘they are so cute’ factor?

Well, the reason is pretty simple. She loved the idyllic countryside of England and she lived in times when everything was changing. (Aren’t we all living in times with too many changes?) So she traveled around and painted houses just before they were demolished by new owners which were new riches from London, looking for escape place from town where they actually earned the chance to leave it. And destroy something beautiful by the way.

Just because these house were old.

Or just because.

Shall we take a look?

01-helen-allingham-photo-portrait 02-in-the-farmhouse-garden 03-the-market-cross 04-the-robin 05-miltons-house 06-the-waller-oak 07-apple-and-pear-blossom 08-the-young-customers 09-the-sand-martins-haunt 10-the-old-mens-gardens 11-the-clothes-line 12-the-convalescent 13-the-goat-carriage 14-the-clothes-basket 15-in-the-hayloft 16-the-rabbit-hutch 17-the-donkey-ride 18-a-witley-lane 19-hindhead-from-witley-common 20-in-witley-village 21-blackdown-from-witley-common 22-the-fish-shop 23-the-childrens-tea 24-the-stile 25-pat-a-cake 26-lessons 27-bubbles 28-on-the-sands 29-drying-clothes 30-her-majestys-post-office 31-the-childrens-maypole 32-spring-on-the-kentish-downs 33-tig-bridge 34-spring-in-the-oakwood 35-the-cuckoo 36-the-old-yew-tree 37-the-hawthorn-valley 38-ox-eye-daisies 39-foxgloves 40-heather-on-crockham-hill 41-on-the-pilgrims-way 42-night-jar-lane 43-cherry-tree-cottage 44-cottage-at-chiddingfold 45-cittage-at-hambledon 46-in-wormley-wood 47-the-elder-bush 48-the-basket-woman 49-cottage-at-shottermill 50-valewood-farm 51-an-old-house-at-west-tarring 52-an-old-buckinghamshire-house 53-the-dukes-cottage 54-the-condemned-cottage 55-on-ide-hill 56-a-cheshire-cottage 57-the-six-bells 58-the-kentish-farmyard 59-study-of-a-rose-bush 60-wallflowers 61-minna 62-a-kentish-garden 63-cutting-cabbages 64-in-asummer-garden 65-by-the-terrace 66-the-south-border-1 67-the-south-border-2 68-study-of-leeks 69-the-apple-orchard 70-the-house 71-the-kitchen-garden 72-the-dairy 73-one-of-lord-tennysons-cottages 74-a-garden-in-october 75-hook-hill-farm 76-at-pound-green 77-a-cottage-at-freshwater-gate 78-a-cabin-at-ballyshannon 79-the-fairy-bridges 80-the-church-of-sta-maria-della-salute 81-a-fruit-stall

 

All these beautiful vintage paintings can be found in the Happy England, book published in 1903 by Adam and Charles Black. The first picture is of course photo of the artist, lady Helen Allingham herself and the last two are paintings from Venice, one of rare, if not the only occasion, when she left her homeland. All other painting are presentations of her country, part of her life which she managed to preserve although nobody asked her to do it. In my previous post I was talking about London, one of the favorite tourist destinations in the world ever. But only with artwork of Helen Allingham we can clearly see how much more has England to offer.

At least is had not so long ago. I bet it still can. And the same story is with all other countries. We really don’t know enough about cute little spots known only to the locals and selected elite.

Imagine to have a chance to have a vacation in one of these scenes. I am not talking about fancy replicas which, I am sure, are still available somewhere, at least to some extend. I am talking about the real thing. Can we do that?

Next set of images is also done by Helen Allingham. The book, where all were published is titled The Homes of Tennyson, publisher is the same, year of first edition 1905. Tennyson from the title is of course one of the most famous poets ever, Alfred Tennyson, first Baron Tennyson, Poet Laureate, who for many years lived and wrote in two locations: Farringford House on the Isle of Wight and Aldworth in West Sussex. Both homes with surroundings and the magic of time were captured by Ms. Helen Allingham and here they are:

01-aldworth 02-tennysons-down 03-the-primrose-path-of-dalliance 04-the-glade 05-gimpse-of-farringford-from-the-upper-lawn 06-farringford 07-freshwater-bay 08-arbour-in-farringford-kitchen-garden 09-in-the-kitchen-garden 10-the-kitchen-garden 11-the-dairy-door 12-farringford-dairy-and-home-farm 13-alsworth-from-blackdown 14-from-the-porch 15-chase-cottage-and-pond 16-the-temple-of-the-winds 17-cottage-at-roundhurst 18-shed-at-roundhurst 19-old-don 20-tennysons-woods-at-blackdown

Well, I prepared another set of beautiful paintings of country houses by Helen Allingham. She was apparently very prolific and in we still have 64 color plates published by Edward Arnold in 1909 to see how England looked one hundred years ago. I am sure, few pieces of this tranquility are still somewhere to be discovered, but it is up to you to discover and enjoy them. My main goal – to prove England has so much more than London to offer – is already achieved …

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I hope you enjoyed my little trip to vintage countryside. See you soon in new beautiful places!

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