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