Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ralph Chubb: Painter

Reader's of this blog, if they know the name Ralph Nicholas Chubb, will know it mainly in the context of the beautifully illustrated, hand-printed books in super-limited editions and with his own calligraphy that he produced in the early 20th century. Every now and again he has featured on this blog and I used one of his prints to illustrate the front of one of my Short List Catalogues recently. It's certainly true that much of his creative energy was poured into his printing press but he was also an accomplished painter and the BBC's new website Your Paintings, has a bigger selection (9 pictures) than I've ever seen in one place.

Some of them are below. Of course, he is best known for his depictions of nude youths disporting themselves in a variety of semi-mystical settings and even in this small selection of paintings, in the more stylised ones, you can see the simplified curves and lines in the bodies that he used in his print-making. It also strikes me how very 'of its time' some of his work looks, in a good way: the landscape with the farm could almost have been painted for a 1920s or 30s railway poster.

The Bathers, Southampton City Art Gallery

Nicholas Drew Chubb, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

Landscape With a Farm Building and a Field Gate, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

Ganymede, Reading Museum

Contemplation, Leamington Spa Art Gallery

Unfettered Joy, Hereford Museum

Enchanted Valley, Ferens Art Gallery

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