Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Herbert James Draper (England, 18631920)



Figure 1.--We notice one boy in an early 19th century brown skeleton suit which might be called an Oliver Twist suit. We are not sure if this is an imaginative work or a modern boy dressed in a costume. We suspect it was a portrait commission and the boy's mother wanted him painted in a period costume. We are not sure if mother was going for the Dickens or Gate Greenway look.

Herbert James Draper is a not fully tecognized English Classicist artist. Herbert was born in London (1863). He was educated at the St. John's Wood Art School and the Royal Academy Schools (1884- ). He won the Royal Academy Travelling Scholarship (1889) and studied at the Academie Julian in Paris and in Rome. By that time he had begun to exhibit at the Royal Academy. He then exhibited his work regularly. Draper is known for his academic figure drawing with a kind of post-Impressionist color range along with pointillist pining technique, We notice a number of imaginative scenes including both classical images as well as the purely imaginiative. His 'Lament for Icarus' (1898) is a good example of his classical work. We also notice portraits of chidren, both boys and girls. Some of the children are identified and aree cllearly commissions from wealthy families. Some are not. We noticve onecboy in an early 19th century skeleton suit. We are not sure if this is an imaginative work or a modern boy dressed in a costume. Draper achieved some success at the turn of the century, but the growing popularity of modern art eclispsed his career.

Biography

Herbert James Draper is a not fully tecognized English Classicist artist. Herbert was born in London (1863). He was educated at the St. John's Wood Art School and the Royal Academy Schools (1884- ). He won the Royal Academy Travelling Scholarship (1889) and studied at the Academie Julian in Paris and in Rome. By that time he had begun to exhibit at the Royal Academy. He then exhibited his work regularly. Draper is known for his academic figure drawing with a kind of post-Impressionist color range along with pointillist painting technique, There is a kind of luminous glow in many of his pintings.

Body of Work

We notice a number of imaginative scenes including both classical images as well as the purely imaginiative. His 'Lament for Icarus' (1898) is a good example of his classical work. We also notice portraits of chidren, both boys and girls. Some of the chikdren are identified and are cllearly commissions from wealthy families. Some are not. We notice one boy in an early 19th century skeleton suit. We are not sure if this is an imaginative work or a modern boy dressed in a costume. Draper achieved some success at the turn of the century, but the growing popularity of modern art eclispsed his career.

Classical Work

We notice a number of imaginative scenes including both classical images as well as the purely imaginiative. His 'Lament for Icarus' (1898) is a good example of his classical work.

Portraits

We also notice portraits of chidren, both boys and girls. Some of the chidren are identified and are clearly commissions from wealthy families. Some are not. We notice one boy in an early 19th century skeleton suit. We are not sure if this is an imaginative work or a modern boy dressed in a costume.
Unidentified boy: We notice one boy in an early-19th century brown skeleton suit which might be called an Oliver Twist suit (figure 1). The costume is completed with white socks and buckle shoes. The boy is not iudentified and we are not sure when he was painted. We are not sure if this is an imaginative work or a modern boy dressed in a costume. We suspect it was a portrait commission and the boy's mother wanted him painted in a period costume. We are not sure if mother was going for the Dickens or Gate Greenway look.
Teddy Oates: One of Draper's portriays is Master Teddy Oates. The boy had an illustrious forebear, Lawrence 'Titus' Oates. He was the son of his nephew Lieutenant BWG Oates, the nephew of Captain Oates who went to the Antarctic with Captain Scott. The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy (1919), just before Draper's death. Captain Lawrence Oates was a hero of the Scott Expedition. In an effort to save his friends who were running short of provisions, he walked out of the tent, in a blizzard, saying, 'I am stepping outside. I may be some time.' Lawrence Oates was a bit of a Maverick. He was an An Army Officer in the Boer War. On two skirmishes with the Boers, he was asked to surrender. His answer on each occasion is said to be, "I came here to fight, not to surrender." He came from a wealthy family, and bought his way on the Scott Expedition by donating 1,000 towards the Expedition. (Equivalent to 50.00 today) He and Scott never got on well. He was put in charge of the horses used to tow the sledges of supplies. He reported that these were usless old nags, quite unsuitable for the journey. Scott described him as 'peevish'. He beacme a National Hero when his self-sacrifice, albeit useless, become known. His immortal words "I am stepping outside - I may be sometime" Caught the imagination of the British Press and Public. Teddy is dressed in a velvet scarlet short trouser suit and ruffled collared blouse, white ankle socks and strap shoes. Teddy looks to be about 5-6 years old.







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Created: 9:06 AM 7/29/2012
Last updated: 9:06 AM 7/29/2012