During his lifetime, Dumbarton-born William Strang (1859 – 1921) built up an international reputation as a highly skilled and imaginative printmaker, portraitist and painter. His diverse subjects ranged from the fantastic to the very real, including uncompromising depictions of contemporary life and the effects of poverty and social injustice, landscapes, subjects from the bible, bewildering allegories, and narrative illustrations. He was also a prolific and highly successful portraitist.
Anthony J Sargeant often cycles the quiet lanes around his Shropshire home early in the morning – usually before 6.00am. At that time the honeysuckle in the hedges smells wonderful. It will of course soon disappear – not least when the hedge cutting starts in earnest at the beginning of September. But never mind it will reappear next year and delight with its sprawling scented blossom and succeeding red berries. (photograph taken by Tony a few days ago at 5.39am on 20th August 2017)
This compelling image “Ivy”, was produced by the Fine Art Society towards the end of the 19th Century. In the collection of Anthony J Sargeant it is an example of the inventive printing technique explored by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, R. A. (1849-1914), usually in collaboration with Norman Hirst (1862-c.1955). This involved creating a monotype by applying ink by hand to a lithographic stone, then producing a photogravure of the result. This he dubbed a Herkomergravure. It could then be enhanced with additional mezzotint or etching to give definition to surfaces and outlines, but the overall result remains very free and spontaneous.
Anthony Sargeant took this photograph from the bedroom window of his Shropshire home on 22nd April 2017. On the mid horizon the trees are not yet in full leaf though the green buds are just starting to open.
Anthony Sargeant went to pick Wild Garlic along the Shropshire lane close to his home and found this woodland carpeted with the yellow star-like flowers of Lesser Celandine. A magical scene
It is supposed to be a vegetable patch in front of the greenhouse in the English garden of Anthony Sargeant. But this year the self-seeding Forget-me-nots have temporarily taken over. It is mid-April and they are really too pretty to pull up – so we will wait until the flowers have finished.
In the 19th Century Feuerbach noted that :
The secret of all theology was anthropology – and that religious beliefs were nothing but the projections of human qualities and human values onto a (non-existent) deity.
Thus the history of Christianity shows that religion itself approximates ever more closely to the insight of the real unity between the divine and the human.
God is not “out there” – God is nothing but the universal aspect of our own human being.