Of Nymphs and Pans and ... a StubbyDub ?: The Story od 'RAB' - Rachel Cassels Brown, Children's Illustrator and Etcher

Of Nymphs and Pans and ... a StubbyDub ?: The Story od 'RAB' - Rachel Cassels Brown, Children's Illustrator and Etcher

by Robin J H Fanshawe


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Rachel Cassels Brown, née Wilson, was born on 29th December 1875, the ninth in a family of 16 children produced by her remarkable mother, Anna, over a period of just 21 years. Her father was Factor to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon's estates around Huntly in Aberdeenshire, and her uncle was the now largely forgotten late Pre-Raphaelite adherent painter, George Wilson (1848-1890). Rachel evidently inherited the gene that inspired her uncle, as she undertook formal musical and art training, first in London for two years and then - at the inspiringly early age of 18 - in Paris for a further four years. In Paris, she initially attended the Académie Delacluse and then later became Assistante in the private studio of the painter and illustrator Émile Barau-Bacou (1851-1930).

It was under Barau that she was encouraged to pursue her evident natural talent as an illustrator, but equally excitingly, she had arrived in Paris at the height of the European Belle Époque to find herself among the later and Post-Impressionists. Much influenced by the Art Nouveau movement, Rachel found a natural affinity with the Glasgow School and, while living in Rock Ferry, near Liverpool, she became acquainted with the two Macdonald sisters - in particular, with Frances MacNair.

This short biography sets out belatedly to place in the public domain the now neglected oeuvre of someone whose career was curtailed firstly by her familial duties to her husband's busy General Practice life, but then only shortly after, was crippled by her rapidly failing eyesight. During her short professional career, Rachel designed and illustrated three original children's books (only one -The Story of the StubbyDub - was published) and two series of nursery rhyme illustrations. She also dabbled in almost every medium available to the Arts and Craft s movement, but her ultimate attainment was to become a highly accomplished etcher.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780955662645
Publisher: Castle Park Publishing
Publication date: 04/02/2009
Pages: 102
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.26(d)

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