Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:55 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
After selling two doubtful portraits of Emily Brontë (one and two), auctioneers JP Humbert are now selling this portrait of the 'Brontë sisters' (for a full discussion of the pros and cons of it actually showing the Brontës we suggest you grab something to eat/drink and read the comments of this post). The upcoming auction is reported by several news outlets, such as the Telegraph:
An auctioneer is hoping to score a hat-trick, selling a third item believed to be linked to the literary Brontë sisters.
The painting, thought to be a hitherto unknown watercolour of all three sisters, is the latest in the series of unrelated items concerning the trio to go under the hammer.
Believed to be painted by 19th century English artist Sir Edwin Landseer, it will be included in a two-day fine art and antiques sale later this month at J.P.Humbert Auctioneers in Northamptonshire. [...]
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said there was no estimate on the latest discovery as it was impossible to say how much it would fetch, but he was hoping for a third sale of a Brontë-related artefact.
Mr Humbert said the painting, which appears to show all three sisters, has been attributed by a team from the National Portrait Gallery as well as four years of research by the vendor.
He said there were 10 evidential reasons supporting the suggestion it is of the Brontë sisters, and said its quality suggested it could only be attributed to an artist of Landseer's distinction.
The piece of art is believed to be signed by Landseer, and matches known features of the sisters.
"This is an exciting and important painting of museum quality and has a story to tell," he said. "I hope the art world will embrace it accordingly.
"There really is every possibility this is by Landseer and of the three Brontë sisters." [...]
The latest painting relating to the sisters is set to go under the hammer on April 26 as part of a two-day fine art and antiques sale at J.P.Humbert's saleroom in Towcester, Northants.
Also reported by the Yorkshire Post, ITV News, Antiquarian's Attic and the Scotsman.

The Telegraph and Argus remarks on how the windfarm plans for Brontë country have gone 'global':
Chairman Anthea Orchard, who was yesterday interviewed for French television channel France 2, said the group’s website had temporarily crashed due to a huge surge in visits.
Almost 200 people from as far as Australia, America, Italy and Spain had signed an online petition accessible via the site, she added.
She said: “It’s all a bit surreal. We are really grateful for the amount of coverage we have had. It’s done our campaign a world of good. We also feel it’s done the bigger, political image of wind farms a lot of harm which is what we wanted.
“We wanted people to see the truth behind what’s going on. We are only one of 300 or so other action groups fighting similar proposals and, although obviously the Brontë factor is important to us, every other potential wind farm has its own special story.”
France 2 correspondent Claude Sempere said the story was of interest to the channel as the Brontës novels were popular in France.
He said: “The books are well-known in France. When we saw the story about this beautiful, historical landscape we asked if the channel if they were interested. We also have similar problems with wind farms when companies decide to put these kind of turbines in beautiful landscapes and we have people fighting against these kind of projects.
“We have better legislation in France. It’s forbidden to put these kind of turbines close to a village. You have to have a minimum distance of 2km.”
Sally McDonald, chairman of the Brontë Society Council, said the organisation was disappointed with the Council’s decision over the test mast.
She said: “These moorlands inspired and are reflected in the writings of the Brontës especially Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The wild and beautiful moorland is a significant part of the Brontë story.
“Interest in the lives and works of the Brontës brings thousands of visitors to Haworth and Yorkshire year in year out. Erecting a substantial wind mast and four huge turbines three years from now will change the character of this moorland forever.’’ Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, has said the visual impact of the test mast will be slight and sustainable energy projects are “vital” to the future of Yorkshire and the UK. (Hannah Baker)
We prefer the following use of the moors, from an interview with cornet virtuoso Phil McCann in the Linlithgow Gazette:
Where has been the most unusual venue/location you have performed in?
Again with Black Dyke, recording music in the open air at Top Withens, the area in the West Riding of Yorkshire adjacent to Wuthering Heights in the Brontë novels.
Vampire book-writer Denise M. Baran-Unland owes her profession to Charlotte Brontë, or so seems to say The Doings Weekly:
Denise M. Baran-Unland read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre at age 10, and eagerly consumed other works of literature throughout school. By eighth grade, she was sneak-reading tales like Bram Stoker’s Dracula during classroom time, and that book inspired her love of vampire stories, and likely influenced her debut novel and follow-up books. (Lilli Kuzma)
In the meantime, the Irish Times argues that 'Dracula is the original - and best - of the species':
The element of torment is important. Dracula is in many ways a religious text rooted as deeply in Christian notions of damnation as it is in the mid 15th century European myths and legends surrounding a villain known as Vlad the Impaler. Stoker evokes an alternate world where, between sunset and sunrise, the undead stalk new prey, ever seeking fresh blood as they hover relentlessly between life and death. It is a bat-like existence, only far more grim. Their hunger appeased, the undead return to their coffins to rest before the next night’s feasting. They are known by their pallor, red lips, sharp white teeth and cruel eyes. They are invariably beautiful – this adds to the pathos – and they are always damned. [...]
Stoker’s immediate inspiration lies in Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1818-73) from the collection, In A Glass Darkly, which was published in 1872. But long before Le Fanu, never mind Stoker, there had been those 15th- century central European themes already mentioned, while much closer chronologically to Le Fanu and Stoker, both late Gothic, was the wider influence of literary Gothic as evident in Emily Brontë’s dark masterpiece Wuthering Heights or in her sister Charlotte’s Villette (1853). For all the terror, Dracula is as much a thriller and a late Victorian melodrama as it is a horror story. It also has elements of the much earlier literary romantic quest tradition but far more obviously reflects the style of the 18th-century epistolary novel. (Eileen Battersby)
Desy Giuffré speaks about her novel Io sono Heathcliff on Fly High:
Why Wuthering Heights? Why writing  a sequel, a  paranormal sequel, of a literary classic that has already in itself an inexhaustible fire of emotions? Well, the protagonists of Wuthering Heights can breathe immortality. And that is why  I chose them as a source of inspiration for a new story, a new love story which turns  life upside down.  I’m Heathcliff  changes its atmosphere respect to the original novel, moving  from the  past to the  present, which is chaotic , carved on rocks,  spread in the heath and  blown in the wind which sings the eternal love between Cathy and Heathcliff.
A love that hurts, that is beautiful and ruthless,  for his beloved Cathy Heathcliff is  a root  and , though an  unhealthy  one,  this root drags  something pure and precious. Not a villain, but a magnificently flawed man  in its stark reality. It is from this feeling, which is unique and memorable, and its shocking twists and turns that my story begins   and comes to life in the protagonists of I’m Heathcliff:  Elena Ray and Damian Ludeschi. (Maria Grazia)
An update on the Brontë Weather Project. I just read... posts about Laura Joh Rowland's Bedlam: The Further Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë. And finally, Brontë sheep on Soulemama.

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