Saturday, March 02, 2013

Frank Owen Salisbury

Kidist Paulos Asrat has a post up at her site Reclaiming Beauty which showcases a portrait by Frank Owen Salisbury.

I'd never heard of the artist before so I looked him up. He was born in 1874 in Hertfordshire, England, to a family of modest means (his father was a plumber). He became an apprentice in a stained glass business, showed talent, won a scholarship to art school and rose to become a society painter.

It's surprising that he's not better known now as he painted the portraits of six American presidents, 25 members of the royal family, a pope and many other prominent figures of his time.

Here's a work painted by Salisbury in 1933 titled The Bridal Train:

This is a portrait of a bishop of London, Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram, painted in 1918:

I would like to have a better quality version of the image below. It's St George defeating the dragon:

Finally, here's one titled The Fair Lady:


  1. I'm currently in my third year at the Dunedin Art School in New Zealand, and I now believe that it's no coincidence that it's almost impossible for me to imagine any of the students here approaching this kind of expression. They wont even teach drawing here in any serious way - offering only some token life drawing 'classes' once a week on a semi-regular basis. Here the regurgitation and expression of the nebulous ideas of the post-modern art world and pseudo-intellectualism are much more important (actually necessary) than the work and dedication required to acquire the skills necessary for the creation of a beautiful thing. And the scope and nature of ideas present in the institution are shaped by the Art History section of the course, which is unashamedly left leaning in its perspectives on reality.

  2. That is very sad to hear first anon. This is why I believe classical artists should form their own colleges and sell their highly marketable skills.
    True talent and skill will leave the idiotic pseudo-intellectual "artists" a bigger laughing stock than they already are. Real artists need to take back the word from these political talentless frauds!

  3. First anon,

    I agree with the anon above. I'm a big fan of classical music. I find it interesting that it's those twentieth century composers who rejected modernism and who stuck to tonal music who are being heard on the classical music stations.

    I don't think it's easy now to be a serious artist. As you point out, it takes a lot of dedication to master the technical skills and then you need talent in a variety of areas to create works of a higher order.

    But those who take the easy option and who rely on the "pseudo-intellectualism" are unlikely to create art that will last.

    I wish we were more advanced than we are and could sponsor or support those young artists who are trying to reach the higher levels. Maybe in 10 years or so.