Shakespeare Gentleman Illustrator

The first Shakespeare Penguin titles appeared in 1940. They were designed by the steadfast classicist Jan Tschichold. By the late 1960s the series was looking dated. Penguin was trying to be less literal and more cerebral, and designer Germano Facetti had the answer. In revamping the Bard’s work, Facetti commissioned David Gentleman to create an illustrationContinue reading “Shakespeare Gentleman Illustrator”

Iona House Beginnings

As the grand-daughter of a Koo-We-Rup East Iona pioneer, my mother Hayden Ritson (Kavanagh) inherited all sorts of land around Iona. In the late 1950s, my parents decided to build a brand new house in the modern style. It would be right next door to the Iona Post Office. They called it “Carlowrie” after theContinue reading “Iona House Beginnings”

Lina Bryans’ Pink Colony

Artists’ Colonies seem a particularly Melbourne thing in the early part of the 20th century. A dog bite was responsible for Bryans’ Colony. Lina Bryans knocked on the door of Ada May Plante (a painter friend of Jock Frater) for some help and the reclusive artist offered Lina a room to stay for the night whichContinue reading “Lina Bryans’ Pink Colony”

Young Lina Bryans

Lina Bryans was born in Europe but her parents were Australian. Bryans was a Hallenstein whose family had made their money from a successful tannery and leather business in Melbourne. Her maternal great-grandfather, Sir Benjamin Benjamin, had been Lord Mayor of Melbourne in the 1880s. The family moved from St Kilda to South Yarra in theContinue reading “Young Lina Bryans”

Music of Lina Bryans

In memory of Brian Finemore, Lina Bryans gave one of her major late works, Landscape Quartet, to the National Gallery of Victoria. | Lina Bryans, Landscape Quartet, 1971, oil on canvasboard (4 panels) | What an amazing painting. And finally her last two paintings. Softly swirling pale landscape. | Lina Bryans, Cooper Meander, 1971, oil on canvas onContinue reading “Music of Lina Bryans”