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The Artist Explorers (Hardback)

Painting The New World

Colour Books Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Art History Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Artists Illustrated Books Maritime > Naval > Royal Navy Military > Pre-WWI > American History P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 17th Century P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > Explorers & Adventurers P&S History > Social History P&S History > Social Science & Culture World History > Asia World History > Australia & the Pacific World History > The Americas > USA World History > UK & Ireland

By John Fairley
Imprint: Pen & Sword Discovery
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781399047111
Published: 21st February 2024

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It was in large part the lure of riches, such as spices and gold, and the promise of fertile land which tempted the British and other Europeans to venture out to unknown lands.

These intrepid explorers, who devoted and often lost their lives on journeys of discovery, were frequently accompanied by artists. At the time there was no other way of pictorially recording their exploits and experiences.

James Cook and his botanist Joseph Banks had artists Alexander Buchan and Sydney Parkinson on board for their initial voyage to the South Seas. Buchan’s first pictures were of the natives of Tierra del Fuego as the Endeavour rounded Cape Horn but tragically within a month he died, apparently of epilepsy. Thomas Baines travelled with Livingstone while Charles Heaphy in New Zealand and the Governor's wife in India were amongst many others who produced drawings and paintings.

The many fine works in this book fashioned the British public's image of their countrymen’s discoveries and, later, of the lives of those who remained in these faraway places. Right up to the start of the 20th century their publication in the illustrated papers of the day became the core of popular appreciation.

Beautiful art work…

If you are a fan of world or art history, this book offers a delightful slice of both. Where explorers went, so did the need for proof of their adventures. Whether discovering new tropical lands or the darkest areas of the African continent, it wasn’t enough to provide detailed descriptions. Governments wanted more tangible proof from their explorers and expectations were high…

The sketches and prints included in this book sit beside brief but informative descriptions. Put
together, they painted (mostly) the rosier side of exploration with the truth lying somewhere close by. History is subjective yet these pictures, even if idealized, provide a glimpse into places and times never to be seen again. While the pictures were the focus, the accompanying details were clear, concise explanations providing depth and context. Put together, they offered a sense of adventure and excitement that I’m sure thrilled and inspired people to venture themselves.

NetGalley, Diane Radtke

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

James Cook and his botanist Joseph Banks had artists Alexander Buchan and Sydney Parkinson on board for their initial voyage to the South Seas. Buchan’s first pictures were of the natives of Tierra del Fuego as the Endeavour rounded Cape Horn but tragically within a month he died, apparently of epilepsy. Thomas Baines travelled with Livingstone while Charles Heaphy in New Zealand and the Governor's wife in India were amongst many others who produced drawings and paintings.
The many fine works in this book fashioned the British public's image of their countrymen’s discoveries and, later, of the lives of those who remained in these faraway places. Right up to the start of the 20th century their publication in the illustrated papers of the day became the core of popular appreciation.

The author here has created a beautiful, informative and very knowledgeable book detailing those artists who travelled around the globe capturing beautiful and vibrant visions of the New Worlds existing beyond the shores of Britain up to the early 20th Century. Even allowing for artistic licence, to which the author admits, this book is a feast for the senses. Well written narrative and clear illustrations combine into a great read and also a stunning coffee table book.

NetGalley, Carol Elizabeth Keogh

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tales of adventure and discovery, but this time focusing on journeys made by artists. This beautifully illustrated book has a high picture to writing ratio, with good quality full colour reproductions. Some of the artists I was familiar with, but there were many I had never heard of. The book is well written and very interesting, but it is the artwork that steals the show. A wonderful book to have in a travel library.

NetGalley, Hannah Hill

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I started reading it this morning and didn’t stop until it was over and couldn’t wait to see what else John fairly has written. There’s also bright bold photos of the art mentioned an even for this legally blind reader found it to be such a treat to be able to see it.

NetGalley, Janalyn Prude

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This volume features some of the beautiful and illuminating artworks created by the artists who traveled with European explorers. It also includes excerpts of the writings of the explorers. These histories are fascinating but often horrifyingly colonialist. It's a startling look into the minds of the Europeans of this era.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

About John Fairley

John Fairley has written numerous books on equestrian art including The Art of the Horse, Racing in Art and Great Racehorses in Art. He was joint author of The Monocled Mutineer, which became a celebrated BBC television series.
A noted documentary and sports television producer, he was Director of Programmes at Yorkshire Television. Born in Liverpool, within sight of the Grand National course, he served as an RNVR officer aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Albion. A scholar of The Queen's College, Oxford, he is married, with three daughters, and lives in the Yorkshire racing town of Malton.

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