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Studio: international art — 20.1900

Seite: 141
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James Aumonier

JAMES AUMONIER AND HIS the energetic young student was able to take short
WORK. BY MRS. ARTHUR railway journeys to such outlying districts as Croy-
BELL (N D'ANVERS). don and Epping Forest, where he spent many happy

hours of quiet work, with no teacher or inspirer
James Aumonier, whose poetic and faithful but Nature herself, from whom, however, he won
landscape work has only of late years been secrets that she reveals to none but her true
appreciated at its true value, is of English worshippers.

parentage, though his name is French. He was In a letter received from Mr. Aumonier in
born in London, and spent his childhood at High- reply to an enquiry as to his methods he says,
gate and High Barnet. At the early age of " the strength of my water-colour at the beginning
fourteen he began to earn his own living in a of my art career consisted of a lump of gamboge,
business house, where the work he had to do was a cake of Prussian blue, and one of crimson lake,
thoroughly distasteful to him. He devoted every I may," he adds, " have had a few odd bits of
spare moment to learning to draw, attending cakes as well, but those were my strength and my
evening classes at the Birkbeck Institution, then pride. I used to go into the garden when a mere
known as the Mechanics' Institute, where the child, and try to copy flowers. I had very great
conditions of work were very different from what delight in producing what my father called a
they are now, when everything is made so much ' good fat green ' by mixing the gamboge and
easier for the student. The Art Class was held Prussian blue together—that was my only green:
in the old lecture room. There was
but one gas jet over the master's
desk, and though candlesticks and
snuffers were supplied gratis, each
student had to bring his own candle.
By the uncertain flickering light of
some dozen candles placed at wide
intervals, the young student worked
steadily on ; and having learnt all
he could in the Institute he managed
to obtain admission to the Art School
at South Kensington, where he
attended the evening classes for
some years. He now, to quote his
own account of the matter, " found
that he could draw a bit," and to his
delight, the knowledge he had so
painfully acquired enabled him to
get a berth in a London house as
a designer for printed calicoes.
"This," he adds, "was the begin-
ning of my art-work ; " and having
at last got some congenial employ-
ment, he seized every chance "he
could get or make of going out of
doors and painting landscapes from
nature." His earliest independent
work was a series of drawings of
the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey,
and of studies in Kensington Gar-
dens, done when the fashionable
London world was still asleep, be-
tween six and eight o'clock in the
morning, before the regular work
at the calico factory began. Later james aumonier from a photograph

XX. No. 89.—Aug. 1900. 141
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