Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Weird Wednesday

Two not dissimilar self-portraits. The top one is a sketch by James Ensor entitled Demons Teasing Me. It was drawn in 1888. Ensor, of course, is famous for his weird imagery, especially of skulls and masks. The bottom one is by someone less well-known: Charles Doyle, brother of the successful Punch cartoonist and fairy painter Richard Doyle, and father of Arthur Conan. Charles Doyle had early modest success as an artist (also painting fairies a lot, and illustrating, rather badly, A Study in Scarlet) but struggled with alcholism and depression. He painted the above watercolour, simply called Memoir: A Self-Portait, in Montrose Asylum at about the same time as Ensor's sketch (the exact date is unknown). Clearly he, too, felt himself to be teased by his own personal demons. His middle name, incidentally, was Altamont - as in riot.

No comments:

Post a Comment