Item #CL207-7 Correspondence About Conder’s Stay In France And London. Charles Conder, 1868–1909 Aust.
Correspondence About Conder’s Stay In France And London
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Correspondence About Conder’s Stay In France And London

1898. Handwritten letter in ink, dated “11 June [18]98” and signed by Conder, accompanied with pen and ink sketch on letterhead paper by an unknown hand with annotations in ink, 17.9 x 22.5cm (approx. each). Old folds, crinkles, minor tears to edges, soiling, slight foxing.

The letter, sent from Freneuse pres Bonnieres (Seine-et-Oise) on the outskirts of Paris, is addressed to Mrs Young in London. In the letter Conder recommends Mrs Young to take some visitors to Hampstead Heath: “You will remember what a good time we had there, and how Dal [composer Dalhousie Young] sang Walter’s song & the ‘Mother’s Kiss’ – I have always wanted to paint it [Hampstead Heath] since & you ladies in black and white dresses among the bushes…” The letter also mentions Conder’s sister [Alice] who had travelled to England to visit him, but he had been unable to return to London “for the usual reasons” and said she “is quite a sensible girl & is coming to see me here – on the mountain.”

Conder then discusses a proposed trip for Mrs Young, where she and “Dal” are contemplating a visit to the same region of France where Conder is living, adding “if you want a grand piano I fear you will find it difficult and expensive but ordinary pianos are to be had in Mantes[-la-Jolie], about 7 miles away… I am sure if you were here you would find a beautiful music in the poplars for the north wind makes them delightful tonight…” Conder continues with a description of his clover and corn fields being reaped, commenting “I had done a little picture of it all that I like very much.”

The accompanying sketch by an unknown hand shows a design for a dress and is drawn on paper printed with “1 Garway Road, Bayswater” and annotated “56 Granville Park, Lewisham junc., Blackheath [UK], Hargrave.” These annotations seem to refer to addresses in Lewisham, London.

Dalhousie Young (1866-1921?) was a British composer and pianist who “enjoyed a notable career.” Young was one of Conder's “closest friends and patrons. He and his wife bought and commissioned work from Conder, including pictures, fans and painted textiles” and donated some of these to the Tate. Young was also a friend of Oscar Wilde and wrote the 45-page book, Apologia pro Oscar, after Wilde's trial, “during which Wilde's works were used as evidence of his 'immorality.” In his book, Young defends Wilde and his writing, arguing that a “work of fiction is not automatically a work of autobiography; fiction does reveal an author's inner secrets or true character.” Ref: B. Pezzini, “Carfax Gallery”, British Art Journal, vol. 13, issue 2, 2012); Christies, #3837; British Library.

Item #CL207-7

Price (AUD): $2,950.00  other currencies

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