The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

June 22, 2013

June 22, 2012

Mary Fedden, (August 14, 1915 to June 22, 2012) was a British artist.and her husband, Julian Trevelyan, was also celebrated for his art work. Their partnership was the subject of a recent Guardian article by Andrew Lambirth (May 18, 2013) and we sample it below:

[Julian] Trevelyan (1910-88) was an established artist when Fedden (1915-2012) first set eyes on him and declared: “That is the man I shall marry.” At the time he was married to his first wife, the potter Ursula Darwin, in a partnership that was creative but not at all easy. Fedden had to wait more than a decade before she had her wish, when at last the couple were able to set up house together at Durham Wharf, on the Thames at Chiswick. For the Trevelyans it was home and studio, and the centre of a lively social life – the high point of which was their annual Boat Race party. All sorts of friends and acquaintances were invited to this “beer and buns” jamboree over the years. Dylan Thomas, Stanley Spencer, Cyril Connolly and A P Herbert all attended, and on another occasion Auden and Isherwood were given a send-off party on their way to China.... [In 1963 Trevelyan suffered a meningitis type illness and after]  his illness, Mary often acted as his assistant in the etching studio, which inevitably encroached on her own painting time. And as an artist, she was hugely influenced by his advice and example. In fact, it can be said with some justification that she was very much in her husband’s shadow. This became evident after his death in 1988, as Fedden’s own work took wing. In the post-war years, Trevelyan’s imagery had become increasingly simplified, though his work remained technically innovative. He had urged a similar simplification on Fedden, who heeded his advice and continued to refine her subject matter towards the emblematic and decorative. Her work struck a resonant chord with the art-buying public, who queued to buy her paintings. This popularity only increased as she grew older, just as Julian Trevelyan’s pictures (despite Fedden’s best efforts to promote them) gradually slipped from sight. Many are beginning to think that her work has received too much attention and his too little.

We see Mary Fedden's "considerable skills of lyrical celebration and pictorial design" below:

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