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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mervyn Suart

Mervyn Suart (1908 - 1992) is a very illusive artist. Very little information is available about his life or his work (he was a British illustrator and lived in London all his life.) 

These beautifully detailed paintings of the signs of the Zodiac appeared in the children's magazine 'Once Upon a Time' (1970).  They have an epic quality, reminiscent of the sumptuous allegorical murals painted by Rubens.

This depiction of Virgo is my favourite (only half of the painting is included here).  She is exquisitely beautiful and incredibly serene.  In many ways she reminds me of my mother. 

Mervyn Suart - Virgo
 
My wonderful mom Molly (1930 -1999)


My parents on their wedding day in 1957
Eight of these paintings are easily discovered on the web.  They can be found at the Look and Learn website together with another lovely illustration by Suart from a magazine called 'The Bible Story'. 

One of the paintings in this series I have not found reproduced anywhere else is this one representing Sagittarius.  It was too big for me to scan as one image but I have tried to position it in such a way that it is shown to best advantage.




Zodiac illustrations taken from 'Once Upon a Time' magazine 

 
St Valentine

As St Valentine's Day is almost upon us I thought it would be appropriate to include some photos taken at the church where his remains can be found.  I'm not sure if many people outside of Ireland know that St Valentine's remains were brought to Dublin in 1835, a gift from Pope Gregory XVI to an Irish Carmelite named Father John Spratt.  The church is very close to my work and I walk past it quite often. Although founded in the 13th century, the current building owes more to the 50's and 60's and is not very picturesque.  I felt it a bit intrusive to take photographs inside at St Valentine's shrine, so instead I took a couple of pictures of this statue of Mary that stands at the entrance to the church.  I think she is lovely, another example of delicate beauty and serene grace.


 











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