Thursday, 8 November 2007

Sitwellian splendour

The Editor of Wheels by Alvaro Guervara, c.1919
Portrait of Edith Sitwell in what may be her Bayswater flat on Moscow Road (not one of the more salubrious areas of the time)

The Drawing-room of 2 Carlyle Square, Chelsea by Ethel Sands 1920s
The Fauveist colouring really captures the spirit of both the time and the nature of the occupants.

Interior of 2 Carlyle Square
By E.F. Mason for Homes and Gardens, January 1936

The Drawing-room, 2 Carlyle Square
Copy print from the Illustrated London News
16 October, 1926

These images are from the National Portrait Gallery's catalogue that accompanied the exhibition The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s held in October 1994 through to January 1995.
Well appointed rooms that reflected the creative and eclectic personalities that filled them.
Even when I first came here in the late 80s, one could still come across rooms such as these. Rooms of the well bred, as I liked to call them, essentially filled with other people's cast offs; admittedly some of those cast offs came from some of England's grander houses. There was always a prevailing sense of decay and faded grandeur; as well bred did not always go hand-in-hand with fiscally sound. With necessity being the mother of invention, house proud in England had always meant warm and comfortable rather than pristine and immaculate. Sadly, rooms of the well bred in London have all but disappeared; having given way to the rooms of the merely rich.

Now playing: Jacqueline Du Pre & Osian Ellis - The Carnival of the Animals: The Swan
via FoxyTunes


Pigtown-Design said...

i have a bunch of the old illustrated london news from my father.

HOBAC said...

Hi Fairfax - Love those, they are such a great chronicle of what things were like here.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Here via AL today. When I went to Bruce Burstert's home in Lexington, MO it had just this jumble. Unfortunately I did not take pictures that day as he told me I could get them from a local magazine. When the images arrived I was sorry to see the rooms were clean and tidy - no sign of the accumulated goodness.