In Clarence's Time - Van Biesbroeck and Bicknell in Boridghera

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

van biesbroeck autoportait 1891See the English translation below.

Ho eseguito una scansione e analizzando ulteriormente il libro degli ospiti della Casa Fontanalba di Clarence Bicknell in esperanto, un piccolo album legato alla vellum nella collezione di famiglia Bicknell. Una la pagina a sinistra Clarence scrive alcune parole in esperanto su qualcuno che ha soggiornato presso la Casa Fontanalbe, illuminando le iniziali della persona con temi e colori dal disegno botanico sulla destra. Oggi ho incontrato quello che pensavo fosse un piccolo mistero da contemplare. In diverse occasioni CB, dopo aver utilizzato le pagine in ordine fino al 1915, trova particolari pagine vuote precedentemente nel libro per inserire nuovi ospiti. Faccio allegare la pagina 20 in cui fu scritto il F May Dickinson Berry nel 1906. CB ha aggiunto due persone nel 1915, il secondo dei quali è Ninian R Bell, redattore della rivista britannica di Bordighera. Tra i due è un ospite scritto in rosso il cui nome manca. Infatti il ​​testo non è ancora stato completato. Il testo che viene mostrato è tradotto da Google e da me come ...

"... ha promesso di portarli, e ha rotto la porta, gli armadi e così via e distrutta e saccheggiata ..."

Chi o cosa avrebbe potuto avere? Un cane? Ma un cane non può fare una promessa. Alcuni vandali? Mi guardai intorno per una voce in una mano e una penna simile e ho trovato la risposta. Nella pagina precedente 18 Clarence ha aggiunto Jules van Biesbroeck, nel 1915. Questo è l'artista che ha insegnato a Clarence come disegnare in sanguigno, un gesso di colore marrone-rossastro, chiamato perchè assomiglia al colore del sangue secco. Clarence esaurisce lo spazio a pagina 18 per continuare nello spazio a pagina 20 al centro della frase. La nota completa di van Biesbroeck vale la pena:

"Jules van Biesbroeck, scultore e pittore belga, ha lasciato la sua casa, accanto a Ghent, per qualche giorno prima dell'arrivo dei selvaggi tedeschi: trenta soldati non hanno voluto aspettare le chiavi che la governante ha promesso di portarle e ha rotto Giù per la porta, gli armadi e così via, distrutti e saccheggiati ".

book of guests 18 james berry jules van biesbroeckbook of guests 20 dickinson berry ninian bell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Così ora sappiamo che van Biesbroeck lasciò Bruxelles nel 1914 a causa dei tedeschi invasori e si trasferì a Bordighera. Questo è ciò che ha detto a Clarence.

Di più su van Biesbroeck e Bordighera. Jules Pierre van Biesbroeck era figlio di Jules Evarist van Biesbroeck, pittore di Gand. Nacque in Italia a Portici, nei pressi di Napoli, durante un viaggio compiuto dai genitori: nell'Ottocento molti artisti compivano viaggi formativi in Italia ed il padre di Jules non fece eccezione; si trattò di un viaggio importante perché il bambino aveva già due anni quando la famiglia rientrò a Gand. Il ragazzo dopo un breve periodo di pratica con il padre fu iscritto all'Accademia di belle arti di Gand. La sua prima tela, Le Pâtre, la vendette alla Triennale di Gand. Nel 1888, a soli 15 anni, debuttò al Salon des Champs-Elysées di Parigi con la monumentale opera Le lancement d'Argo. La tela, di 7,5 metri per 2,6, suscitò molto scalpore per la nudità dei personaggi. Il ragazzo, convocato a Parigi, colpì per la giovane età e con sorpresa di tutti ottenne una menzione d'onore; tuttavia, condizione a che si potesse esporre il quadro, i personaggi furono rivestiti con drappeggi. Nel 1895 iniziò a dedicarsi anche alla scultura ed il suo talento fu premiato da varie commesse tra cui un monumento a François Laurent per una piazza di Gand, e un altro in onore di Jean Volder. Nel 1897 giunse secondo al "Prix de Rome belge" per la scultura, dopo Henri Boncquet, e nel 1898 arrivò ancora secondo nella sezione dedicata alla pittura.

van biesbroeck bordigheraDal 1914 si trasferì a Bordighera a villa “Own Nest” dove si dedicò sia alla scultura, suo primo interesse, e alla pittura di matrice impressionista con punte d’eccellenza per le tematiche orientaliste. In questo periodo ha conosciuto Clarence Bicknell, l'ingresso nel libro degli ospiti di Clarence Bicknell in esperanto datato 1915. Tra le esposizioni più importanti: Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia nel 1922, Esposizione Quadriennale di Torino nel 1927. Nel 1924 è documentata una sua personale a Milano, Galleria Pesaro con presentazione a catalogo di Vittorio Pica. Nel 1934 incontrò ad Algeri in pittore di Bordighera Giuseppe Balbo con il quale strinse amicizia.

In Italia è possibile ammirare la sua "Deposizione" a Bordighera nella Chiesa della Immacolata Concezione o Terrasanta. (Nel 1883 Padre Giacomo Viale, l'effervescente parroco della Citta Vecchia, decide di fondare una nuova chiesa per i fedeli che affollano la nuova citta cresciuta in pianura. Affida il progetto all'architetto francese Charles Garnier, che disegna un curioso edificio dal profilo orientaleggiante, fiancheggiato da due palme e sormontato da due agili torrette. L'interno, illuminato da belle vetrate neogotiche di manifattura francese, è decorato da opere di artisti stranieri. Il parigino H. Poinsot dipinge la cupola, mentre un altro francese, Marcel Jambon, realizza i disegni per i dipinti murali. In chiesa è conservata una Deposizione del belga Jules-Pierre Van Biesbroeck di Gand.)

Nel 1926 viaggiò in Nord Africa, dove subì il fascino dell'Algeria. La luce e le atmosfere del Maghreb lo spinsero a usare colori più chiari e a dedicarsi a soggetti orientaleggianti. Algeri ebbe una tale influenza su di lui, che vi risedette per nove anni sino al 1938. Famoso divenne il suo atelier, chiamato “La volière”. Nel 1938 rientrò a Gand dove rimase sino alla morte, sopraggiunta a 92 anni nel 1965.

 

 

"View Of Bordighera. Jules Pierre Van Biesbroeck. Oil On Cardboard. 1900." This painting was part of an exhibition dedicated to the artist in 1900 in Paris. . Titled back "on the road to Sassa.

 

 

English translation:

I have been scanning and further analysing the The Book of Guests at The Casa Fontanalba by Clarence Bicknell in Esperanto, a small vellum bound album in the Bicknell family collection. One the left hand page Clarence writes some words in Esperanto about someone who has stayed at the Casa Fontanalbe, illuminating the person's initials with themes and colours from the botanical drawing on the right hand page. Today I came across what I thought was a little mystery to contemplate. On several occasions CB, having used the pages in order up to 1915, finds empty part-pages earlier in the book to insert new guests. I attach page 20 where F May Dickinson Berry was written up in 1906. CB has added two individuals in 1915, the second of which is Ninian R Bell, editor of the British Magazine in Bordighera. In between the two is a guest written in red whose name is missing. In fact the text has not been completed either. The text which is shown is translated by Google and me as...

"... promised to take them, and broke the door, the cupboards and so on and destroyed and plundered..."

Who or what could have this have been. A dog? But a dog can't make a promise. Some vandals?

I looked around for an entry in a similar hand and colour pen, and found the answer. On the previous page 18 Clarence has added Jules van Biesbroeck, in 1915. This is the artist who taught Clarence how to draw in sanguine, chalk of a reddish-brown colour, so called because it resembles the colour of dried blood. Clarence runs out of space on page 18 so he continues on the space on page 20 in the middle of the sentence. The complete note about van Biesbroeck is worth the effort:

"Jules van Biesbroeck. Belgian sculptor and painter. He left his house, next to Ghent for a few days before the arrival of the German savages. Thirty soldiers did not want to wait for the keys that the housekeeper promised to bring them, and broke down the door, the cupboards and so on and destroyed and plundered."

So now we know that van Biesbroeck left Brussels in 1914 because of the invading Germans and moved to Bordighera. That is what he told Clarence.

Some background, from Wikipedia and other sources. Jules Pierre van Biesbroeck is the son of Jules Evarist van Biesbroeck, painter of Ghent. Jules was born by accident in Italy in Portici, near Naples, during a trip made by his parents. In the nineteenth century many artists were making educational trips in Italy and Jules’ father was no exception to the rule. It was an important trip because the child was already two years old when the family returned to Ghent. After a short period of practice with his father, the boy was enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts of Ghent. His first painting, "The pâtre" is sold at the Triennale in Ghent. In 1888, when he was only 15 years old, he made his debut at the "Salon des Champs-Elysées" in Paris with his monumental work "The lancement d'Argo." The canvas 7.5 meters by 2.6, caused quite a stir for the nakedness of his characters. The boy, called to Paris, amazed viewers for his young age and, to everyone's surprise, he obtained a "special mention". However, in order to expose the picture, his characters were "covered" with drapery. In 1895 he began to devote himself to sculpture and his talent was rewarded by various orders including a monument to François Laurent, for a square in Ghent and another in honour of Jean Volder. In 1897 he came second in the Belgian "Prix de Rome" for sculpture after Henri Boncquet and in 1898 he will again be second in the section devoted to painting.

In 1914 he moved to Bordighera to the villa called "Own Nest" where he dedicated himself to sculpture, his first interest, and to impressionist painting with oriental themes. He met Clarence Bicknell in this period, the entry in Clarence Bicknell's guest book in Esperanto being dated 1915.  Among the most important exhibitions: the Venice International Art Exhibition in 1922, the Four Year Exhibition of Turin in 1927. In 1924, a personal exhibition was documented in Milan, Pesaro Gallery with a catalog presentation of Vittorio Pica. In 1934 he met in Algiers in the painter of Bordighera Giuseppe Balbo, with whom he made friends.In Italy it is possible to admire his “Deposition” in Bordighera in the Church of the Immaculate Conception or Terrasanta. In 1883, Father Giacomo Viale, the effervescent pastor of the Old City, decided to found a new church for the faithful who flock to the new city that grew up on the coastal plain. He gave the project to the French architect Charles Garnier, designing a curious building with an oriental profile, flanked by two palm trees and topped by two turrets.The interior, illuminated by beautiful neo-gothic French glassworks, is decorated by works by foreign artists; Parisian H. Poinsot painted the dome, while another Frenchman, Marcel Jambon, did the wall paintings. The “Deposition”  by Jules-Pierre Van Biesbroeck of Ghent  is preserved in the church.In 1926 he made a trip to North Africa, where he fell under the charm of Algeria. The light and atmosphere of Maghreb will push him to use lighter colours and engage in oriental subjects. Algiers will have such an influence on him that he will reside there for nine years until 1938. His studio, called "La volière”, became extremely famous throughout the city. In 1938 he left to go back to Gand where he said till his death, in 1965.

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NEWS - Clarence Bicknell centenary exhibition - Genoa May 2018

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

2018 Centenary events, here we come. Prof. Mauro Mariotti of the Università degli Studi di Genova has just confirmed, thanks to the director of the Museo di Palazzo Reale, Dott.ssa Serena Bertolucci, that our exhibition of Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) will take place in May 2018 in the Teatro Falcone. This is an annex of the Palazzo Reale, Genoa, recently renovated.

Mauro Mariotti will be able to show in public for the first time Clarence's field diaries of expeditions into the Merveilles and Fontanalba to find, copy and log those 11,000 rock engravings, and botanical watercolours which Clarence gave to the university in Genoa.

Here's a photo of the Teatro Falcone back in the 1970s. The Teatro Falcone, at the beginning of the century, saw the beginning of opera in Genoa. Niccolò Paganini (Genoa 1782 – Nice 1840) performed on November 9, 1827 in the presence of King Carlo Felice (Duke of Savoy, Piedmont, Aosta and King of Sardinia from 1821 to 1831) and the royal family. http://www.niccolopaganini.it/…/2…/la_genova_di_paganini.pdf

NEWS - Clarence Bicknell film shown in Florence and Rome

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

chippindale rome may2017The screenings of the 18-minute documentary film "The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell" continue on their prestigious route round the world. The latest were in Florence and Rome, with presentations by Clarence Bicknell experts at each. Even if the audience numbers were small, they and we enjoyed the evenings immensely. Our photo, right, shows the impressive figure of Christopher Chippindale emphasising a comment on the horned figures of the Mont Bego, which Clarence recorded at length.

Wednesday 3 May 2017. The British Institute of Florence screened The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell in English at a special event there with a talk given by Graham Avery, vice-chairman of the Clarence Bicknell Association, with questions and answers afterwards withSusie and Marcus Bicknell. Palazzo Lanfredini Lungarno Guicciardini, 9 50125 Firenze tel: 055 2677 8270  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 5 May 2017 at 17h45-19h30.

british school at rome

The British School at Rome screened of The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell in English at a Film screening and workshop on the Victorian botanist, archaeologist and philanthropist. Speakers were Graham Avery (University of Oxford), Raffaella Buzzone (University of Nottingham), Christopher Chippindale (University of Cambridge) and Robert Hearn (University of Nottingham). Susie and Marcus Bicknell (chairman) participated in the questions and answers. British School at Rome via Antonio Gramsci 61, 00197 Roma. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  T +39 06 3264939

News - Clarence Bicknell film in Esperanto

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

esperanto film title pageWe are proud to announce the completion of the Esperanto version of the documentary film on Clarence Bicknell. Thanks to the energies and peristence of Esperanto supporters Michela Lipari (Director of the Italian Esperanto Association) and Humphrey Tonkin (President & University Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, Hartford University, USA), <La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell> has been voiced into Esperanto by Wera Blanke, Bill Chapman and Angela Tellier. Rémy and I (Marcus Bicknell) are proud to provide to the Esperanto community worldwide a precious memento of Clarence Bicknell's love for and support of the universal language.
 
The response from the Esperanto community (there are about 100,000 of them worldwide) has been remarkable. The film will be projected at Esperanto congresses in Scotland, South Korea and Italy in the next few months; details below. It will be released to the public on the internet free of charge on 26 August 2017 (and available before that dates for media review or academic purposes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
 
19th May 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. British and Scottish Esperanto Congress preview of the Esperanto version of the film <La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell> 19th to 21st May (URL available to delegates)
 
22nd July 2017 (exact screening date to be confirmed) in Seoul, South Korea. International Esperanto Congress, preview of the Esperanto version of the film <La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell> 22-29 July (URL available to delegates)
 
26 August 2017 (exact screening date to be confirmed) in Heraclea (Matera), Southern Italy. General world release of the Esperanto version of the film <La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell> during the Itala Kongreso de Esperanto 26 augusto - 2 settembre 2017. The Italian Esperanto Association organised with the Clarence Bicknell Association and the film’s producers the recording of the Esperanto voice-over. General release means that the internet address of the film is made public on the same day as the Italian screening.

NEWS - Marcus and Valerie on TV

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

interview riviera tv 2017Click on the link below or on the image to watch the video interviews...

I pronipoti di Clarence Bicknell sbarcano a Bordighera...

Clarence Bicknell, è stato uno scienziato, matematico e intellettuale britannico di fine ‘800. A lui si deve l’apertura del primo museo nelPonente ligure, fondato a Bordighera nel 1888 e tutt’ora visitabile.

Il 2018 segnerà il 100° anniversario della morte di Bicknell. Per l’occasione lo scienziato verrà ricordato con mostre in tutta Europa e una nuova biografia scritta da Valerie Lester pronipote di Clarence Bicknell.

Riviera Time ha incontrato l’autrice e suo cugino Marcus Bicknell. In questa intervista i due discendenti ricordano la storica figura del britannico che tanto influenzò la cultura della Riviera dei Fiori .

https://www.rivieratime.news/pronipoti-clarence-bicknell-sbarcano-bordighera/

Rough translation:

The great-grand-nephew of Clarence Bicknell lands in Bordighera...

Clarence Bicknell, was a scientist, mathematician and British intellectual at the end of the 1800s. He was responsible for the opening of the first museum in western Liguria, founded in Bordighera in 1888 which can still be visited. 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Bicknell. For the occasion, the scientist will be remembered with exhibitions in Europe and a new biography by Valerie Lester, great grand niece of Clarence Bicknell. Riviera Time met the author and her cousin Marcus Bicknell. In this interview, the two descendants include the historical figure of the British who so influenced the culture of the Italian Riviera.

NEWS - US residents can donate via the CAF

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

US residents and other US tax payers can now make donations to the Clarence Bicknell Association and get full tax credit as if giving to a USA body. Our Association is now eligible with CAF (the Charities Aid Foundation of America), the organisation which can donate outside the USA... and give you the appropriate credits. We will be launching two appeals (Museo Bicknell Bordighera new entrance and signage, and the 2016 Clarence Bicknell exhibition in three countries) in the next few days. Or you can visit our page on their web site and donate any time.
 
https://cafa.iphiview.com/cafa/Organizations/OrganizationView/tabid/437/dispatch/byorganization_id$204890_hash$6b492cf9c930132648d8533c7ab690da0fea3513/Default.aspx

NEWS - Clarence at Trinity College Cambridge

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

I take the liberty of posting a very useful response from Trinity College to a request from one of our researcher-helpers. Clarence went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1862 to read mathematics. However some sources say he started there in January 1861 which would have been before his father died.  Clarence graduated from Cambridge University with a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in 1865. He got his M.A. (Master of Arts) as a result, in 1873, and he subsequently took orders in the Church of England.

trinity cambridge

"Thank you for your enquiry that has been passed on to me by our alumni relations dept. In the absence of tutorial records, there is comparatively little to be found in the College Archive about our students before the 1960s, though it is possible to extract certain facts about them from various series of records, hence the following.

"Bicknell was admitted to Trinity on 8 January 1861 as a Pensioner (a full fee-paying student) on the side of J B Lightfoot, though Lightfoot was soon replaced as Tutor by James Lempriere Hammond and Robert Burn acting in partnership having become Hulsean Professor the year of Bicknell's admission. His college career was fairly undistinguished, being placed in the third of nine classes in the College Examinations in his first year, in the 7th in his second and in the 6th in his third.

"These examinations did not contribute to Bicknell's degree, but were used to weed out the complete no-hopers and give some idea of each student's progress. The comparatively good first year, when Classics dominated the subjects examined, may suggest that Bicknell took some time coming to terms with Cambridge mathematics. Nonetheless in January 1865 he graduated 15th among the Senior Optimes - the second class amongst the Honours mathematicians - which suggests he may have been better at the subject than his College exams suggested.

"I cannot find him listed in the register of Room Rents until Easter term 1863, when he was in residence at N4 Great Court. For the period before that I think we must assume that he was living outwith the College, presumably in a licenced hostel."

 



Trinity College Library
Cambridge
CB2 1TQ

In Clarence's Time - motor bus on the Tende road 1910

Written by Helen Blanc-Francard on .

1906 street scene stdalmas1910 below stdalmas1910 miniera di tende1910 perilous journey stdalmas1910 stdalmas busMany thanks to Helen Blanc-Francard, Clarence Bicknell Association researcher and committee member, for these great photos from around 1910. Clarence would have come up the Roya valley by horse-drawn diligence for many years, from, say, 1880 to 1910. It is possible that these photos of the motor charabanc were taken in the first days of its work up this mountainous road to

Clarence would have come up the Roya valley by horse-drawn diligence for many years, from, say, 1880 to 1910. It is possible that these photos, mostly dated 1910, of the motor charabanc were taken in the first days of its work up this mountainous road to Tende and the Vallée des Merveilles.

I found the third pic, les Minieres, a silver-lead and zinc mine, very interesting. Those of you who have driven up to Casterino will know how it looks now (very different)...

"Au dessus de Saint Dalmas-de-Tende, à l'entrée de la célèbre Vallée des Merveilles, une mine de plomb argentifère et de zinc a été exploitée depuis l'Antiquité et a donné naissance à un hameau : " La Minière de Vallauria ". Après avoir perdu sa vocation initiale, ce hameau fut restauré et réaménagé pour de multiples activités culturelles et sportives. "

 

 

 

Posted by Marcus for Helen

In Clarence's Time - Will Arnold-Forster's garden in Bordighera

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

will arnold-forster Jane Winter, writing the biography of Will Arnold-Forster, writes to us as follows:

"Will’s brother Christopher (actually Hugh Christopher, but known in the family as Kit) was married to Marcia Buddicom.  I’ve recently made contact with her daughter, Jennifer Hamilton, and grandson, Jonathan Hamilton.  Apparently, the Buddicom family owned a house called La Capella in Bordighera during the early 1910s, when Will was in Italy. The house was taken over by the Germans during WW2, and the gardener, name unknown, saved some pastel portraits of the family from them.  Will was famous for using pastels and was a great portraitist.

"Will’s brother Christopher (actually Hugh Christopher, but known in the family as Kit) was married to Marcia Buddicom.  I’ve recently made contact with her daughter, Jennifer Hamilton, and grandson, Jonathan Hamilton.  Apparently, the Buddicom family owned a house called La Capella in Bordighera during the early 1910s, when Will was in Italy. The house was taken over by the Germans during WW2, and the gardener, name unknown, saved some pastel portraits of the family from them.  Will was famous for using pastels and was a great portraitist.

"If any of this rings a bell, or you are in a position to make enquiries about it, I should be eternally grateful."

Is there evidence he met Clarence Bicknell?

In Clarence's Time - The Railway

Written by Helen Blanc-Francard on .

Musing to the music of the Riviera railway - by Helen Blanc-Francardthe riviera express 1907

Swaying along the curving bays of the coast with the dazzlingly blue Mediterranean glittering just below the track, busy Bordighera station was the first glimpse of the town that all those eager, newly rich tourists had as they arrived to stay in its renowned hotels and pensiones. It was the same for those friends and family members who came occasionally from gloomy England to visit Clarence Bicknell or the many guests en route for the lively next door MacDonald household. Unlike Clarence's guests though these, often 'artistic' types, would have been filled with excitement at the prospect of new encounters and theatrical fun.

Image, right: The Riviera Express in 1907.

For the ex-pat residents of Bordighera the train was their life-line: the reason they were there in the first place and their line of escape when life got too tedious or scandal threatened. Gamblers, courtesans, musicians and entertainers must have disembarked with the hope of returning richer than when they set out and all those weary invalids, arriving for the winter season in expectation of recovering their health, must have sighed with relief as the train drew in. Whilst the passengers stepped down from their carriages, packages, boxes and baskets of luxury goods from all over Europe clattered onto the platform to stock the fashionable shops in Via Vitorio Emmanuele and to supply the grand hotels and splendid villas with lavish and delicious foodstuffs, decorative objects and modern paraphernalia. The train going back up the line, and on their way to the markets in Paris, London and Berlin, was loaded high with crates of freshly cut roses, carnations and mimosa brought down from the hills above Bordighera - how fragrant the journey must have been! Piles of elaborately plaited palm leaves destined for the Vatican went by the same route at Easter time. 

bordighera station 1897Even the body of the old Queen of Italy was sent off in great style from the station in a black-draped, garland-swagged train in 1926 on her last voyage to the Pantheon in Rome:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26JnSnge9o0 Clarence and Luigi would have know the bustling station particularly well because it was the first leg of many a long journey that connected them to ports and railway hubs for their onward travels abroad. When they returned with their suitcases and cabin trunks slightly heavier than when they set out - weighed down with new sketchbooks and watercolours, recently gathered botanical samples and Esperanto literature, how pleasing to know that Villa Rosa was so close to the station and they would soon be home. Bordighera's railway station was made in 1873 (left, a postcard image from 1897).

Watch a few seconds of the historically-important early film made in 1895 by Les Frères Lumière, viewable on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dgLEDdFddk

When, in small theatres, the film was first shown to the public it was reported that the audience flung themselves off their seats convinced that the train rushing towards them was going to run them over! This fact was later denied.

I came across another fait divers that I have not had time to verify - that it was Raphael Bischoffsheim who initially arranged for the express train to stop in Bordighera. This info would make some sense because he resided briefly in that gorgeous villa we know about built by Charles Garnier. Apparently he had an influential role in the railroad system of Northern Italy. The book Bordighera and The Western Riviera, published in 1883, advertises hotels, their attractions and the many English goods that were for sale in Bordighera or in nearby towns. Clarence would have been able to purchase all the 'home comforts' his heart desired if he so wished (which he almost certainly didn't!).  John Pemble says in his book The Mediterranean Passion: Victorians and Edwardians in the South, “The facilities on the train itself were very comfortable and the service regular and rapid”.

The railway network contributed greatly to the development of the Riviera. Here here is an extract from:

https://www.departement06.fr/documents/Import/decouvrir-les-am/rr69-1977-02.pdf

" La construction du chemin de fer eut une importance décisive sur les effets de la valorisation touristique du littoral régional. Construite pour des choix politiques précis qui caractérisèrent tout le système ferroviaire italien, cette voie fut installée parallèlement au littoral, exerçant une attraction orientée vers une succession plus dense de centres qui, à leur tour, étaient reliés aux grands centres, ceux-ci l'étant ensuite aux métropoles intérieures qui géraient l'économie du pays. La construction d'un trace côtier fut dominée, dans son dessin d'ensemble et dans ses solutions particulières, par les impératifs de la morphologie régionale. A cause de celle-ci, la voie ferrée trouvait le long de la côte un parcours plus facile. Au niveau local, les effets de la construction du réseau ferroviaire furent immédiats bien qu'irrégulièrement distribués: ceux-ci donnèrent une notable impulsion à la croissance des centres côtiers, principalement ceux en liaison avec les gares destinées à desservir les centres immédiatement voisins, principalement sur les hauteurs. De 1871 à 1901, les villes de la Riviera enregistrèrent un très fort accroissement de la population; pour la seule ville de San Remo, il fut de 93,5 (un quasi-doublement en trente ans), déterminé de façon prépondérante par une dépopulation progressive des villages de l'arrière-pays. L'économie touristique concentrée de façon particulière dans quelques zones de la Riviera, comme San Remo, Bordighera, Ospedaletti, fournissait, pendant la période hivernale, des occasions de travail pour de nombreux habitants des villages de l'intérieur qui, durant cette saison froide, ne pouvaient continuer à cultiver leurs champs puisque l'agriculture et les activités connexes étaient les seules occupations offertes par ces zones. Comme nous l'avons déjà noté précédemment, de nouveaux quartiers de plus en plus étendus s'individualisèrent. Bordighera s'étendit à l'ouest, le long de la voie romaine, Ospedaletti, le long de la voie aurélienne. San Remo vit s'établir à l'ouest le quartier de la Foce Berigo et à l'est celui de Saint-Martin. Ainsi est née une orientation touristique de l'espace s'appuyant: principalement sur la proximité de la route et de la voie ferrée, ainsi que sur la déclivité limitée de la zone côtière, par rapport à l'espace de l'intérieur. Il se créa en outre de nouvelles zones commerciales et financières qui, pour la plupart, s'installèrent à proximité des gares, des hôtels les plus importants et des maisons de jeu. L'arrivée du chemin de fer dans la ville en 1872 lui donna une impulsion pour installer des mécanismes de rente foncière et immobilière. A partir de cette date, on assiste à la réalisation de structures réceptrices pour le tourisme. Dans la seule ville de San Remo, les hôtels passent de quatre en 18651 à trente deux en 1905 et les villas enregistrent de 1374 à 1906 un accroissement de 190 sur un total de 2342. Il faut également noter, dans le secteur hôtelier, la formation de chaînes hôtelières qui associent des stations estivales. D'ailleurs, cet aspect était amplement souligne par la publicité de l'époque. Un facteur faisant enfin apparaître la transformation de la ville dans un sens plus nettement touristique fut en outre le développement d'un grand réseau routier dans les zones de collines de la région côtière, en vue de rendre constructibles des terrains qui ne l'étaient pas faute d'accès. En ce qui concerne les caractéristiques des investissements touristiques, on note l'essor important de cette tendance précédemment relevée qui voit la présence de capitaux étrangers. Parlant de Bordighera, un auteur de l'époque notait: "Les banques, les hôtels,bordighera postcard 1918 les grands immeubles, les meilleures propriétés (sans parler même de l'industrie du gaz, des tramways, de l'énergie électrique, des ciments, des tissus, des établissements de bain, de jeux, de la poste, tous ou presque sont exploités, sont propriétés d'étrangers. Les terrains tout au long du littoral, dans les sites les plus agréables, tout est vendu, tout est complet, tout est à des étrangers". (Martinelli V., La Riviera e l'industrialo italiano, Bordighera, 1910).

Lastly, here is rather a wonderful and unusual post card I think! It really could be a snap of Clarence - taken on a calm spring day as he walked along the sea front in Bordighera in the last year of his life - the date is 1918. But, as I have mentioned before, a big white beard and a moustache makes a lot of men look similar in their later years.

In Clarence's Time - Charles Lowe and the Casa Rosa

Written by Susie Bicknell on .

Susie Bicknell writes...Charles-Lowe-24996

I was looking through this website http://www.bordighera.net/personaggiing.htm on famous people connected with Bordighera and came across this on Charles Lowe 1828-1909:
 
Born in Gibraltar in 1828, he dedicated to international trade with South America and managed to accumulate a considerable fortune. He moved to Bordighera along with the British colony who chose to stay in our city. In Bordighera he bought the 'Casa Rosa' (Pink House), a villa that had a small chapel.In October 1878 after having bought a land near the Anglican church he built the first tennis court in Italy, and founded the Lawn Tennis Club. In 1902, Lowe gave the City a land of 6,000 meters with the charge for common to operate in perpetuity of the land so donated to public gardens. Lowe, generous benefactor of the Anglican Church, gave the city land would arise where the Victoria Hall, the bowling and Tennis Club, he died on Easter day of 1909, to 81 years.
 
 

“Charles Lowe followed his father into the shipping trade, and such was his business acumen that he managed to amass enough of a fortune to enable him to retire from business life at the age of 48. It was 1876, and by this time the English had already  discovered the Italian Riviera and migrated there in large numbers. The idea of escaping the rigours of the English weather was appealing to Lowe, whose health was by no means robust, and he decided to join his compatriots in what was by now a sizeable ‘expat’ colony. He bought an unpretentious property called 'Casa Rosa', which contemporary reports describe as 'hardly more than a cottage'. However, he also bought a considerable area of land to go with it, most of which, in a spirit of pure philanthropy, he gave away to the local community over the following decades.”

So I presume Lowe sold the Casa Rosa to Rev Charles Fanshawe Walker.  It sounds as if he would have got on with Clarence :

“Charles Lowe had also given the land for a public garden in the centre of the town. This is known to this day as 'Giardini Lowe', and so many townsfolk have such happy childhood memories of playing there that it has its own Facebook page. It is the only example of his name being attached to one of his good works: this self-effacing man held no public office other than that of churchwarden at the church in Bordighera. His lifestyle was austere in comparison to that of those around him - he travelled second class rather than spend large sums on his own comfort. He treated his servants as friends and often referred to them as his 'faithful stewards', even arranging for his Bordighera gardener to come to England so that he could say farewell to him from his deathbed. It is no wonder then that his obituary in the Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette of 15th April 1909 describes him as 'an admirable type of man in the true sense of the word.' “

I don’t think so far any letters between Lowe and Clarence.

Cheers Susie

 

See also the posting here in the blog from February 2015..

http://www.clarencebicknell.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64:charles-lowe&catid=14:news-blog&Itemid=168&lang=en

NEWS - Italian natural history museums on the verge of collapse

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

A leading Italian academic forum has highlighted the sorry state of Italian natural history museums. They are facing a critical situation, due to the progressive loss of scientific relevance, decreasing economic investments, and scarcity of personnel. This is extremely alarming, especially for ensuring the long-term preservation of the precious collections they host. Moreover, a commitment in fieldwork to increase scientific collections and concurrent taxonomic research are rarely considered priorities, while most of the activities are addressed to public events with political payoffs, such as exhibits, didactic meetings, expositions, and talks. This is possibly due to the absence of a national museum that would have better steered research activities and overall concepts for collection management. We here propose that Italian natural history museums collaborate to instate a “metamuseum”, by establishing a reciprocal interaction network aimed at sharing budgetary and technical resources, which would assure better coordination of common long-term goals and scientific activities.

Read the rest of the article at

http://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=4280

With thanks to Helen Blanc-Francard for alerting us to this.

In Clarence's Time - Pietro Zeni, the tenor sponsored by Bicknell

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

pietrozeniI had never seen details of the singer whom Clarence sponsored. I stumbled across this article in Bordighera.net by accident...
http://www.bordighera.net/raneriiltenore.htm

"Un giorno del 1888 lo studioso inglese Clarence Bicknell sente per caso il giovane cantare, mentre è impegnato nel cantiere di lavoro; colpito dalla bellezza della voce dello Zeni, Bicknell lo fa studiare, a proprie spese, da privatista a Milano ove si diploma a pieni voti presso il Conservatorio. Il giovane tenore Pietro Zeni debutta con successo alla Scala e inizia una brillante carriera che lo porterà a calcare i palcoscenici dei più importanti e celebri teatri d'Italia e all'estero, in particolare in Spagna e in America, con Caruso e grande come Caruso."

which I translate as...

"One day in 1888, the English scholar Clarence Bicknell overheard the young man singing, while engaged in the work site (for the tunnels of the Pisa-Genova-Ventimiglia railway); struck by the beauty of the Zeni's voice, Bicknell helped him with his expenses for private tuition in Milan  where he went on to graduate with honors from the Conservatory. The young tenor Peter Zeni made a successful debut at La Scala and started a brilliant career that led him to tread the boards of the most important and famous theatres in Italy and abroad, particularly in Spain and America, with Caruso - and as great as Caruso."

Zeni was 18 when discovered. Imagine him wielding a pickaxe at full song!!!   I thought of Zeni today because I came across his page in the "VIP book" the small illustrated album where Clarence writes a few words in Esperanto about the people (and dogs) in his life. Clarence's dedication for Pietro Zeni reads...

"Pietro Zeni de Bordighera, iris al Milano, kie li studis musikon, kaj poste dum multaj jaroj Kantis, Kiel tenoro, en la cefurboj Italaj, ankaw en Hispanujo, Portogalujo, Rusujo k.t.p. sed, post bonega sed tro mallonga kariero, pro malsano de la kordoj gorguj, li devigis forlasi siari profesion."

which translates as

"Pietro Zeni of Bordighera, went to Milan, where he studied music, and then for many years sang, as a tenor, in the Italian capitals, yet it also in Spain, Portugal, Russia and so on but, after a great but too short career, due to illness of the vocal chords, he was forced to leave his profession."

 

4th January 2017

Andrew Sly writes on Facebook where I posted this article...

Andrew Sly "Here is a "cleaned up" version of the Esperanto transcription: "Pietro Zeni de Bordighera, iris al Milano, kie li studis muzikon, kaj poste dum multaj jaroj kantis, kiel tenoro, en la ĉefurboj Italaj, ankaŭ en Hispanujo, Portugalujo, Rusujo k.t.p. sed, post bonega sed tro mallonga kariero, pro malsano de la kordoj gorĝaj, li devigis forlasi sian profesion.""

Clarence Bicknell Association
I replied...
Clarence Bicknell Association Andrew, thank you. The Esperanto words given by me in the posting of 3rd January were taken letter-for-letter from Clarence's hand-writing in his VIP book. So any errors are errors in Clarence's grasp of Esperanto. An imperfect science at the time? Or maybe Clarence was still learning.
 
Valerie Lester writes...
"Yes, I did know about Zeni and have quite a lot of information about him. He was actually a bricklayer, so I think he was more likely to have been wielding a trowel than a pickaxe!!! But I didn’t know he had problems with his vocal cords later on. So great that you have that VIP book and can read Espeanto!"
 
Marcus Bicknell 4th January 2017

In Clarence's Time - Esperanto as a means to universal understanding

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

clarence c1905 esperanto starIt seems sad to read in Olga Kerziouk’s European Studies blog on the British Library website and in Ulrich Lins’ book Dangerous Language that from the earliest days of Esperanto, governments were quick to see potential dangers to their authority in the message spread by Esperanto. For Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918), Esperanto was a universal language which was not only an expression of peace but also a mean to furthering peace. Imagine the torment he suffered when the world went to war in 1914… he died in the mountains above Bordighera on the Italian-French border in 1918, in the last weeks of the war.

At Olga's invitation I wrote an article for her blog about European Studies on the British Library web site. It summarises Clarence's dedication to Esperanto late in his life and the extent to which he worked on the universal language as a way of improving the chances of human understanding subjugating man’s addiction to war. The photo, right, from the Bicknell Family Collection in my stewardship and never published before, Clarence is wearing his Esperanto badge on his lapel, probably 1906 to 1910. Is he also wearing his "not so optimistic face"? Was he already thinking of the need to promote Esperanto as a means of avoiding war?

Download the article here.


In Clarence's Time - Praise for Clarence Bicknell's techniques

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

Here is some unsolicited praise, from an expert, of Clarence Bicknell's techniques in taxonomy and classifcation of the rock engravings round the Mont Bego. In her article Cartography in the Prehistoric Period in the Old World: Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, Catherine Delano Smith shows her appreciation of Clarence Bicknell’s classification techniques. She discusses the way in which rock engravings are interpreted by archaeologist and other researchers, and criticises their “unsystematic approach” such as ignoring the “contemporaneity, scale, or appropriate geometry”. Her most telling indictment of typical archaeologists is “What fits is included; what does not fit is conveniently disregarded”. She goes on to praise Bicknell’s taxonomical and empirical approach in words which complement and strengthen the praise of Bicknell’s techniques by Christopher Chippindale, the Bicknell specialist from Cambridge University.

My three page article shows the excerpts from her paper... download here.

Happy New Year!  from Marcus