Clarence Bicknell: Mountain landscapes and botany

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Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) dans les Alpes Maritimes : Entre Paysage et Botanique

By Raffaella Bruzzone, Robert Hearn, Pietro Piana

Download the paper here

This paper establishes the importance of the figure, and the scientific and artistic production, of Clarence Bicknell, the British amateur botanist and archaeologist who lived between the Ligurian Riviera and the Maritime Alps for most of his life . Thanks to his works concerning botany and landscape (held in Italy and the UK) we can investigate the historical geography and the landscape history of the area.

Keywords: Clarence Bicknell, geohistory, Riviera, Maritime alps, botany, historical geography, topographical art

This paper. which is in French, was completed between 2017 and 2019 and is published in French. It was presented in an early form at the 12th October 2016 conference in Toulouse on Environmental Geo-history and Landscapes, a report of which, Géohistoire de l'Environnement et des Paysages by Philippe Valette and Jean-Michel Carozza is available at https://www.cnrseditions.fr/catalogue/geographie-territoires/geohistoire-de-l-environnement-et-des-paysages/
(Les préoccupations environnementales et paysagères se positionnent au cœur des questions sociétales actuelles. Focalisés sur les futurs possibles et la prospective, de nombreux travaux scientifiques sous-estiment l’enracinement de ces problématiques dans le temps long des dynamiques sociales et naturelles.)

Dr Raffaella Bruzzone is Research Associate in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham, UK. She has been Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nottingham University, now writing a thesis on the methodology of research in Liguria and the Merveilles, from the angle of an Earth Scientist. She graduated from Genoa University, Italy and wrote her PhD on Ligurian botanical history, Tiu ĉi retpoŝtadreso estas protektata kontraŭ spamrobotoj. Vi devas ebligi Ĝavaskripton por vidi ĝin.. Her full CV is at http://mpa.academia.edu/RaffaellaBruzzone/CurriculumVitae

Dr Robert Hearn is a researcher and university lecturer specialising in Environmental History. Upon completion of his PhD, h held a two-year position as the Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at the Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy. Since August 2016, he has been an Assistant Professor in Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Nottingham, UK. Robert Hearn’s CV is at https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/geography/people/robert.hearn

Dr Pietro Piana is Research Assistant at the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. He is currently working on a Leverhulme Project on British Amateur Topographical Art and Landscape in NW Italy, 1835-1915. He is co-author of Travelling in Italy during Turner’s Lifetime https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/ross-balzaretti-pietro-piana-and-charles-watkins-travelling-in-italy-during-turners-r1176438. Pietro Piana’s CV is at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pietro_Piana

Clarence Bicknell "entre paysage et botanique"

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Madonna del lAnnunziata San Biagio Cuneo 1905"Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) dans les Alpes Maritimes: entre paysage et botanique".

Nous sommes fiers de pouvoir publier dans les pages de notre site web un papier au sujet de la contribution de Clarence Bicknell pour la géographie historique et l’histoire du paysage des Alpes Maritimes. Le papier est écrit par trois amis de la famille Bicknell qui on rendu visite à notre domicile prés de Londres afin d'étudier (et de photographier quelques images inédits pour ce papier) Raffaella Bruzzone (Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, School of Geography and Department of History, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.), Robert Hearn et Pietro Piana (tous les deux; School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

Résumé...

"Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) dans les Alpes Maritimes: entre paysage et botanique". Cet article porte sur la figure et la production scientifique et artistique de Clarence Bicknell, un botaniste et archéologue amateur britannique, qui vécut entre la Riviera de la Ligurie et les Alpes-Maritimes pendant la plus grande partie de sa vie. Ses travaux concernant la botanique et le paysage (conservés en Italie et au Royaume-Uni) sont une contribution majeure pour la géographie historique et l’histoire du paysage de la région.

Vous pouvez télécharger le papier à l'adresse suivante... www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/clarence_bicknell_bruzzone_hearn_piana_2019.pdf

L'image: Madonna del l'Annunziata San Biagio Cuneo, aquarelle de Clarence Bicknell, 1905. Bicknell Family Collection.

Clarence Bicknell - Citizen Scientist. Paper by Mauro Mariotti

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mauro mariotti jan2019It's a year since that wonderful conference at the Hanbury Gardens on 26 January 2019! Time to celebrate with this remarkable paper by Mauro Mariotti. For the first time we heard the title

"Clarence Bicknell - Citizen Scientist".

What is meant by that? Mariotti says "In recent times the term citizen science has been coined to indicate that complex of activities related to scientific research involving simple citizens or, better, "scientific activity in which non-professional scientists voluntarily participate in the collection and analysis of data, the development of technologies, the evaluation of natural phenomena, and their dissemination" and that Clarence Bicknell fits the description and more.

This is rare and very valuable contribution by Professor Mauro Mariotti (photo, left, at the event). He is not only Director of the Hanbury Botanical Gardens but also Director of the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Ambiente e Vita at the Università degli Studi di Genova (therefore the de facto curator of their collection of some thirteen thousand Clarence Bicknell watercolours, rock engraving copies, field diaries and plant samples).

You can read Professor Mariotti's paper in full, in English or Italian, at https://www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/clarence_bicknell_citizen_scientist_mariotti_2019.pdf

hanbury bicknell 26jan2019

The Jan 2019 event was the last of the 40 events in eight countries marking the Clarence Bicknell 2018 Centenary, but by some measures one of the best. I had been keen for several years, since hosting the friends of the Hanbury Gardens in London in 2016 and hearing their presentations at the Italian Institute, to be able to have a Bicknell-Hanbury event at the famous Hanbury Gardens. Prior to Mariotti, Carolyn Hanbury welcomed us with some introductory remarks.

Thereafter, Dssa. Daniela Gandolfi, head of the International Institute of Ligurian Studies and of the Museo Bicknell which it owns, was fully justified blowing the trumpet in her paper about their contribution to the 2018 Clarence Bicknell Centenary. Their efforts in putting together their exhibition, for which Daniela as director was supported over the preparation period of two years by a team of staff and volunteers such as (those I know and have mutually supported) Franca Porra, Elena Riscosso, Bruna Di Paoli, Dr Giovanni Russo, Claudio Roggero, Gisella Merello, and others. The exhibition, whose run had just been extended to the end of March 2019 and which then move don the Finale Ligure. It included classic material from the Museo, loan items from collections like the Bicknell Collection which I look after and new items (Lotto 2017) purchased by the IISL. Claudia Littardi presented a paper on the plants of the garden of the Museo Bicknell in Bordighera and Alessandro Bartoli, the chairman of the event and secretary of the Amici dei Giardini Botanici Hanbury, presented a beautifully-illustrated paper on Foreigners in Liguria in the 19th and 20th Centuries, for which we are seeking permission to publish on www.clarencebicknell.com along with the papers from Messrs. Gandolfi and Littardi.

I, Marcus Bicknell, spoke on Clarence Bicknell and Sir Thomas Hanbury: what sort of friends would they have been?

You can read my full report on the conference at https://www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/bicknell_and_hanbury_conference_report_26jan2019.pdf

You can read my paper on the relationship between Bicknell and Hanbury at https://www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/bicknell_and_hanbury_relationship.pdf

The restoration of the theatre screen by Piana

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

paravento daniela riccardoGrazie per un altro grande evento sabato 11 gennaio 2020, un altro passo avanti per Bordighera e il Museo Bicknell.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION AT THE END]

Osservazioni di Marcus Bicknell alla presentazione al pubblico del Paravento Piana...

“Sono passati sette anni da quando ho iniziato ad aiutare attivamente la causa di Clarence Bicknell a Bordighera e in tutto il mondo. È stato un piacere e un onore inaspettati giocare un ruolo nella realizzazione di un film così bello su di lui, la pubblicazione di MARVELS, la sua biografia di Valerie Lester, la riproduzione del Libro dei Visitatori de la Casa Fontanalba e le mostre e gli eventi che hanno ha segnato il lungo periodo del suo centenario.paravento detail

“Questa energia ha suscitato entusiasmo e contributi da molte parti diverse. Ce ne sono due che vorrei sottolineare.

“In primo luogo, ero con alcuni amici italo-americani in visita al Museo Bicknell per la prima del nostro film nell'ottobre 2016 (duemilasedici); loro, come tutti noi, si sono innamorati del posto e dell'eredità di Clarence. Diversamente da tutti noi, sono stati in grado di influenzare la decisione di una fondazione di beneficenza negli Stati Uniti di effettuare donazioni sostanziose. Li ringraziamo vivamente: non solo per il restauro del paravento teatrale opera di Giuseppe Piana, ma anche per il loro contributo alla costruzione del nuovo ingresso al giardino che ha avuto un impatto così positivo sui visitatori del museo.

“In secondo luogo, queste energie hanno rivitalizzato le persone più profondamente coinvolte nella gestione del museo e dell'Istituto. Mi congratulo con Daniela Gandolfi per il ruolo da protagonista nell'ottenere finanziamenti aggiuntivi per questi vari progetti, in particolare dalla Compagnia di San Paolo. Penso ora che oggi ci potrebbero essere ancora dei finanziamenti e dei finanziatori disponibili. Penso infatti che molti Enti e persone influenti come il Comune di Bordighera e altre associazioni vedano il Museo Bicknell e l'eredità di Clarence come una parte fondamentale del carattere di questa città e della sua gente. Se chiudiamo gli occhi, possiamo sentire il “ronzio” che la città deve aver vissuto in quei tempi.

“Ringraparavento crowdzio il Laboratorio Bonifacio per aver fatto un ottimo lavoro sul restauro del paravento. Ringrazio la Soprintendenza Alle Belle Arti della Regione Liguria, nella persona del dott. Alfonso Sista, per l'approvazione dei lavori di restauro. Questo complemento d’arredo teatrale, che Clarence adorava, è stato riportato in perfette condizioni. Nel fare questi miglioramenti relativamente piccoli al tessuto materiale del Museo Bicknell, penso che ri-stimoliamo il nostro rispetto per il "patrimonio culturale immateriale" che rappresenta.

“Siamo tutti definiti dal nostro passato. In questi tempi difficili, la mia speranza è che, più che dal nostro presente, possa essere il nostro passato a ispirare chi siamo e il nostro futuro. Lo dobbiamo certamente l'un l'altro, come esseri umani e ai nostri figli, che rendiamo visibile e fruibile il nostro patrimonio culturale. Questo è ciò che ci rende esseri umani, interessanti e produttivi.”

English translation:

It has been seven years since I started actively helping the cause of Clarence Bicknell in Bordighera and worldwde. It has been an unexpected pleasure and honour to play a role in the making of such a beautiful film about him, the publication of MARVELS, his biography by Valerie Lester, the reproduction of the Casa Fontanalba Visitors’ Book and the exhibitions and events which have marked the extended period of his centenary.

This energy has triggered enthusiasm and contributions from many different sides. There are two which I would like to emphasise.

paravento locandina 11 gennaio 2020Firstly, I was with some Italian-American friends of a relation of mine visiting the Museo Bicknell for the premier of our film in October 2016; they, like all of us, fell in love with the place and with Clarence’s legacy. Unlike you and me, they were able to influence the decision of a charitable trust in the USA to make donations in the tens of thousands of euros. We thank them warmly not only for the restoration of the theatre screen by Giuseppe Piana but also for their contribution to the construction of the new entrance to the garden which has made such a positive impact on visitors to the museum.

Secondly, these energies have revitalised those most deeply involved with the running of the museum and the Institute. I applaud Daniela Gandolfi for playing the lead role in getting additional funding for these various projects especially from the Compagnia di San Paolo. There is a belief now that there is funding available if you go and look for it. I think that many influential people in particular, the town hall and the other associations see the Museo Bicknell and Clarence’s legacy as a fundamental part of the character of this city and of itparavento marcus speakings people. We all feel the buzz that the town must have lived at the end of the 19th century.

I thank the Laboratorio Bonifacio for doing such a great job on the restoration of the screen. I thank Superintenze Ligurie, Dottore Alfonso Sista, for approving the restoration works. This theatre prop, which Clarence adored, has been put back to pristine condition. In making these relatively small improvements to the material fabric of the Museo Bicknell, I think we re-stimulate our respect for the “intangible cultural heritage” which it represents. We are all defined by our past. May I say, in these troubled times, that I hope we are defined better by our past than by our present and our future. We certainly owe it to each other, as human beings, and to our children, that we make our cultural heritage visible and actionable. This is what makes us interesting and productive human beings.

 


MB 11 Jan 2020

Research - Marcus's 1998 paper on Clarence

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

For the sake of completeness I have scanned and uploaded the paper I presented in 1998 at the Musée des Merveille in Tenda. It is in French and entitled "Clarence Bicknell, L'Homme". The Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri then published it in full in 2003 in their research revue Rivista Inguana e Intemelia LIV-LV 1999-2000 from which I have taken these scans.

Download "Clarence Bicknell - L'Homme" here

Book Review - MARVELS in Antiquity

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Cover of Antiquity journal, Oct  2019

Christopher Chippindale, Reader in Archaeology at Cambridge University, and specialist in rock art and Stonehenge, studied and wrote on Clarence intensively from the early 1980s through the 2010s. This month he reviews for Antiquity, archaeology's foremost journal, Valerie Lester’s MARVELS, The Life of Clarence Bicknell. Christopher writes

  • "The book shows how valuable biographies of individual archaeologists are – even though Bicknell is so obscure...
  • "Lester's  biography of Clarence is finely and artfully written - artfully in the good sense as it is not obvious that in its flowing narrative that spources for the life our fragmentary, and so for many aspect are slight  or absent - fully and well illustrated, handsomely deisgned and published at quite a low price.
  • "It is full of insights and anecdotes about his energy and his several idealisms."

Download the article here.

The version we have is only a draft but we will put a definitive one up when it's available, with thanks to Antiquity. You can read more about the journal at https://antiquity.ac.uk/ and subscribe at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/subscribe

Chippindale, C. (2019). Alpine rock art: Then and now, and into the future? Antiquity, 93 (371), 1378-1380. doi:10.15184/aqy.2019.46

News - Clarence in the UK press

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

fitzwilliam floral fantasies poster compressedI came across this interview for the first time today even thought it came out last year. It is quite a useful record of Clarence's notoriety in the UK.

Here is someone with great talent totally ignored because he didn’t live in Britain or seek publicity but just created art for the pleasure of doing it.” Artist, botanist, archaeologist, humanitarian, Esperanto enthusiast, Clarence Bicknell remains another story of Victorian genius needing to be told. This is certainly the view of Marcus Bicknell, the great-grand nephew of Clarence who has been devoted to uncovering the mysteries of his ancestor since 2012, a view more recently shared by the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge who have included a selection of his art in their upcoming collection Floral Fantasies [poster, right] running from the 5th June to the 9th September 2018.  We interviewed Marcus Bicknell, head of the Association Clarence Bicknell to gain a unique perspective on the life of Clarence and why it is important to reflect on his legacy."

https://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/discovering-the-art-of-clarence-bicknell/

The publication TCS stands for The Cambridge Student and the interview was by a fine arts student Blanca Schofield-Legorburo with the help of Alicia Lethbridge

Elhanan Bicknell - Turner Collector - Marcus Bicknell's new paper

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elhanan bicknell pose cWhere did Clarence Bicknell's inheritance money come from? What do we know about his wealthy father Elhanan?

I am pleased to let you know that I have finished the full version of my paper presented in short at The Independent Turner Society evening “Two Turner Collectors who were Friends of Ruskin” on Wednesday, 20 November 2019 in London. The paper examines Elhanan's origins, his business, his relationship with Turner and other artists and the way in which his Herne Hill house became a noted private art gallery. The paper is available now for you to download and peruse, along with some other related documents.

Right: Elhanan Bicknell in about 1840

The full version of my paper:
https://www.clarencebicknell.com/…/elhanan_bicknell_turner_…

I have drawn from previously-untapped sources such as; notes by the late Valerie Lester for MARVELS, her biography of Clarence Bicknell; Sidney Bicknell’s hand-written memoirs in the East Sussex Record Office and in the Bicknell family collection; Brian Green’s 2014 paper for the Dulwich Society; Edgar Browne, Phiz and Dickens; Mark Howard’s unpublished, Elhanan Bicknell - Oil Merchant and Shipowner; and previously unavailable 19th century maps of Herne Hill.

The slides I showed on 20th Nov 2019 are available here in pdf:
https://www.clarencebicknell.com/…/elhanan_bicknell_mb_slid…

As my research into Elhanan’s collection continues, details of Elhanan's paintings other than Turner's will be available on our research page. Today, just the Turners are listed:
https://www.clarencebicknell.com/…/elhanan_bicknell_collect…

turner blue righiHere is a link from the Turner in Tottenham site giving a report on the evening including photos of the event and the introductory remarks by Dr Selby Whittingham, Secretary of the Independent Turner Society:
https://www.turnerintottenham.uk/two-turner-collectors-frie…

 

 

Left: J.M.W. Turner 1775–1851 - The Blue Rigi, Sunrise - Watercolour 1842. Bought by the Tate Gallery at Christie’s 6 June 2006 for £5,832,800

Research - Clarence bought a picture from his father's collection

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lincolnshire stackyard peter de wintClarence purchased a painting from his father's collection in the 1863 auction at Christies after Elhanan's death in 1861.

I have been analysing the paintings, espcially those by Turner, collected by Elhanan Bicknell (1788-1861) whale oil millionaire of Herne Hill. I am preparing my paper next Wednesday at the Independent Turner Society talk in London. My source material includes three copies of the Christies catalogue with hand-written notes inside... the price, the buyer, what Elhanan originally paid.

To my surprise I found that Clarence Bicknell, his 13th child, bought one of the 500 works on sale, lot No.90, A view near a Stackyard by Peter De Wint. There are some surprising features to this discovery. Firstly, Clarence was a second year, 20 year old student at Trinity College, Cambridge University in spring 1863; he must have made the effort to travel to London for the auction which spread over several days. Secondly, he spent quite a lot on a relatively hum drum picture, £47.5s.00d. That makes about £16000 or €20,000 euros today. That makes us wonder, thirdly, where he got the money from. Although the art had not been sold up till this day, much of Elhanan's estate (more than 5 times the amound realised for the art) had been through probate and here would have been large sums already flowing to the bank accounts of the happy children.

Now I have to find out who Clarence sold the de Wint to, and where it is now. What? In storage at the IISL? Probably not.

http://artpaintingartist.org/a-lincolnshire-stackyard-by-peter-de-wint/

Peter De Wint (1784–1849) was an English landscape painter. A number of his pictures are in the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Collection, Lincoln.

Elhanan's other offspring were at the sale.  The amount spent by the frugal Clarence is paltry compared to the £1995 paid by his brother Herman for Lot 122 Palestrina – a Composition at the same sale… that’s £235,000 in 2019 money. Henry Sanford Bicknell, who had married David Roberts's daughter Christine, purchased many expensive artworks. When he died in turn, Christies sold his large collection in 1881. Not all the purchases were success stories... Henry bought Ivy Bridge Mill for 880 guineas and it made less, 800 guineas, in the sale of Henry's estate in 1881. The buyer was, however, his brother Percy (Marcus's great grandfather), the unfortunate who presided over the failure of the whale oil and candle business, to whom Clarence gave money later in life and who died penniless; this painting was sold on to Wm Hollin for 800 guineas, although the date of the sale is not known.

More about Elhanan's collection at

https://www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/elhanan_bicknell_turner_collector_mb_nov2019.pdf

Research - The likeness of Lucinda Sarah Bicknell (née Browne)

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lucinda bicknell 1838 npgIn the National Portrait Gallery in London there is a portrait called “Probably Lucinda Sarah Bicknell (née Browne)” engraved by James R. Mackrell in 1838 after a drawing by Stephen Poyntz Denning in 1833 (image, right). It is their reference NPG D31758 and you can find it online at
https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw125645/probably-Lucinda-Sarah-Bicknell-ne-Browne

However, having compared this image with another of Lucinda and contemporary written desciptions, I do not believe this portrait is Lucinda. It looks neither like the other image we have of her nor does it match the descriptions given of her.

The sitter is Sabrina Bicknell, no relation. There is another portrait of Sabrina which is identical. It is even in the National Portrait Gallery and by the same artist, so I wonder why the NPG experts had never noticed the error. Sabrina Bicknell (1757-1843), better known as Sabrina Sidney, was a British woman abandoned at the Foundling Hospital in London as a baby, and taken in at the age of 12 by author Thomas Day, who tried to mould her into his perfect wife. She grew up to marry one of Day's friends, instead, and eventually became a school manager.

You can read my research and arguments here: click for pdf

My thanks to Amy Adams who alerted me to the protrait of Sabrina.

by Marcus Bicknell, November 2019
great great grandson of Lucinda Bicknell née Browne

 

Sitter
• Lucinda Sarah Bicknell (née Browne) (1801-1850), Third wife of Elhanan Bicknell. Sitter associated with 1 portrait.
Artists
• Stephen Poyntz Denning (1795-1864), Artist. Artist associated with 8 portraits.
• James R. Mackrell (circa 1814-1866). Artist associated with 1 portrait.

In Clarence's Time - his nephew Grosvenor Berry in Much Hadham

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Amuch hadham windmill 1889 mystery solved

I have been haunted for 20 years by two nice sketches by Clarence Bicknell of Much Hadham, a quiet village in Hertfordshire, northeast of London and now under the departing flight path of Stansted airport.

One sketch is of the windmill at Much Hadham (right) and the other of The Palace at Much Hadham, the latter titled by Clarence in a hand-styled font, a cross between 12th century medieval and contemporary arts-and-crafts (below). Both are dated 1889; he visited Much Hadham in July of that year.

But we never knew, until today, why Clarence went there.

much hadham palace 1889He had moved to Bordighera ten years earlier, so this trip was not a casual one, not just touristic. He would have had an objective.

Thanks to the keen interest of a present inhabitant of Much Hadham, and a regular follower of Clarence Bicknell’s Facebook page, we have the answer. Much Hadham was the home of Ada Berry née Bicknell (1831-1911), Clarence's favorite sibling, 11 years his elder. He visited her in London and Kent throughout his life.

Our Much Hadham source also made the link with Ada’s son Grosvenor Berry who lived and farmed there for there for 65 years.

You can read the whole article and see photos of Grosvenor Bicknell and Much Hadham... download the ten page pdf here

 

 

With thanks to our source of information in Much Hadham who choses to remain under the radar.

By Marcus Bicknell, November 2019. Copyright © 2019 Marcus Bicknell
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NEWS - The Turner Collector: Elhanan Bicknell; 1987 text now online

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elhanan bicknell pose cWe are pleased to make available here the excellent article The Turner Collector: Elhanan Bicknell written in 1987 by Peter Bicknell with Helen Guiterman

This text transcript of the original article of 1987 was made by Marcus Bicknell in October 2019 from an original copy of the magazine Turner Studies (his Art & Epoch 1775-1851) - Summer 1987 Vol.7 No 1. We thank the magazine, and the editor of Turner Studies (the late Eric Shanes) and the Tate Gallery for their diligence in publishing this and many other important papers. Marcus Bicknell did this work as part of his own research into the art collection of his great great grandfather Elhanan Bicknell (image, right); the results of the research will be available on www.clarencebicknell.com when published.

Peter Bicknell (1907-1995) was an architect, mountaineer, teacher of architecture and art history, writer and exhibition presenter and a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge. He bequeathed to Marcus Bicknell the collection of Clarence Bicknell vellum-bound albums of watercolours, sketchbooks and other ephemera. Peter's expertise in art history, especially Turner, makes this article a very good starting point for understanding the wealth of the art collection which Clarence's father had amassed.

The new version of The Turner Collector: Elhanan Bicknell shows the text only, not the illustrations, in order to keep the file size modest for download. The footnotes have been re-cast and the paragraph dividers of the appendix (1863 sale catalogue) simplified, but otherwise the punctuation etc. is the same as the article. You can contact Marcus Bicknell at Tiu ĉi retpoŝtadreso estas protektata kontraŭ spamrobotoj. Vi devas ebligi Ĝavaskripton por vidi ĝin..

The illustrations can be seen in the pdf reproduction of the article at https://www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/turner_studies_peter_bicknell_1987.pdf

This text transcript is available for download from
https://www.clarencebicknell.com/images/downloads_news/turner_studies_peter_bicknell_1987.doc

 

A preview of Marcus Bicknell's research into Elhanan's collection work will be the subject of a presentation to the Independent Turner Society, chairman Selby Whittingham, in November 2019 in London...

    • Two Turner Collectors, Friends of Ruskin
    • Saint Cuthbert's Church, Philbeach Gardens, Earls Court, London SW5 9EB
    • Wed, 20 November 2019 at 18:30

Research - the cultural impact of the Hanbury Gardens and Bicknell

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

Elena Grafova, PhD researcher at the Likhatchov Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage in Moscow, has recently completed her thesis called Gardens of the Hanbury family and their influence on the culture of Italy at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.
hanbury grafova march2019We are pleased to have her authorisation to publish a short version here...

Download the paper here (English and Russian versions in one pdf document)

The trigger for this version of Elena Grafova's paper was the conference of 26th January 2019 at the Hanbury Garden in La Mortola entitled "Clarence Bicknell and Thomas Hanbury: Two Great Victorians on the Riviera". At the initiative of Alessandro Bartoli, dynamic secretary of the Friends of the Hanbury Gardens, paper were preseneted by experts in the field. Professor Mauro Mariotti, head of the University of Genova Distav (therefore the de facto curator of a collection of some thirteen thousand Clarence Bicknell watercolours, rock engraving copies, field diaries and plant samples) argued in favour of the term "Field Scientist" to describe Clarence Bicknell's contributions. Marcus Bicknell presented a paper on Clarence Bickne'll's art, drawing attention to the "art nouveau" floral designs of his later life which form a key part of Ms. Grafova's study. Dssa. Daniela Gandolfi, head of the International Institute of Ligurian Studies and of the Museo Bicknell which it owns, was fully justified in blowing the trumpet about their contribution to the 2018 Clarence Bicknell Centenary which includes classic material from the Museo, loan items from collections like the Bicknell Collection which I curate and new items (the Lotto 2017) purchased by the IISL. Claudio Littardi, of the Centro Studi per le Palme and the Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri-Museo Bicknell, preseneted a paper on the garden of the Museo Bicknell in Bordighera.

26th January 2019 at the Hanbury Garden, left to right: Elena Lesnykh, Daniela Gandolfi, Elisabetta Massardo, Monica Buscaglia, Marcus Bicknell, Gisella Merello, Elena Grafova and Michael Grafov.

Elena Grafova argues that Clarence Bicknell's focus on flowers in his art brings him squarely into the Art Nouveau movement, and we show below some key exceprts from the paper.

hanbury bicknell 26jan2019"It was the study of the archives of people who lived in the era of the creation and development of the Hanbury gardens and took an active part in the formation of the Italian cultural heritage fund, while remaining carriers of the English traditions in the field of natural science and art, allows us to answer questions about the significance and interdependence of science, art and culture .

"Clarence Bicknell focuses on studying the flora of the Riviera of Flowers, he pays great attention to the world of flowers, he is engaged in their categorization, description, and further. Stylized from in floral ornaments in the style of catalogues of decorative art of Art Nouveau. He is familiar with the botanist of the garden of Thomas Hanbury in La Mortola, Alwin Berger and the owner of the garden of Thomas Hanbury. They are united by passion and love for the world of plants. Clarence Bicknell, closer to the iconography and philosophy of modern style. Like Emil Galle and the ideologists of the School of Nancy in Lorraine, he studies the national character of the flora of Liguria, in his research laid the uniqueness and preservation of the natural heritage of the Riviera of Flowers.

"The peculiarity of the garden of Thomas Hanbury is in the acclimatization and adaptation of rare exotic plants; Bicknell's attention is focused on the unique plants of the Ligurian coast. But, as in the School of Nancy, in Lorraine, where unique artworks in decorative and artistic art were created in the Art Nouveau style, the subject of which is the roses that are loved at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, attention to this type of flowers is also included in scientific interests. Clarence Bicknell showed his botanical studies and watercolours to his friend the Swiss botanist Emile Burnat, whose work, written in collaboration with August Gremli, Roses of Italy (1886), was very popular among villa owners, gardens and artists of the Ligurian coast.

"Bicknell’s interest in the world of plants echoes the ideas of the book The Mind of Flowers by Maurice Maeterlinck, whose work influenced the people of French art, who created their works in modern style. The ideas of Clarence Bicknell are consonant with the discoveries expressed in the botanical illustration of Allois Lunzer, Thomas Mehan and Otto Wilhelme Tome. Clarence Bicknell develops the study of flowers and their classification to their reproduction in his ornaments and watercolours. Bicknell cannot be called a classic artist of the modern era (art-nouveau), but his collection of watercolours of botanical illustration of flowers, their classification in books written and published by him, as well as a huge collection of butterflies, speaks of the very interest in plant and insect life that formed the modern style in Italy and France. The influence of the ideas of Maurice Maeterlinck, who formed the philosophy of modernity and were voiced by him in the book The Mind of Flowers, speaks about similar thoughts that developed among scientists and artists of this time, influenced the style and aesthetics of the modernist style in Italy."

 Download Elena Grafova's complete paper here (English and Russian versions in one pdf document)

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Research - Clarence Bicknell in the Alpes Maritimes : landscape and botany

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) dans les Alpes Maritimes : Entre Paysage et Botanique

Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) in the Alpes Maritimes : The mountain landscape and extraordinary botany

By Raffaella Bruzzone, Robert Hearn, Pietro Piana

Download the paper in pdf here   (link missing at 30 September... please check later)

We are pleased to be able to publish here an interesting paper from three of Clarence Bicknell's admirers; Raffaella Bruzzone, Robert Hearn, Pietro Piana have all researched Clarence's role in Liguria and the maritime alps, they have visited and inspected the albums and original material in the Bicknell Family Collection in the UK and have become good friends of the Bicknell family.

"This paper is about the figure and the scientific and artistic production of Clarence Bicknell, a British amateur botanist and archaeologist who lived between the Ligurian riviera and the Maritime alps for most of his life. Thanks to his works concerning botany and landscape (held between Italy and the UK) we can investigate into the historical geography and the landscape history of the area.

"Keywords: Clarence Bicknell, geohistory, riviera, Maritime alps, botany, topographical art"

This paper was completed between 2017 and 2019 and is published in French. It was presented in an early form at the 12th October 2016 conference in Toulouse on Environmental Geo-history and Landscapes, a report of which, Géohistoire de l'Environnement et des Paysages by Philippe Valette and Jean-Michel Carozza is available at https://www.cnrseditions.fr/catalogue/geographie-territoires/geohistoire-de-l-environnement-et-des-paysages/
(Les préoccupations environnementales et paysagères se positionnent au cœur des questions sociétales actuelles. Focalisés sur les futurs possibles et la prospective, de nombreux travaux scientifiques sous-estiment l’enracinement de ces problématiques dans le temps long des dynamiques sociales et naturelles.)

Dr Raffaella Bruzzone is Research Associate in the School of Geography, University of Nottingham, UK. She has been Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nottingham University, now writing a thesis on the methodology of research in Liguria and the Merveilles, from the angle of an Earth Scientist. She graduated from Genoa University, Italy and wrote her PhD on Ligurian botanical history, Tiu ĉi retpoŝtadreso estas protektata kontraŭ spamrobotoj. Vi devas ebligi Ĝavaskripton por vidi ĝin.. Her full CV is at http://mpa.academia.edu/RaffaellaBruzzone/CurriculumVitae

Robert Hearn is a researcher and university lecturer specialising in Environmental History. Upon completion of his PhD, h held a two-year position as the Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at the Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy. Since August 2016, he has been an Assistant Professor in Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Nottingham, UK. Robert Hearn’s CV is at https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/geography/people/robert.hearn

Pietro Piana is Research Assistant at the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. He is currently working on a Leverhulme Project on British Amateur Topographical Art and Landscape in NW Italy, 1835-1915. He is co-author of Travelling in Italy during Turner’s Lifetime https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/ross-balzaretti-pietro-piana-and-charles-watkins-travelling-in-italy-during-turners-r1176438. Pietro Piana’s CV is at
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pietro_Piana

 

Copyright 2019 Raffaella Bruzzone, Robert Hearn, Pietro Piana

Research - Elhanan Bicknell's art collection

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

turner blue righiHaving completed the six years' work culminating in the Clarence Bicknell 2018 centenary I have turned my attention to his father. Elhanan Bicknell's art collection is the stuff of legend and huge value ... Clarence's one thirteenth share was enough to see him in funds for life.

I am assessing each item of Elhanan's collection, like Turner's Blue Righi, right, and those bought after his death by his son Henry Sanford Bicknell, to find out where they are now and whether they have played any part in our artistic and cultural history. I have two copies each of the catalogues of the 1863 and 1881 sales, each marked up with the sale price and other notes.If you have a copy of either, or other useful documentation and letters, please do let me know at Tiu ĉi retpoŝtadreso estas protektata kontraŭ spamrobotoj. Vi devas ebligi Ĝavaskripton por vidi ĝin. if you would like to contribute copies for my research.

I start from a brilliant summary of Elhanan Bicknell and the great artist he sponsored, J.W.T.Turner by Peter Bicknell my uncle in 1987. The article is in Turner Studies from the Tate Gallery, Vol.7 No.1. Copies can be had on eBay and Amazon from time to time, but if you would like to read it please click on the link below.

Turner Studies 1987

independent turner society

A preview of my work will be the subject of a presentation to the Independent Turner Society, chairman Selby Whittingham, in November 2019 in London...

    • Two Turner Collectors, Friends of Ruskin
    • Saint Cuthbert's Church, Philbeach Gardens, Earls Court, London SW5 9EB
    • Wed, 20 November 2019 at 18:30

Book Review - MARVELS in Huntia (Carnegie Mellon)

Skribita de Marcus Bicknell on .

marvels front cover smallWe were delighted that Charlotte Tancin, Librarian at the Hunt Institute in Pittsburgh, reviewed MARVELS and alerted us to its publication in their review Huntia.

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University, specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. To this end, the Institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications and other modes of information service. The Institute meets the reference needs of botanists, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

REVIEW

Lester, Valerie. Marvels: The Life of Clarence Bicknell, Botanist, Archaeologist, Artist. Leicester: Matador, 2018. ix, 245, [1] p., port., maps, ill. (mostly color). £25.00. ISBN 978-1-7890-1494-5 (hardback).

Here at Hunt Institute we primarily know of Clarence Bicknell (1842–1918) as a botanist who wrote about the flora around the Maritime Alps and the Italian Riviera coast and as a botanical artist. In this biography by Valerie Lester we have a fuller picture of him as also being an Anglican clergyman, archaeologist, Esperantist and a socially engaged British expatriate who lived for 40 years in Bordighera, a vacation spot and Italian home to a number of Britons and Europeans.

Botanically, Bicknell was an enthusiastic explorer, cataloger, classifier and artist. By 1884 he had made more than 1,000 watercolor drawings of local wildflowers from the Riviera and the Maritime Alps. His publications from this period include Flowering Plants and Ferns of the Riviera and Neighbouring Mountains (1885) and Flora of Bordighera and San Remo (1896). He was a highly skilled amateur in the best sense of that term. He became friends with Swiss botanist Emile Burnat (1828–1920) in the mid-1880s, and they corresponded for 31 years, also visiting each other and sharing knowledge and specimens, and “bonded in personality, interests, and collections” (p. 83). Bicknell contributed hundreds of specimens to Burnat’s herbarium — now at Geneva along with their correspondence — and many descriptions to Burnat’s Flore des Alpes Maritimes (1892–1931), co-written with John Briquet (1870–1931) and François Cavillier (1868–1953).

Bicknell discovered several new plant species, including two later named for him: Pimpinella bicknellii Briquet and Euphrasia bicknellii Wettstein. He also became friends with Florentine botanist Stefano Sommier (1848–1922), who was writing a book on the wildflowers of the Tuscan archipelago. He and Bicknell exchanged plant lists and specimens and remained in correspondence. Another connection was H. Stuart Thompson (1870–1940), whose Flowering Plants of the Riviera (1914) contains 112 Bicknell watercolors. Beyond these botanical friendships he had numerous others, maintaining a vigorous correspondence and plant exchange throughout his life.

His other scientific focus was ancient rock carvings. in 1881 Bicknell found petroglyphs in Vallée des Merveilles / Valle delle Meraviglie, and beginning in 1885 he located, copied and cataloged more than 10,000 stone carvings. He published several works on them, including Guide to the Prehistoric Rock Engravings of the Italian Maritime Alps (1913). He had a summer retreat built in Casterino from which to sojourn on botanizing and petroglyph-hunting trips. At a 1905 congress on archaeology in Monaco, Bicknell made another new friend, Émile Cartailhac (1845–1921), who was exploring for petroglyphs in caves. the two corresponded intensively and traveled together to Ariège and the Pyrenees to look for petroglyphs.

Beyond Bicknell’s scientific interests, this biography lays out his whole life story, giving greater context and a colorful view of a full life. He was an active part of the expatriate community in Bordighera and to some extent also of the local community. in the mid-1880s he commissioned a new building for his herbarium, library and paintings and for a community center, and the displays and events were open to all.

In 1887 and 1908 two catastrophic earthquakes hit this area of Italy. Bordighera escaped severe damage, but Bicknell aided others by taking provisions to villages by mulecart. His philanthropy included working with Father Giacomo Viale (1830–1912) to create St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged Poor in 1912 and working with the Red Cross during World War I, visiting the sick and turning his museum over to convalescing soldiers. Throughout his life in Italy, Bicknell was helped in his domestic, travel-related and research activities by Giacomo Pollini and his son Luigi, assistants who became dear friends, and several other loyal assistants.

Other interests also filled his life. Intrigued by the idea of a universal language as a possible key to world peace, from 1897 Bicknell developed an active interest in Esperanto and attended congresses including one in Boulogne in 1905. Also around that time, Bicknell explored making creative plant drawings in less portraitist and more Arts and Crafts-inspired styles, producing albums of brilliant and inventive artworks; seven of these are now at the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge.

Bicknell died suddenly on 17 July, 1918 while resting on a balcony in full view of the mountains he loved. Lester’s engaging tribute to him includes notes, bibliography and index.

— Charlotte Tancin, Librarian

You can look at the complete edition of Huntia at http://www.huntbotanical.org/publications/show.php?197

Here is the pdf of the book reviews in this edition: book reviews

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