Little is known of Antinoös’s life, although it is known that he was born in Claudiopolis (present day Bolu, Turkey), in the Roman province of Bithynia et Pontus. He was probably introduced to Hadrian in 123, before being taken to Italy for a higher education. He had become the favourite of Hadrian by 128, when he was taken on a tour of the Roman Empire as part of Hadrian’s personal retinue. Antinoös accompanied Hadrian during his attendance of the annual Eleusinian Mysteries in Athens, and was with him when he killed the Marousian lion in Libya. In October 130, as they were part of a flotilla going along the Nile, Antinoös died amid mysterious circumstances. Various suggestions have been put forward for how he died, ranging from an accidental drowning to suicide.

Hadrian was devastated by the death of Antinoös, and possibly also experiencing remorse. In Egypt, the local priesthood immediately deified Antinoös by identifying him with Osiris due to the manner of his death. In keeping with Egyptian custom, Antinoös’s body was probably embalmed and mummified by priests, a lengthy process which might explain why Hadrian remained in Egypt until spring 131. While there, in October 130 Hadrian proclaimed Antinoös to be a deity and announced that a city should be built on the site of his death in commemoration of him, to be called Antinoöpolis. Hadrian’s decision to declare Antinoös a god and create a formal cult devoted to him was highly unusual, and he did so without the permission of the Senate. Hadrian also identified a star in the sky between the Eagle and the Zodiac to be Antinoös, and came to associate the rosy lotus that grew on the banks of the Nile as being the flower of Antinoös.

Following his death, Hadrian deified Antinoös and founded an organised cult devoted to his worship that spread throughout the Empire. Hadrian founded the city of Antinoöpolis close to Antinoös’s place of death, which became a cultic centre for the worship of Osiris-Antinoös. Hadrian also founded games in commemoration of Antinoös to take place in both Antinoöpolis and Athens, with Antinoös becoming a symbol of Hadrian’s dreams of pan-Hellenism. The worship of Antinoös proved to be one of the most enduring and popular of cults of deified humans in the Roman empire, and events continued to be founded in his honor long after Hadrian’s death.

During the Roman Empire, the city of Antinoöpolis was erected in AD 130 by the emperor Hadrian on the site of Hir-we as the cult centre of the deified Antinoüs. All previous buildings, including a necropolis, were razed and replaced, with the exception of the Temple of Ramses II.

Hadrian also had political motives for the creation of Antinoöpolis, which was to be the first Hellenic city in the Middle Nile region, thus serving as a bastion of Greek culture within the Egyptian area. To encourage Egyptians to integrate with this imported Greek culture, he permitted Greeks and Egyptians in the city to marry and allowed the main deity of Hir-we, Bes, to continue to be worshipped in Antinoöpolis alongside the new primary deity, Osiris-Antinoüs.

The London Electricity Board

In what must have been one of the last poster schemes to use fine artists, the London Electricity Board commissioned a series of paintings. Many of the artists rather than looking at the technical production of power, chose to show subjects of how London is illuminated. Sam Rabinovitch using his poster to show a boxing match. But it is a curious collection

Robin Darwin
Ruskin Spear
Donald Hamilton Fraser
Geoffrey Clarke
Sam Rabin

The Scientist

Here is more Great Bardfield paper paraphernalia, this time the New Scientist magazine covers by Chloë Cheese. There maybe more but so far I have only noticed three, but I think it’s a good example of a bold editor making the magazine look more colourful. I am guessing because they don’t have headlines all over the magazine cover, that it was also because most of their stock was sold from mail subscription – rather than newsagents, this would mean they can be bolder with their covers.

Chloë is the daughter of Bardfield artists Bernard Cheese and Sheila Robinson. She trained at Cambridge School of Art and the Royal College of Art 1973-76 under Walter Hoyle and Warwick Hutton. She works mainly as an illustrator and printmaker and it is amazing the places her work pops up in. In 1985 the British Council organised a Touring Exhibition entitled “British Illustrators from Caxton to Chlöe”.

The Christmas edition below has a full cover on the front and rear.

Peter Henry Emerson

Peter Henry Emerson – In the Barley Harvest, 1888

When photography became commercially available, it was almost as if painting was redundant. Why should artists try to paint real life if there was a machine that could depict it? As a reaction, this was when Impressionism came along, followed by fauvism, surrealism and vorticism, all movements about subverting reality. However there were some photographers who used the camera and the subject as if they were painting, and one is Peter Henry Emerson. He set up pastoral ideals and posed people in the same way a painter would. The photographs were printed as photogravure, a photograph etched on to a metal plate. With this technique Emerson’s pictures could have a flatter look to them when printed with grain.

Peter Henry Emerson – Cattle on the Marshes, 1886

Emerson was born on La Palma Estate, a sugar plantation near Encrucijada, Cuba belonging to his American father, Henry Ezekiel Emerson and British mother, Jane, née Harris Billing. He spent his early years in Cuba on his father’s estate. During the American Civil War he spent some time at Wilmington, Delaware, but moved to England in 1869, after the death of his father. He was schooled at Cranleigh School where he was a noted scholar and athlete. He subsequently attended King’s College London, before switching to Clare College, Cambridge in 1879 where he earned his medical degree in 1885.

Peter Henry Emerson – Poling the Marsh Hay, 1885

Peter Henry Emerson – Crusoe’s Island, 1887

Peter Henry Emerson – Coming Home From The Marshes, 1885

Peter Henry Emerson – Towing the Reed, 1885

Peter Henry Emerson – Ricking the Reed, 1885

Peter Henry Emerson – Haymaker with Rake, 1888

Peter Henry Emerson – Setting the Bow Net, 1885

Peter Henry Emerson – Confessions, 1887

Peter Henry Emerson – A Fisherman at Home, 1887

Peter Henry Emerson – At the Grindstone-A Suffolk Farmyard, 1888


Chapbooks were produced cheaply on just one sheet of paper, sold for a ha’penny each by travelling salesmen (‘Chapmen’) and would often be the only books a child would own. Back in the 1800s, these books would be filled with poems, fairy tales and puzzles, and were a child’s first indoctrination into the world of literature.

I find printed ephemera fascinating and chapbooks are fine examples of beautifully printed items. As the quote above suggests, originally the Chapbooks where printed on a large sheet and folded up and more like pamphlets. Starting with crude arrangements of woodcuts and children’s songs or poems, they changed to stories of the day and moral tales of heroism or devotion. As the movement of social pamphlets took off, they became booklets of political theories and reports on social conditions.

The publisher of the book I have is William Davison (1781–1858). Born in Alnwick, he was an pharmacist, then spotting a change in new technology, he became a printer, engraver/etcher, and a bookseller of his works as he became a publisher who also sold the typefaces he used.

I really like this example of colour printing

A Holiday in Happisburgh

Edward Montgomery O’Rorke Dickey

Edward Montgomery O’Rorke Dickey – The Building of the Tyne Bridge, 1928

Edward Montgomery O’Rorke Dickey, known mostly as Dickey, was born in Belfast on 1 July 1894. He was educated at Wellington College and Trinity College, Cambridge. He studied painting under Harold Gilman at the Westminster School of Art. He was art master at Oundle School and then became professor of fine art and director of King Edward VII School of Art, Armstrong College, Durham University from 1926 to 1931. He was then staff inspector of art from 1931 to 1957 for the Ministry of Education.

E.M.O’R. Dickey – Figures on a Train, 1925

Dickey comes in to a lot of research of the War Artists in the Second World War as he was working for the Ministry of Information on the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, first as a secretary from 1939-42, and then joined the committee after. He was one of the people the artists could liaise with.

E.M.O’R. Dickey – Budleigh Salterton from Jubilee Park, 1925

Dickey became the first curator of The Minories, Colchester in the 1950s, a post he held for five years. He painted extensively on the continent, and showed at the RA, NEAC. Both Bawden and Gross spoke with enthusiastic memories of him.

E.M.O’R. Dickey – Kentish Town Railway Station, 1919

E.M.O’R. Dickey – Monte Scalambra from San Vito Romano, 1923

E.M.O’R. Dickey – San Vito Romano, 1923

Flesh of His Flesh

This is a book of poems by Florence Elon and illustrated by Warwick Hutton in 1984, The Keepsake Press.

Florence Elon, A young poet of impressive range, who draws on continental European, Jewish and cosmopolitan roots, and whose sense of exile is pervasive.

My eyelids open from a thought of you
to your half-covered shape beside me, blurred
as rain slanting against our window now:
chilled slopes & hollows of your face surprise
my fingertips, that slide across
flesh puckering between
each forehead line; a white flash of the sky
lights up your eyes.
Our bodies, turning towards each other, close
like halves of a book. Taut mass of your thighs
& torso, that my own curves press into,
burns as you sway: warm being next to mine,
in this full touch, clay moulding against clay-
beside which, other acts
are partial, all thoughts, substitutes-
change dream to fact.

For sport, long summer days,
falling in love, we took
snapshots of graves
on the outskirts of Rome.
Caged in gold wire
a stage crowned the headstone:
two angels in mid-air
hovered on silver wings,
holding lit bulbs
round a Madonna figurine-
rose-lipped, pearl-robed-
smiling into our lens.
I spread the finished prints
on our tile floor
one late September afternoon.
They show, in blacks & whites:
Madonnas’ teeth
missing, bulbs burnt-out,
& round the stone-
boll-wisp, wing-bone.


Though not a typical post for me I think it is good to investigate an artist and a muse. The X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS book by signer Madonna and photographer Steven Klein is a curious meeting of minds.

The images use the typical surroundings of the traditional muse, a bed, a chez lounge and the stage of a performer, all without any frills and stripped back. The clothes are by a range of designers but the impressive red dress is by Christian Lacroix

This last video was a photo animation. It was 8 x 26 feet.

Norman Parkinson

Norman Parkinson was a celebrated British fashion and portrait photographer. Credited for inspiring important shifts in the trends of fashion photography, Parkinson left the more posed studio setting to take outdoor shots that were more dynamic and carefree than his contemporaries, adding inventive humorous elements in to his work.

Parkinson’s work regularly appeared in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, earning a reputation for finely produced images that combined elegance with British charm. “I like to make people look as good as they’d like to look, and with luck, a shade better,” he once quipped.

Born on April 21, 1913 in London, England, he began his photography career as an apprentice to Speaight and Sons court photographers in 1931. He would later take over as official court photography to the British monarchy following the death of predecessor, Cecil Beaton, in 1975. Parkinson would create many indelible portraits of the royal family, and was the recipient of the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He died on February 15, 1990 while on assignment in Singapore.

Norman Parkinson – Régine Debrise wearing a Balenciaga ball gown, 1950

Norman Parkinson – Wenda Parkinson (née Rogerson), 1947

Norman Parkinson – The daughters of William Bramwell Booth (Olive Emma Booth; Dora Booth; Catherine Bramwell-Booth), 1981

Norman Parkinson – Anne Chambers (Owena Anne Chambers (née Newton), 1949

Norman Parkinson – Margot Fonteyn; Sir Robert Murray Helpmann, 1951

Norman Parkinson – Kathleen Ferrier, 1952

Norman Parkinson – Edward Bawden with Walter Hoyle to his left and Sheila Robinson to his right, 1951

Norman Parkinson – (John) Christopher Heal, 1953

Norman Parkinson – Joan Cox with thirty-five school children, 1955

Norman Parkinson – Wenda Parkinson (née Rogerson), 1951

Norman Parkinson – Carmen Dell’Orefice, 1980

Norman Parkinson – Dame Barbara Hamilton Cartland, 1977

Norman Parkinson – Dame Margaret Rutherford as the Duchess; Paul Scofield as Prince Albert; Mary Ure as Amanda in ‘Time Remembered’, 1955

Norman Parkinson – The Young Look in the Theatre, 1953

Norman Parkinson – Charles Alexander Vaughan Paget, Earl of Uxbridge; Lady Henrietta Charlotte Eiluned Megarry (née Paget), 1953

Norman Parkinson – Virginia Ironside with three children