Artwork Title: The Blue Bath - Artist Name: John Armstrong
The model is the British actress Elsa Lanchester (1902-1966) who appeared in films such as the Bride of Frankenstein in 1935. Largely self-taught and untouched by any major art school or grouping of fellow artists, Armstrong's invention is only obliquely indebted to Vorticism or Cubism. His 1920s creations originate from very personal passions; the Classics, Italian masters, and architecture, made modern through the vitality of expression of performing arts such as ballet. The critic Anthony Bertram wrote in "The Studio" of his 1928 show: "Mr. Armstrong is triumphantly original. His work is so clearly marked off from that of every other painter as to justify us in hailing him a master, by which I mean to imply nothing more exaggerated than that he stands on his own feet, he creates a world as distinctly his as those of Watteau, Fra Angelico, or Giorgione were distinctly theirs, and like theirs, Mr. Armstrong's is a world of fantasy". Structures of parallel and intersecting planes progress in these early works from being architectural surrounds (The Blue Bath) to the entirely constructivist (The Bird).... Constructivism had barely touched British easel painting of the period and perhaps this, in combination with the dream-like visions, catalyzed the acclamation of Armstrong in London as a leading modernist. (
nude female
tempera on board

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