Friday, 17 August 2007

Sir Muirhead Bone

Described as the 'British Piranesi', Muirhead Bone (1876 - 1953) was a scottish artist who specialised in etchings of buildings under construction. Although largely unknown today, in his time he was celebrated for his epic productions, and was Britain's first official war artist in 1916.

We heard about the etching above some time ago; it was seen at the Fine Art Society gallery, and although we could not afford to buy it, we were allowed to take a full-size print. it shows the construction of the Baldacchino in 1906. Note the Edwardian dress, the walls unadorned with marble, and the galleries incomplete.

Yesterday, our archivist Miriam came across a second, earlier, etching in the Architectural Review for 1902. It shows the incomplete Cathedral (it was opened in 1904). There is as yet no organ, or organ screen, and at the back on the right, smoke comes from the chimney of a small hut. A fascinating record of the construction of this great architectural space.

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