Emily Handasyde Buchanan

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

 

The Four Gardens Illustrated by Charles Robinson

I love Charles Robinson’s art; his chubby pen and ink children and wonderful watercolours. His style and amazing use of colour are instantly recognisable. For me, he could do no wrong.

I particularly love Robinson’s illustrations of flowers and gardens and when a very resonably priced copy of The Four Gardens by Emily ‘Handasyde’ Buchanan came up on Ebay, I grabbed it.

The November 1912 edition of The Spectator contains a very kind review of the book itself;

There is a wholesome fragrance about these garden sketches that is very pleasant. Each of the four has a character of its own, but each leads us naturally to the next, as do the colours in a well-planned garden.

They could almost be talking about the illustrations, I think.  I read on, expecting a glowing and flowery 1912 description of Robinsons art…

We have nothing but good to say of the little black-and-white illustrations, but the coloured ones are sad examples of their process. What could be less like the clear red of a strawberry for instance, than those in the picture opposite page 124?

“But they’re Charles Robinson strawberries!” I complain to the cat, who doesn’t seem to care.  I realise, with surprise, that even an illustrator from such an artistically talented family (father Thomas, brothers William and Thomas Jr.) had to satisfy the critics of the time.

This critic though, was clearly an idiot.

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

Here are those strawberries along with my favourite illustrations from the book.

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

The Rich Man’s Garden. ‘Large earthenware pots in which white madonna lilies grew were set all along the terrace at intervals.’

 

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

The Haunted Garden. ‘It was then she saw the ghost, a figure dressed in grey, bending over the flower-beds just below the haunted wall.’

 

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

The Sundial

 

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

The Old-Fashioned Garden. ‘Roses, after all, were the beginning and end of Lady Mary’s garden.’

 

Charles Robinson prints, posters, cards, notebooks, postcards and more.

The Rich Man’s Garden. ‘He was in mourning now, and nothing but purple flowers must henceforth grow in the garden.’

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