Two Princes by Herbert Blande Sparks

Oil on Canvas, signed by Initial (H. B. S.) at lower left. We’ve attributed this work to Herbert Blande Sparks.
Oil on Canvas

Sparks was one of the U.K.’s Victorian artists. He painted in oils and apparently had the habit of putting his paint brushes in his mouth …. this caused his early death by poisoning in 1916 at the age of 46. The painting is of the “Princes in the Tower,” Edward V of England (November 4, 1470 – 1483?) and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (17 August 1473 – 1483?), were the two young sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville who were declared illegitimate by Richard III’s Act of Parliament known as Titulus Regius. Their uncle, Richard III of England, placed them both in the Tower of London (then a royal residence as well as a prison) in 1483. There are reports of their early presence in the courtyards etc, but there are no records of them having been seen after the summer of 1483. Their fate remains unknown, and it is presumed that they either died or were killed there. More can be read about the story of Princes in the Tower from the Wikipedia. A similar painting is by Sir John Everett Millais and part of the Royal Holloway picture collection. This painting is testament to Sparks skill as a painter, although somewhat darker than his other works which more typically use Victorian women in light colors as subjects. A label on the back reads J. A. P. Daborn, 9 The Broadway, Mill Hill N. W. 7, etc.


About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage. When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city. With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s. The result will be a book with a video component. We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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