United Kingdom • 1845−1915

Biography and information

Crane, Walter (Crane, Walter), he 1845-1915 English painter, Illustrator and designer. Achieved early fame as a popular book Illustrator. Then became a successful interior decorator, created ceramics for Wedgwood (Wedgwood) and others. After meeting with the leaders of the movement Arts and crafts began in the 1870-ies to come up with patterns for Wallpaper, embroidery, textiles, carpets, mosaics and stained glass. Was a founding member of "the Guild of art workers" (Art Workers Guild), (1884) and led the office of the Society exhibition of Arts and crafts (Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society) (1888).

Died March 14, 1915, in Horseshoe the hospital.

Was born on 15 August 1845 in Liverpool, the family of a painter and miniaturist Thomas crane. When Walter was a child, the family moved to Devonshire, and in 1857 settled permanently in London. Crane studied with his father, and when in 1859 he died, was apprenticed to the engraver William James Linton, who, realizing high performance quality of work of the young men helped him to get the first orders. Party chartystskyy movement, Linton was introduced to crane's political and religious figure of John.R.Wise, whose radical views greatly influenced the Outlook of the artist and his fascination with socialist ideas. Wise first introduced crane's poetry Shelley, which, according to the artist, "made him a rebel", as well as with the writings of John Ruskin, in those years, an active ideologue of the movement, the pre-Raphaelites.

In 1862 crane debuted at the exhibition at the Royal Academy his picture of "lady of shallotte". He soon became one of the leaders of the group of young artists United by admiration for Burne-Jones and Simeon Solomon. Critics contemptuously dubbed them the "group of poets without school grammar", hinting at the immaturity of their style. Their work was regularly rejected juried exhibitions of the Royal Academy, and the young artists exhibited their paintings in the Gallery more liberal Dudley. During the 1870-ies crane also actively participated in the exhibitions of the Society of aquarellists, 1877, showed their work at the Grosvenor Gallery and later at the New Gallery.

In 1871, the artist married, and in the autumn of the same year, went on a honeymoon trip to Italy. On the way to Rome he visited Verona and Venice, examining paintings by Mantegna, Carpaccio and Bellini, as well as in Florence, where he came to admire the paintings of Botticelli "Spring" and "Birth of Venus", presented in the Uffizi, if not of the most honorable places. (He later expressed his admiration by writing his "Birth of Venus" is perhaps the most "Italian" of his paintings shown at the first exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery and bought by the painter George Frederick watts.) In Rome, crane began work on one of the most complex and symbolic of his work – "the Death of the Year" (1872). The painting is inspired by the eponymous poem by Shelley, written in 1821 and published posthumously. Perhaps the artist was familiar with her collection of Shelley, compiled and edited by William Michael Rossetti in 1870 as the first steps in the art interested in everything connected with the work of pre-Raphaelites. The painting depicts allegorical figures of the months, accompanying the hearse with the body of a dead year. At the head of the procession are two figures – the Time in the way the priest reads the prayer for the dead, and Love, the winged figure with a censer in his hand. "Death year" defined the artist's interest in the mystic symbolism which brings it searches with the work of Edward Burne-Jones, before the talent who crane admired.

In 1871, crane met Burne-Jones and William Morris. The latter also adhered to socialist views and for many years became a close friend of the artist, and his book "Art and socialism" has had on the Outlook of crane's enormous influence. Together with Morris, he took an active part in the movement for the revival of traditional arts and forgotten crafts and thus made a significant contribution to the development of decorative art. Crane performed the drawings for the Wallpaper, he made designs for tapestries, stained glass and ceramic tiles, was engaged in interior design. In the interior, he sought to achieve harmony with the whole, from basic lines of the ensemble to simple everyday objects, drawing on research in the field of line and color. In 1888 the artist was one of the organizers and the first President of the Society of arts and crafts, whose purpose it was to "turn artists into craftsmen and craftsmen into artists". The objectives of the society included the organization of exhibitions of works of applied art with a view to their popularization. Among the members of the society were also William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Heywood Sumner, Philip Webb, Edward Onslow Ford and other artists.

Crane was a very versatile artist and has succeeded in many areas of the arts, however, the most significant contribution he has made to the English book graphics. In the early 1860-ies the artist met with the publisher Edmund Evans, a pioneer of cheap color printing. Together they began the mass production of children's books on cheap paper, and therefore available even to people with low incomes. Refined decoration, excellent knowledge of child psychology and low price of products of tandem Evans-crane soon made the first rich, and the second is widely known. In the 1870-ies of the crane executed a series of children's books-books for the London publishers "George Routledge and sons", which further boosted his success and made one of the most popular artists of the book. Crane has completed more than 50 richly illustrated books for children. Graphic style, crane was a reflection of his interest in Renaissance art, which was manifested primarily in the recording of costumes and interiors. He also experienced a considerable influence of Japanese prints with its linearity and local color that, according to the artist, absolutely tailored to the child's perception.

The artist loved to travel. In 1880 he visited the United States, India, Italy, and Germany. In 1895 crane was elected an honorary member of the Munich Academy. For many years painter was the acting Director of Manchester School of arts; in 1897 – 1898 years he also briefly led the Royal College of art, however, the failure to combine service and creativity forced him to write this post. Walter crane was also a gifted literary man and a brilliant theorist of art. His aesthetic views he outlined in "the Tasks of decorative art" (1892), "Decorative book illustration" (1896), "Fundamentals of drawing" (1898), "Line and form" (1900) and others. In 1907 he published the book of memoirs of the artist.

In politics, crane leftist. Professing Marxism, the artist, however, rejected the idea of achieving socialism through revolution, believing that the change of public formations must occur through education and enlightenment of the working masses. He was a member of the Independent labour party, took an active part in the publication of party literature. Active life in an amazing way, combined with gentleness of character, the delicate, almost tender attitude towards the closest people, noted in his memoirs from many of his contemporaries.

In December 1914 at crane disaster has struck: his wife Mary, died under the wheels of a train. The artist was deeply shocked by the death of the woman, with whom he lived for 44 years. Not having experienced loss, he died three months later, on March 14, 1915, in Horseshoe the hospital.