Benjamin Haydon's art

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:48 pm

I volunteer in a gallery and have included John Everett Millais' painting of Isabella and Lorenzo in my talk on PRB art ( In fact the PRB led me to a deeper liking for John's poems !). I was waiting for the visitors on the landing when I started looking at a painting and realised it is one of Benjamin Haydon's!- 'Christ Blessing the Little Children'. I was pleased to see it- hadn't noticed it before although it's been there ages!
I wanted to ask too which one is our dear John Keats in Christ's entry into Jerusalem?
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Saturn » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:36 pm

Well here is Haydon's original sketch of Keats:

Image

And I believe this is the face supposed to be Keats in the final work - above the bald man [Wordsworth?]:

Image

Feel free to correct me anyone.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Malia » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:41 pm

That sounds correct to me, Saturn :)
Haydon's sketch of Keats is my very favorite likeness of him. When I consider what Keats might have looked like, it is generally a mixture of the life mask, Brown's Sketch and Haydon's sketch--with the tilt toward Haydon ;)

When I visited the National Portrait Gallery in London, I walked through the "Romantics Hall" that contained likenesses of quite a few faces I recognized. On one wall was Mary Shelley, Byron (in his turban) and Shelley all in a row. Nearby was Blake and on a farther wall was a large likeness of Wordsworth and Mary Wollstonecraft. There was a painting of Hazlitt and B.R. Haydon; Keats and Coleridge were hung side by side. On the wall opposite Keats was John Claire.

The painting of Keats is that of him sitting and reading in Wentworth Place--the posthumous portrait painted by Severn. I had hoped to see the original miniature by Severn so in a way I was a bit disappointed that this was the picture they hung. They have a copy of both the "reading" painting and his miniature at Keats House. Very few originals at Keats House, I'm afraid.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:59 pm

Thanks Saturn.I looked at the drawing but couldn't see which of the figures could be him- maybe because the online print is so small!


That sounds correct to me, Saturn
Haydon's sketch of Keats is my very favorite likeness of him. When I consider what Keats might have looked like, it is generally a mixture of the life mask, Brown's Sketch and Haydon's sketch--with the tilt toward Haydon


Hi Malia! The life mask is supposed to be the best likeness of him. When I look at the portraits I think the Hilton ( my avatar) one most resembles the life mask.I think it'd be interesting if someone could copy the life mask with his eyes open, hair and in colour!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:43 pm

Yes, Saturn & Maila - the bald headed man in Haydon's painting is indeed Wordsworth (according to my books here). The man above him is Keats (with his intense looking). You can purchase the Life Mask of Keats (first made by Haydon in 1816) by a company here in the US. It costs about $75 US. It is almost spooky because of its 3-dimensional character. They make copies of a number of historic figures, if interested.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Malia » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:52 pm

I saw Keats's life mask on sale at the National Portrait Gallery. While I'm obviously a Keats-lover, I still haven't been able to bring myself to buy a life mask. For one thing, I don't know where in the world I'd put it. It's kind of a strange and different sort of decoration . . . great to peer at in a museum, but a little creepy to have in my house, I think. And if did get one, I'd end up sticking it in my closet; I have a crazy feeling it will come floating out in the middle of the night, hover over my bed and start philosophizing in a slight cockney accent. :lol:
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:40 pm

Too funny :D Yeah, I felt the same about getting it. What do i do with it?

A few years back, when I purchased it, my wife said, "Where are you going to put it?" So I left it in a box for about 3 years! Finally, my wife just put it up in my dining room on the wall. It's pretty heavy actually. Since I have framed quotes and poems on the walls, etc... it seemed fitting. She told me "Just don't kiss it!" It's not spooky anymore. I even forget it's there. No big deal. My dining room has slowly converted to a showcase for Keats. Oh well. Guests that come over for supper just smile and shake their heads. And wonder what is wrong with me. :D But I get to talk about Keats.
Last edited by BrokenLyre on Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Saturn » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:09 am

Ah your very own Keats shrine, excellent. You must consider him the Lares or Household God of your abode and make offerings of Claret :D

I would myself be a little unnerved having a life mask at home, as if I were robbing Keats of his psyche, by taking this imprint of an imprint of an impression of the living man, glazed and whitened and speechless and blind.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:40 pm

Malia wrote: And if did get one, I'd end up sticking it in my closet; I have a crazy feeling it will come floating out in the middle of the night, hover over my bed and start philosophizing in a slight cockney accent. :lol:


I'd be rather happy if it did that! :lol: 'Twould be an interesting evening!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:51 pm

She told me "Just don't kiss it!"


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


But My dining room has slowly converted to a showcase for Keats. Oh well. Guests that come over for supper just smile and shake their heads. And wonder what is wrong with me :D . But I get to talk about Keats.


I think your suppers sound marvellous Broken Lyre! I printed the poem Bright Star and his sig Junkets and framed them and put them on the wall ( in one frame). I also have framed the Hilton portrait and he sits on top of the gas fire, with a tealight in front of him in the evening. I'm waiting for my next vistor to ask who he is.... :D
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:54 pm

Ah your very own Keats shrine, excellent. You must consider him the Lares or Household God of your abode and make offerings of Claret :D


He is the god of Beauty! You're giving me ideas now Saturn lol..next Samhain..claret it is! :D


I would myself be a little unnerved having a life mask at home, as if I were robbing Keats of his psyche, by taking this imprint of an imprint of an impression of the living man, glazed and whitened and speechless and blind.


I follow you on that one too.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Cybele » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:08 pm

I can't believe I overlooked this thread! :lol:
Yes -- that's Keats's profile in the Haydon painting. I actually traveled all the way to Cincinnati to see it! (I certainly wish I had had the camera I have now so that I could have taken a better photo of it.) The painting is every bit as large as I had imagined it. It's hanging in a hallway/atrium at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary. http://www.mtsm.org/about/history.htm
The painting is displayed quite a bit above eye-level, which I think is how it was meant to be displayed. There's a nice write-up about it in a PDF brochure. (http://www.mtsm.org/about/The_Athenaeum_Atrium.pdf) published by the Athenaeum of Ohio.

I just finished reading "The Immortal Dinner," by Penelope Hughes-Hallett. I thought it a pretty good read. (I so enjoyed reading about that dinner party in Haydon's and Keats's writings that I positively rejoiced when I learned about the book.)

Has anyone else read it? Your thoughts on it, please?
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:04 pm

Thanks for the links. I haven't heard of the book you mention- please tell me more! It sounds interesting.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Cybele » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:00 am

Raphael wrote:Thanks for the links. I haven't heard of the book you mention- please tell me more! It sounds interesting.


I ordered the book from Amazon shortly after I heard about it. The author's Penelope Hughes-Hallett. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Immortal Dinner," altho' it's far from the best book I've ever read. There are chapters on Haydon, the painting, "Christ's Entry. . .", the guests at the dinner, etc.

I believe I enjoyed it as much as I did simply because I'm such a Keats nut (and traveled such a distance to see the painting). Others may feel that there's not enough information out there to make up a complete book on the dinner.
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Re: Benjamin Haydon's art

Postby Raphael » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:05 pm

It looks quite interesting- for some reason though I thought you meant a novel about it!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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