Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Beautiful and the Damned

The English Pleasure Garden was a phenomena which started in the 1600s and carried on through until Victorian times. One of the most well-known of the early Pleasure Gardens was Vauxhall Gardens.

Originally Vauxhall had something of a reputation for being a rendevous point for prostitutes and their clinets, until it was taken over by the 26 year old Jonathan Tyers in 1732. Legend has it that Tyers was in suicidal despair over the gardens before William Hogarth gave him the idea for a lavish reopening the gardens.

A place like Vauxhall was a place to see and be seen in. It also would have provided a kind of relief from the over-crowded London centre by giving its patrons a spacious, attractive area to eat, drink and socialise.

Part of the experience of spending an evening at Vauxhall would have been the trip by wherry across the Thames.

(illustration for page 3)

(unfinished panel)

This is probably one of the most sedate scenes I’ve done so far. The next part I’m working on has a court case and a hanging in it, which is proving difficult to do without it looking tasteless... Here are some sketches for it:

(Guess who?)

(On the wagon)

I'll upload some of them on completion. Someone I'm working for at the moment has expressed more interest in the sketches I do than the finished pictures, so I'll try to keep uploading some of these early drawings too.

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