This thesis collates and provides new knowledge about the working practices and dissemination of materials and techniques of a leading Edwardian painter. Charles Sims RA (1873-1928) represents a neglected body of British artists who were responding to and assimilating certain new tendencies within early modernism yet at the same time were conscious and respectful of traditional practices and training methods. The study makes consistent reference to the extensive studio archive at Northumbria University whose existence has provided a unique opportunity to map Sims’ own informal working notes and observations, against the retrospective account Picture Making (1934) by his son, and instrumental and technical analyses performed on some works. The significance of this specific period in relation to the development of new materials and techniques, and the role instruction manuals and teaching played in developing Sims' stylistic and at times thematic approaches to practice are also discussed. Of particular interest are those which focus on drawing, watercolour and egg tempera techniques, media which perfectly suited Sims' temperament and arguably featured in and formed his best works. The thesis also aims to compare Sims' working practices with those of his better known contemporaries such as Augustus John, Philip Wilson Steer, William Orpen (all from the Slade) as well as members of the Tempera Revival movement. by crossreferencing reports held in national and international collections with hitherto unseen material. As a consequence the research will have a much wider application beyond the field of conservation, and will illuminate early 20th century artistic inheritance and intent.
|Publication status||In preparation - Sep 2011|