Thursday, 10 March 2016

pen & ink or maids of bond street

The always serendipitous Public Domain Review has an engrossing, re-vitalised gallery of the sketches of the now obscure artist William Thomas Horton.
A top contributor to The Savoy magazine, second only to Aubrey Beardsley whose style was inspirational, Horton was discovered and patronised by publisher Leonard Smithers, whose avant-garde cadre included the likes of Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Aleister Crowley and orientalist Richard Burton. Much of Horton’s forgotten work were illustrations for the swinging London occult and mystic scene of the early 1900s, and though one might detect something superficially derivative to cohort Beardsley in his drawings, there’s something haunting, distant and unsheltering-skies big about his subject matter that lures one down these dangerous paths of the secret and arcane. Be sure to visit Public Domain Review to see the whole exhibit and to peruse their extensive and surprising archives.