Juvenile Sketchbook of Animals;1869.
Date of Publication: 1869
Stock Code: 5256
Small landscape octavo, approx 5” x 7”. 16 unpaginated sketches, plus a further 8 inscribed pages (in an adult hand) and sketches loosely inserted in a slightly larger size. Stitched thin pale green card wraps with printed titles and decorative border in black to upper cover and “Joseph age 8 March 12th 1869” inscribed inside border. A sketchbook of animals (giraffes, zebra, horses, elephants, camels, gnu and a hare) drawn by the artist in childhood, mostly in pencil, with one watercolour inside rear cover. Ms inscription pasted to verso of upper cover: “I certify that this book of drawings is the work of my uncle Joseph Crawhall 1861-1913 John E Crawhall-Wood March 1968”. John Emerson Crawhall-Wood (1909-1981) was the son of Joseph Crawhall’s younger sister Beatrice (Bea), who married John Wood of Easingwold. Covers lightly scuffed and soiled; corner of inscribed label torn with loss, but signature and dates intact.
Joseph Crawhall III (1861-1913) was born at Morpeth, Northumberland, and trained at King's College, London, before going to Paris to work with Aime Nicolas Morot (French 1850-1913) in 1882. He came from a family of well-established Northumbrian artists and was the third generation to bear the same name; his relatives encouraged the young Joseph is his artistic endeavours and he grew into one of the most distinguished painters of animals and birds of his day. Joseph’s father taught him how to draw and made him work from memory, and he carefully preserved his son’s early drawing books, naming and dating each one. Young Joseph’s efforts were regarded as important and even before the age of ten he had shown great talent. One of his earliest known works “Lion Attacking Giraffe” dates from 1869, the same year as this sketchbook, which is very clearly related in both subject matter and style, redolent with movement and life. Crawhall’s biographer Adrian Bury describes the above drawing thus, “Most children can and do draw, but the difference between this work and average juvenilia is that it is inherent with the qualities of genius”. By 1873 his prep school art master said “ I can teach him nothing, he already knows more than I do”. During the 1880s and 1890s, Joseph Crawhall's work became associated with the Glasgow Boys, and he was strongly influenced by the Impressionists; many of Crawhall's works are now in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow. Bury, Joseph Crawhall The Man & The Artist, especially pp 38-43.