1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brangwyn, Frank
|←Branford||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 4
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BRANGWYN, FRANK (1867- ), English painter, was born at Bruges, and received his first instruction from his father, the owner of an establishment for church embroideries and kindred objects, who took a leading part in the Gothic revival under Pugin. When the family moved to England, Brangwyn attracted the attention of William Morris by a drawing on which he was engaged at South Kensington museum. He worked for some time in Morris's studio, and then travelled more than once to the East, whereby his sense of colour and the whole further development of his art became deeply influenced. Indeed, the impressions he then received, and his love of Oriental decorative art — tiles and carpets — exercised a greater influence on him than any early training or the works of any European master. His whole tendency is essentially decorative: a colour-sense of sumptuous richness is wedded to an equally strong sense of well-balanced, harmonious design. These qualities, together with a summary suppression of the details which tie a subject to time and place, give his compositions a nobly impressive and universal character, such as may be seen in his decorative panel “Modem Commerce” in the ambulatory of the Royal Exchange, London. Among other decorative schemes executed by him are those for “L'Art nouveau” in the rue de Provence, Paris; for the hall of the Skinners' Company, London; and for the British room at the Venice International Exhibition, 1905. The Luxembourg museum has his “Trade on the Beach”; the Venice municipal museum, the “St Simon Stylites”; the Stuttgart gallery, the “St John the Baptist”; the Munich Pinakothek, the “Assisi”; the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburg, his “Sweetmeat Seller”; the Prague gallery, his “Turkish Boatmen”; and the National Gallery of New South Wales, “The Scoffers.” Brangwyn embarked successfully in many fields of applied art, and made admirable designs for book decoration, stained glass, furniture, tapestry, metal-work and pottery. He devoted himself extensively to etching, and executed many plates of astonishing vigour and dramatic intensity. He was elected associate of the Royal Academy in 1904.