Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dickens Dream

My flat in London was just a few blocks away from the former home of Charles Dickens. I visited it one afternoon, as it is now a museum that celebrates the life and works of the late, great author. It was a pretty special place and I learned a lot about the man behind some of my favorite literary characters. There was one thing in particular that caught my eye over and above all of the personal letters, written drafts, family photographs and whatnot… it was an unfinished painting called “Dickens Dream”. The painting is huge in person, and even unfinished, the details are astounding-- this little picture doesn't do it justice.

Looking at this painting makes me feel happy and inspired, in spite of the fact that the story behind the painting itself is not a particularly happy one (I copied and pasted what the dickens house says about it below the picture).

Dickens house, now museum

Dicken's Dream

"Robert William Buss was hired by Dickens' publishers, Chapman and Hall, to provide two illustrations for Pickwick after the original illustrator, Robert Seymour, committed suicide. The publishers were disappointed with the illustrations provided by Buss and the job went to Hablot Browne. Buss, however, remained a lifelong admirer of Dickens and produced several painting celebrating the author's work. The watercolor, Dickens' Dream, showing the author surrounded by the characters he created, was done after Dickens death in 1870. Buss himself did not live to complete the painting." http://www.dickensmuseum.com/

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