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on 8 April 2012
This catalogue is such a rarity, but a definite must-have for anyone seriously interested in English Baroque art and this sadly neglected artist. Produced to co-incide with the last Dobson exhibtion 30 years ago, it also contains a well-written and informative biography as well as a useful commentary on all of the paintings featured. My only quibble is the lack of colour reproduction of the three Dobson self-portraits; one appears as a feature on the back cover and the other two are in black and white. I'd much rather see his early self-portrait in colour rather than 'The Artist's Wife' which appears in both colour and black and white, as he is much prettier!!
I became interested in Dobson after seeing the ZCZ Films documentary 'The Lost Genius of British Art' and have subsequently used him as a subject for my Masters thesis. It's also worth checking out some of his paintings 'in the flesh', particularly those at the NPG and Tate and this catalogue will certainly help with background and technical detail.
Sadly there are currently no plans for any future Dobson exhibitions, even though 2011 was his four-hundreth anniversary. There is, however on [...] information about 'The Dobson Trail' which gives further information about the location of more of Dobson's work. It's a travesty this brilliant artist has been so forgotten, but he had both the fortune and misfortune to live when he did. Naturally overshadowed by the undoubted genius of Van Dyck, Dobson provides us with a record of many of the Cavaliers of Charles' court during the early years of the Civil War. He also lived a somewhat 'irregular life' - whatever that means. Few of the limited facts of Dobson's life can be ascertained (as I've been discovering) but this catalogue has certainly helped with some elements of my research. One indisputable fact is that an impoverished William Dobson was buried on 28th October 1646 in St Martin's in the Field. He was 35.
Well worth the investment.
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