Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Dead Parrot Post

A sad tale from the world of science - alas, poor Alex... Or is it sad? Isn't there something more than a little worrying about a parrot with such gifts? Who knows what Alex and his kind might be capable of? Or what they make of us? Though Alex seems to have been an amiable cove...


  1. he could have been mayor of London (possibly).

  2. Awwww. Nige, that's a sweet link. Poor old Alex.

    You and I both love animals and art. I just saw some great drawings at the Nat'l Gallery in Washington, D.C. I jotted down the name of two fine English sketchers; tell me if you know them, or know where more of their work might be:

    John Linnell (1792-1887) and
    Cornelius Varley (1781-1873)

  3. From what I hear on this side of the pond, Alex probably would have been the best of the lot, Ian.

    It was sad, though. I guess 7 was not his lucky number.

  4. Hello Susan! I don't know Cornelius V's work - more familar with his brother John, who was an associate of both Blake and Constable. John Linnell I have researched a bit, as he was the father-in-law of the unfortunate genius Samuel Palmer. Linnell, having also been in the Blake circle - in fact very close to Blake - soon set about turning himself into a classic Victorian paterfamilias and his art into a commercial production line. He put great pressure on his son-in-law to do likewise - which he did, reluctantly, as best he could, though genius kept breaking through. The Palmers and the Linnells lived in sad proximity in the Surrey hills, near Reigate. Mrs Palmer went mad and their favourite son died young.

  5. Oh! That's a sad story. The drawing of Linnell's that I saw was a most whimsical take on a farmhouse at Shoreham (wherever that is). The Varley was a magnificent pen & ink plus watercolor of someplace in Shropshire (well before A.E. Housman's odes to the place).

    Anyway, the exhibit -- several hundred years' worth of master drawings, loaned by an anonymous collector -- has fired up my urges to draw. And since I am temporarily (I hope temporarily) unemployed, I plan to indulge them!

  6. Shoreham isa village in the Darent valley in Kent - still extraordinarily beautiful - the setting, half real half dreamed, of all Palmer's greatest works. I'll keep my eyes open for Cornelius.
    I envy you the time to draw, Susan, if not the unemployment...