N05273 CATHERINE EARNSHAW AND HEATHCLIFF AT WUTHERING HEIGHTS c. 1910–11
Pen and ink, 22×29 1/2 (56×75); the head of the boy has been inserted on a separate piece of paper.
Purchased from the Redfern Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1941.
Exh: Redfern Gallery, May 1941 (50).
In 1899, shortly after her marriage and before settling in her present house, the artist rented for a few months an old sixteenth-century house Great Tomkins on Upminster Common and made a number of sketches of it. This house has since been modernized, but at the time it gave her the feeling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and she started her series of illustrations, using the sketches for the setting. This drawing probably dates from about 1910 and the girl is taken from the same model as N05131. A charcoal study for the composition is reproduced in Wilenski, 1924, pl.2. The artist first exhibited ‘Suggestions for illustrations to Wuthering Heights’ at the Friday Club, Alpine Club Gallery, in June 1910, but the drawings range over a long period, from about 1900 till after 1924. According to Wilenski, ‘They are not illustrations in the ordinary sense of the word, for they take small heed of the letter of the book. They are rather a pictorial equivalent of that terse and wind-swept drama; and the same is true of the later illustrations to the same book, which Mrs Clarke Hall has produced at varying intervals - for the artist has returned again and again to the strange atmosphere created by a kindred spirit’ (op. cit., p.10). For further illustrations to Wuthering Heights see N05131, N05418–24 and A01064-A01073. There is also an etching of this subject.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I