Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale - Algunas ilustraciones del libro editado por la artista “The Book of Old English Songs and Ballads”.

The medieval hierarchy of rank largely subverted that of space, and this is just the hierarchy that Brickdale is depicting. To one accustomed to the language of such imagery, who would have no more trouble with the juxtaposition than distinguishing conventional narrative tricks, the two planes are distinct, though they may jostle and try the sensibilities of the modern eye. In this sense, (and perhaps Brickdale is indulging in the discretely perverse pleasure of testing the dos and don’ts of the art establishment) she anchors her pictorial values ever more firmly in an age far removed from contemporary taste, despite the refurbishing of the medieval (and the re-invention of Olde England) by Pugin and his followers. She demonstrates this facility to usurp the rules of academic spatial depiction in the wings of her imagery, never as a focus of her painting. The beautiful knight and child, done as an illustration for Old English Songs and Ballads, is the most striking demonstration of her easy disregard for convention. The landscape is so close as to appear almost as a painted backdrop, foreshortened and flattened as if by a telephoto lens, or a 14th-century painting. This willful bending of the “rules” is characteristic of Eleanor’s approach. Rather than compare the work of Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale to that of her male contemporaries, it would be far more just to admit to an individual with a strong personality and a deft hand who followed her own inclinations.