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Author Topic: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly  (Read 2507 times)

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2020, 01:18:27 PM »
I was harsh in some ways yes. My harshness was not against the memory of Angus Mc Bride but against the fetish-like cult he produced in many.
I do have admiration for the scope of his work and his dedication to it. But sincerely try to find the scale issues that some of his works present in other artist's like Embleton, Sumner or Hook, just to mention a few Osprey contributors! you can't. This is professionalism. I'm sorry but this is a fact. And Ragbones, with due respect, an error of proportion is a fact, not an opinion. What is an opinion, and highly respectable, is the admiration for Mc Bride's work. I share it with you, not the least because I know how difficult it is to achieve one. We could talk also for instance of his great use of colours! Of the vividness of some of his scenes, despite a certain crispness that I maintain is a "marque de fabrique" of his style.
Philippe

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2020, 01:36:29 PM »
And I can be harsh with others too!
let's take just one example. There is not many militay painters I respect and admire more than the late Eugène leliepvre (Osprey books on Louis XV troops). We deal here with an official artist: Peintre des Armées (official painter of the french Military) whose art is exposed in french museums. THE french military painter if there was one after ww2.
Look at his work in Osprey 313: I think he may have been in a hurry for other more recognized works, or maybe he didn't consider it worth of effort, but this is bad, just sketches! I mean bad for such a great artist: I would like to sketch pictures like him in watercolor! But mediocre for him it is. And unprofessional.
That also is a fact.
Philippe

Offline abu iskander

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2020, 04:10:22 AM »
I'll say that I've painted my Republican Romans to match his illustrations, just for the sake of nostalgia, and because it looks good.



But, I've come across a fair bit of commentary such as this form time to time:

Quote
The obvious fault as such is the colour given to the Roman tunics - we know now that unbleached linen was the predominant cloth used (i.e. off-white). Even the idea or red for centurions is incorrect I believe; their greater pay allowed them to purchase tunics of better cloth and any colour (though red was lucky in Roman belief).

Whether this criticism of Connolly true or not, I don't really care... just throwing it out there for the general discussion.

How are/were the tunic colours wrong?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 04:11:53 AM by abu iskander »

Offline wmyers

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2020, 06:06:29 AM »
I love the art of both Connolly and McBride. 

Each is unique and each covering historical subjects of interest.

From all I’ve read there is no specific evidence for Roman tunics either red or white or linen or fluorescent orange.

However, there IS a period history that tells the tale of a group of Greeks who travel to Persia to do some sightseeing who are all wearing red tunics. It was written by a guy called Xenophon.

That was 370 BC and there were about 10000 of those red tunics.

If the Greeks can dig up that many at that time, why not the Romans?

I have to say your art is very nice.  I also especially like the colours on the rocks.

Offline Captain Harlock

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2020, 12:19:36 PM »
I have both, Warry's book in a french translation, Connolly's in the 1981 edition. Yes Peter Connolly may have been sometimes slightly out of the mainstream scholar interpretation of ancient sources (spartan unit organization was it?). Anyway, he was ALSO such a gifted artist! so much more than Angus Mc Bride who just didn't know how to draw a human body. And take his third century roman cataphractarius picture: he was way ahead of his time, the Phil Barker and WRG times, when this military dress was rejected as invention... until everybody discovered that this was the most probable dress of these soldiers at the time, the Dura Europos graffito being probably a Persian or Palmyrenian variant. Nobody did miniatures of this at the time, everybody following Barker, but now this is the other way round. Geat man Mr Connolly.
Philippe

Connolly was a fantastic illustrator, his books opened up a new world for me. But I will disagree with your comment about Mc Bride. He was also fanstastic, he just had his own style, he liked those bulky stumpy bodies, but there was nothing wrong about his anatomy and he was prolific as an artist. They both used gouache in a masterful way.

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2020, 01:21:29 PM »
Hi Captain
Once again I didn't want to offend anyone, that was just my opinion held for years in reserve due to overwhelming adulation. But I'm still stunned by some of his more personnal works. And also recognized elsewhere his mastery of colours. I totally respect your opinion. My words were harsh also because of my earlier experience in an art school were you learn modesty and exigence out of constant criticism from your teachers. I have shown exigence. Let's face modesty again: I would be very proud to have just a part of Angus Mc Brides's qualities.
Philippe

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2020, 02:01:57 PM »
As a matter of fact, and to show that I really feel modest regarding my own failings in comparison to Mr Mc Bride as an artist, here are a few of my works as an amateur. You'll see why I didn't try to become pro myself seriously. Stiff bodies, errors of proportion. That is if did it well here and you can see the pictures...
Philippe

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2020, 02:29:46 PM »
Philippe - sacre bleu! :)

I bought about all the Ospreys that Angus McBride ever illustrated.
I started with MAA 57, The Zulu War, which as an expatriate Scot resident in South Africa, he not only illustrated but also wrote. I won this as the school reading prize in 1976 when it had just been published  lol
I still have it. It's still brilliant. Has anyone ever painted better Zulus? I doubt it. Do they look like photos of actual Zulus of the period? Not a bit. But that's why it's art, not photography.

To me, his illustrations of fighting men from all eras and settings were simply incomparable. Someone once called him the Norman Rockwell of military history illustration, and I think that's right. Like Rockwell, his figures were not realistic - they were sumptuous caricatures. Like Rockwell, he had a very definite and distinctive style. All illustrators do. You can recognise a Graham Turner painting or a Gerry Embleton. Or a Peter Dennis for that matter. Angus McBride had a very definite style. Not only technically brilliant - effortlessly capturing the attitude of bodies, limbs, fingers and facial expressions - but much more importantly, unerringly nailing the distinctive flavour of whatever period and setting he turned his hand to. His every figure oozes perfect and evocative character.
Did he occasionally, in his many thousands of paintings, get his proportion or perspective slightly off? Almost certainly. Given the huge volume and speed of his output, it's inevitable not every painting was going to be completely 100% perfect. Do I care? Not even a bit. Because 99.9% of the time he was spot on. And at the end of the day, it's art, not photography. He's painting pictures not just to illustrate the detail of clothing, equipment, weapons etc, but to create and convey a powerful sense of mood, period and place. It's interpretative. It's impressionistic. There's no such thing as 'right'. He tended towards the chunky, because he was (by and large) illustrating men from earlier eras, where people were much shorter and much more muscular - particularly those trained in or accustomed to the use of weapons. If I look at his illustrations of more modern subjects, by and large, they are a lot less square-set.

Also, like all artists, the quality of his output varied depending on how much the subject matter interested him - and I suspect by how highly he rated the publication in which his colour plates were to feature.
I have a couple of hardback books by Tim Newark, ('Warlords of' this, that and the other) which frankly are not great books. But then I only bought them for the McBride colour plates. But it's noticeable that his paintings in these books are just not as good. They're much more sketchy than usual. Not executed with the same elan and intensity at all. He hardly even bothers with the usual delightful background detail which is part of what makes most of his painting so wonderfully effective and evocative. You get the impression the artist's heart was just not in these projects. Or maybe he was just being pushed to deliver in too short a timescale.
 
Angus McBride was also a highly decent man - kind and unbelievably generous with his time for such a busy artist. I wrote to him (via Osprey), 30+ years ago, asking his advice on techniques for painting in gouache when I was dabbling myself. Within a couple of weeks I received a long reply, handwritten in sepia ink, airmailed back from the great man in South Africa, offering lots of information and great enthusiasm and encouragement.

As others have said, I think he was probably single-handedly responsible for inspiring a huge number of wargamers and modellers or my generation and others. He is sadly missed by many admirers. So don't be too surprised or upset if people react to your (mild) criticism of his works :)

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2020, 02:45:58 PM »
Captain Blood
I am 100% ok with your opinion: the little mistakes were due to lack of time; his human qualities... everything.
And as for Norman Rockwell, well he is the Master of Masters for me.
Nice to write to you again, some years after our Sharp Practice comments...wasn't it?
Philippe

Offline has.been

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2020, 06:14:28 PM »
 here are a few of my works as an amateur.


I tried downloading, to have a shufti, but no luck.

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2020, 11:12:53 AM »
Second try.

Offline has.been

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2020, 09:50:18 PM »
It goes a bit further, but then wants me to download a new app to view it.
I didn't want to do that.

Offline Happy Wanderer

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2020, 10:30:17 PM »
@has.been.

Very nice. You have an excellent style - a bit more than an amateur I'd say ;-)

HW

Offline pallard

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Re: Greece and Rome at War - Peter Connolly
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2020, 01:26:34 PM »
You are very kind but no. I'm just an amateur with a little guifted hand. I compared it with would be pros and believe me: it showed. Now this is not to say that I could not have become one with much work. And I mean one much less popular thant Angus Mc Bride.The very unsecure life going with it was simply not my cup of tea and I now think that this was a good decision to stop the school early.
I became a french teacher and my pupils love littles explanation drawings.
Philippe