Brilliant Destiny: The Age of Augustus John Hardcover

ISBN: 9781848226579
Artist(s): Augustus John
Author(s): David Boyd Haycock
Format: hardback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 31 July 2023
Publisher: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd
Total Pages: 304
Illustrations: Profusely illustrated


Considered by John Singer Sargent to be the best British draughtsman since the Renaissance, Augustus John was the first of the British ‘Post-Impressionists’. Such was his importance that Wyndham Lewis called the ten years up to 1914 ‘the Augustan decade’. Virginia Woolf wrote in 1921 that ‘The age of Augustus John was dawning’. Handsome, unconventional and full of brilliant promise and Bohemian spirit, John was the man almost every young British art student wanted to emulate. This book reveals why, telling his extraordinary story from his birth in south Wales in 1878 through to the end of his youth in the closing stages of the First World War.

Interweaving his biography are the personalities who surrounded John, and the book looks at their influence on him, and his upon them. They include his fellow students at the Slade School of Art – his sister Gwen John and future wife Ida Nettleship, and his friends William Orpen, Ambrose McEvoy, Spencer Gore and Percy Wyndham Lewis – all of whom would become prominent artists in their own right.

This book is a long overdue, new interpretation of this singular figure, who was both at the heart of the British artistic milieu, and yet set apart from its movements and manifestos.


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