for a present, or just want to treat yourself?
The Countryman Autumn 1996 said "....
coloured details which prove enchantment for the eye. For those
who value the nation's folk-art tradition this is an essential
point of reference."
FLOWERS AFLOAT - Folk Artists of the Canals
The colour and verve of painted narrow boats -
swags of roses, romantic castles, and bold geometric design -
represent an extraordinary nineteenth-century flowering of
popular art. Passed down through generations of painters, it has
an enduring beauty and drama which remains fascinating and
captivating two centuries on. In Flowers Afloat, folk art
historian Tony Lewery explores the traditions and development of
this art, the men and women behind it, and the way of life which
led to its present form.
A fascinating visual record of a vanished
lifestyle is to be found in these pages. The eternal popularity
of roses and castles is a testament to the chord they strike in
the heart of post-industrial man, an achievement which lifts
them beyond the merely decorative to an artform worthy of its
place in history.
The origins of the art of roses and castles
lie firmly in the emerging industrial age; yet its strength and
continuity is due to the artisan system of master and
apprentice, the older painter passing down his years of skill
and experience to the younger man. From the Nursers of Braunston
to the Atkins of Polesworth, the story is often one of
generations of a family employed in the trade, each artist
developing his own distinct and distinctive versions of the
Fascinating period photographs show these men
at work, both on the boats and on land, and remaining examples
of their skill have been captured in beautiful colour
photography. Tony Lewery's vivid account of the painters' lives
and fortunes, together with a colourful explanation of the
various designs and motifs which dominate the paintwork,
complete this comprehensive and beautiful book.