Canal Art - Flowers Afloat

Flowers Afloat - Tony Lewery's classic work about Canal Art.

Stuck 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 basic 'pattern'.

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.


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