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James Maybrick It should really be called the Maybrick Dairy; where else would you expect to find a cash cow being milked?

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Old December 23rd, 2012, 01:28 PM   #1
Livia Trivia
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Default The Maybrick story in art?

"It is a melancholy fact that more nonsense can be talked about art
than about any other subject, and writers of treatises on painting,
from the great Leonardo downwards, have not been slow to avail
themselves of this privilege." ~ John Collier 1850-1934

It seems lately that it has become all the rage to accuse famous artists of
having some involvement in the JTR case. Here's a slightly different take
on these theories, entirely speculative, but may be of interest to some.

In the late Victorian to mid-Edwardian period, a particular genre
of painting became popular, called the problem picture. These
paintings were created with a deliberately ambiguous narrative
which allowed the viewer to speculate on the circumstances
depicted in the painting. One of the most prolific artists in this
genre was the Honourable John M Collier.

He was the son of the first Baron Monkswell, Robert Collier and brother
to the second Baron, Robert Porrett Collier (husband to Mary
Josephine (Hardcastle) Collier, Lady Monkswell, author of
"A Victorian Diarist 1873-1895" volume 1, edited by her son
Eric Collier and published in 1944). The first baron had a
brother, John Francis Collier of Liverpool, who was a county
magistrate for Lancashire for many years. His daughter, Maud
Elizabeth Collier married Douglas Quintin Steel in 1883, a solicitor
and later QC for the Supreme Court. From at least 1889
through 1897, the Steels lived at 6 Riversdale Road in
Aigburth. The Steels were first cousins to John M Collier,
and Lord and Lady Monkswell.

On the night of James Maybrick's death, May 11, 1889, Michael Maybrick
sent his brother Edwin next door to fetch D Q Steel to consult him in
regard to the various poisons found by the servants. Steel advised him
to wrap these items (the chocolate box that contained a packet marked
"Poison for Cats", a bottle of vanilla essence, a stained handkerchief
bearing Florence's initials, and several other items found in Florence's
trunk), put his seal on the package and lock it in the cellar until the
police arrived. Over the next three years, the Steel brothers (Douglas
Quintin and Allan Gibson Steel) and their firm, Layton, Steel & Springman,
would represent the Maybrick brothers during the inquest, Florence's trial,
at the probate of Maybrick's will and in litigation with the NY Mutual
Assurance Company in the suit brought over who could claim the money
due from Maybrick's life insurance.

For the first thirty years of his career, John Collier painted portraits,
landscapes, and allegorical scenes in the pre-Raphaelite manner, over
four hundred paintings over his lifetime. It was at about the turn of the
century he began to paint his problem pictures (a term he loathed) which
were exhibited every year at the Royal Academy drawing huge crowds and
which were the subject of much commentary both in the UK and the States.

Collier was a self described feminist, an agnostic, an advocate of
divorce law reform, and a staunch supporter of Charles Darwin's
theories of evolution.

He was the son in law of Dr Thomas Henry Huxley, friend of Darwin
who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog." He married Marian Huxley,
daughter of Thomas Henry, in 1879. Marian was also a talented
painter, but died a few years after the birth of their daughter
Joyce. Joyce later married into the Crawshay family, as did Matilda
Briggs' daughter Constance. After Marian's death, Collier married
his sister in law, Ethel Huxley in Norway in 1889, as it was illegal
to marry one's sister in law until 1907, when the law was
changed.

The Collier and Huxley family's connections in Victorian society were
varied and far reaching. Lady Mary's step mother's sister, Aunt Ena
Duckworth, had a sister in law, Mrs Herbert Duckworth (the former Julia
Prinsep Jackson), a widow, married Leslie Stephen, brother of Sir James
Fitzjames Stephen (the judge at Florence's trial) and father of
Vanessa (Stephen) Bell and Virginia (Stephen) Woolf of the Bloomsbury
set.

To return to the heart of the matter, John Collier's problem pictures,
what follows are reproductions of these paintings, which I believe
in a subtle, cleverly disguised way, might tell the story of the Maybricks.

Or is this bit of speculation just more dead dogs and doorknockers?
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 01:29 PM   #2
Livia Trivia
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"Trouble" painted c. 1897
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 01:31 PM   #3
Livia Trivia
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"The Garden of Armida" painted c. 1898

The garden of Armida is featured in Tasso's poem,
"Jerusalem Liberated".
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 01:32 PM   #4
Livia Trivia
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"A Confession" painted c. 1902
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 01:32 PM   #5
Livia Trivia
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"The Sinner" painted 1904





"Indeed indeed Repetance Oft I Swore" painted in 1906.

The title is a paraphrase from the Rubyiat of Omar Khayyam, quatrain 70.

There doesn't seem to be a color reproduction of this painting available online.

Last edited by Livia Trivia; December 23rd, 2012 at 02:18 PM. Reason: ommission
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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"The Fallen Idol" painted 1913
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 02:02 PM   #7
Howard Brown
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Liv:

Thanks for the thread....
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Old December 25th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #8
SirRobertAnderson
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Here is an extract from Lady Monkwell's Diary discussing Florence.

It would be difficult to argue that Collier was unaware of the Maybrick case, probably on a fairly detailed basis.

Douglas Quintin Steel lived at 6 Riversdale (the other half of the duplex) at the time of Maybrick's death. He's almost certainly the next door solicitor that Edwin fetched at midnight to advise the brothers after Maybrick's death on May 11th and they'd searched the house and found arsenic and other medications. They may have found something of an even more sinister nature but of course that is pure conjecture.

D.Q.'s firm Layton, Steel & Springman represented the Maybrick brothers at the inquest, at probate and during the prolonged law suit with Maybrick's NY insurers. (He took out two large life insurance policies not that long before his death.)




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Old October 4th, 2017, 04:17 PM   #9
SirRobertAnderson
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This is the thread I suggested at Liverpool that people read. The Steels were next door neighbors to the Maybricks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livia Trivia View Post
"It is a melancholy fact that more nonsense can be talked about art
than about any other subject, and writers of treatises on painting,
from the great Leonardo downwards, have not been slow to avail
themselves of this privilege." ~ John Collier 1850-1934

It seems lately that it has become all the rage to accuse famous artists of
having some involvement in the JTR case. Here's a slightly different take
on these theories, entirely speculative, but may be of interest to some.

In the late Victorian to mid-Edwardian period, a particular genre
of painting became popular, called the problem picture. These
paintings were created with a deliberately ambiguous narrative
which allowed the viewer to speculate on the circumstances
depicted in the painting. One of the most prolific artists in this
genre was the Honourable John M Collier.

He was the son of the first Baron Monkswell, Robert Collier and brother
to the second Baron, Robert Porrett Collier (husband to Mary
Josephine (Hardcastle) Collier, Lady Monkswell, author of
"A Victorian Diarist 1873-1895" volume 1, edited by her son
Eric Collier and published in 1944). The first baron had a
brother, John Francis Collier of Liverpool, who was a county
magistrate for Lancashire for many years. His daughter, Maud
Elizabeth Collier married Douglas Quintin Steel in 1883, a solicitor
and later QC for the Supreme Court. From at least 1889
through 1897, the Steels lived at 6 Riversdale Road in
Aigburth. The Steels were first cousins to John M Collier,
and Lord and Lady Monkswell.

On the night of James Maybrick's death, May 11, 1889, Michael Maybrick
sent his brother Edwin next door to fetch D Q Steel to consult him in
regard to the various poisons found by the servants. Steel advised him
to wrap these items (the chocolate box that contained a packet marked
"Poison for Cats", a bottle of vanilla essence, a stained handkerchief
bearing Florence's initials, and several other items found in Florence's
trunk), put his seal on the package and lock it in the cellar until the
police arrived. Over the next three years, the Steel brothers (Douglas
Quintin and Allan Gibson Steel) and their firm, Layton, Steel & Springman,
would represent the Maybrick brothers during the inquest, Florence's trial,
at the probate of Maybrick's will and in litigation with the NY Mutual
Assurance Company in the suit brought over who could claim the money
due from Maybrick's life insurance.

For the first thirty years of his career, John Collier painted portraits,
landscapes, and allegorical scenes in the pre-Raphaelite manner, over
four hundred paintings over his lifetime. It was at about the turn of the
century he began to paint his problem pictures (a term he loathed) which
were exhibited every year at the Royal Academy drawing huge crowds and
which were the subject of much commentary both in the UK and the States.

Collier was a self described feminist, an agnostic, an advocate of
divorce law reform, and a staunch supporter of Charles Darwin's
theories of evolution.

He was the son in law of Dr Thomas Henry Huxley, friend of Darwin
who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog." He married Marian Huxley,
daughter of Thomas Henry, in 1879. Marian was also a talented
painter, but died a few years after the birth of their daughter
Joyce. Joyce later married into the Crawshay family, as did Matilda
Briggs' daughter Constance. After Marian's death, Collier married
his sister in law, Ethel Huxley in Norway in 1889, as it was illegal
to marry one's sister in law until 1907, when the law was
changed.

The Collier and Huxley family's connections in Victorian society were
varied and far reaching. Lady Mary's step mother's sister, Aunt Ena
Duckworth, had a sister in law, Mrs Herbert Duckworth (the former Julia
Prinsep Jackson), a widow, married Leslie Stephen, brother of Sir James
Fitzjames Stephen (the judge at Florence's trial) and father of
Vanessa (Stephen) Bell and Virginia (Stephen) Woolf of the Bloomsbury
set.

To return to the heart of the matter, John Collier's problem pictures,
what follows are reproductions of these paintings, which I believe
in a subtle, cleverly disguised way, might tell the story of the Maybricks.

Or is this bit of speculation just more dead dogs and doorknockers?
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Old October 4th, 2017, 04:21 PM   #10
SirRobertAnderson
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This is Lady Monkswell writing, not DQ or Maud Steel. But I think it is reasonable to infer her opinion of Flo was colored by discussions with her cousin living right next door to the Maybricks.
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