Stanley Kennedy North: Medieval homages, c1920s

skn illumination colour adj 2

Stanley North, or Stanley Kennedy North (and sometimes, as below in the carol work, Kennedy North) as he became on his marriage to Helen Kennedy (his second wife), was a strikingly modern illustrator but almost as much a passionate medievalist – as we see in various images in the rest of this page.

The image below is a detail from SKN’s triptych for the Royal Academy of Music, which best described at the RAM’s online museum and best seen at the BBC/PCF site.

SKN's Royal Academy of Music tribute to Tobias Matthay, detail

SKN’s Royal Academy of Music tribute to Tobias Matthay, detail

Moving on to other rather similar Stanley North medievalist offerings, see below…

This seems to be one of SKN’s loveliest fancies. Attributed to him, and certainly strongly in the style we know to be his, it is a set of four panels (21 inch diameter, tempera and gesso on canvas laid down on panel, according to the Christie’s catalogue in which they were offered for sale as part of the Neil Wilson Collection, in tribute to the late gallery specialist, in September 2014.)

I have stuck to the titles given to the four pieces by Nicholas Bagshawe, who first brought them to my attention in 2010 and kindly gave me these photographic images. (Christie’s have them, in rather better timeline style, as The arrival of the suitor, Garden courtship, The bride, The wedding feast.) The Christie’s catalogue describes them, accurately I imagine, as in style of “Pre-Raphaelitism, Arts & Crafts, with an aestheticism inspired by the Book of Hours


And another…

Here is a typical SKN illustration in medievalist mode. It is from the Pears annual from 1925, as captured by Mikey Asworth at his Flikr feed. This seems to have been a collaboration with Cecil Sharp, as – I am presuming – was the folk dance work, also posted here.

SKN Pears 1925 carol crop

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Publication date

27 August 2014


On art