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Seven New Thoughts About Stephen Howard Harrison That Will Turn Your World Upside Down

Stephen Howard Harrison is one of the most famous British painters. His amazing paintings have earned him an international following and he has received many awards for his fine art. He has created a distinct style in his paintings that has remained consistent throughout his career and has produced some of the most famous images of the 20th century. Following are some of the reviews from admirers of Howard's work:

“A Portrait” (1927) – This is a beautiful oil painting of a nude woman lying on her back with her legs raised, against a creamy background of greenery. The background has the appearance of an ocean stretched out before her. Her face appears very soft and dreamy. This painting is one of the earliest examples of Howard's unusual use of color in his oil paintings. “A Boy” (1926) – This is another oil painting of a boy, this time about seven years old. His smiling face is framed by a cluster of playful-looking flowers.

“The Little Match Girl (1925) – This is a large scale painting of a girl about the age of nine or ten. In the upper panel she is dressed in ragged rags and her hair is tousled. The lower panel shows her bare feet. The faces of her parents are recognizable as they are smiling, though the expression is not entirely clear.

“The Two Little Pigs (1919) – Another impressive work by Stephen Howard Harrison. This is a charming account of a happy marriage between a pig and a lady. The title refers to the two pigs who play together in this lovely piece.

“The Red and White Candles (1915) – One of Harrison's most famous oil paintings. In this work he depicts the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ on two different panels. In the lower panel we can see Mary's tenderness towards her Son, and in the upper panel we can see the radiant face of Jesus. The painting is full of sweetness and love.

“Shawmow the Shower of Orchids (1930) – This is another oil painting that displays Shawmow the shambling orchid in his arms. Though he seems to have little regard for these delicate flowers, he has clearly given himself the task of caring for them. The orchids are highlighted in the bright colors of their petals, which are of a lighter shade than the deep green of their stalks. The simplicity of the subject is remarkable.

“The Night a Sleeper Knocked on My Heart (1930) – This is a beautiful depiction of an early evening. It is from a house in the suburbs of Boston. The dark-skinned man in the lower panel is the apparition of a lost loved one. The woman in the upper panel is looking at a sunset. This dreamlike piece is full of emotion.

As a matter of fact, Harrison's paintings often had much deeper meanings. For instance, in the aforementioned “Shawmow the Shower of Orchids” we can read that there will be sorrow and woe at the end of the world, for the flowery world is about to expire and that hell awaits those who choose to remain. Another piece that depicts death is “The Dance of Reason (19 Thirty Seventh Avenue).” The angel looks on the grave while reason speaks to him from above, saying: “What have you done?”

Of course, he'll have to answer that one too – what have you done with your life? There's a sense here of unfinished business. In “The Dance of Reason” we are introduced to a character by the name of Paul Manes, who purchases a house overlooking the ocean. He reads a letter that his friend, inspector Ridgway, has written to another man – a millionaire who owns a chain of islands. Ridgway tells Manes that he has two daughters who have taken refuge at his island and that he wants to marry them.

The story takes place some months before the events chronicled in Manes' painting. Manes depicts the happy couple next to a roaring fire in their garden. In the background we can see the lighthouse on Oahu's famous North shore. Manes uses a powerful color combination to make the picture vibrantly colored and warm. In this piece he also includes a large sea scene – it is not possible to identify what the object of the sea is but it is almost certainly a whale or a ship. We may assume that it is the ocean itself.

Stephen Howard Harrison is a master at bringing things to life. With his paintings he brings the viewer into a strange and wonderful world – one in which everything seems to have happened just as they would imagine. This is true also of Manes. They are both able to bring out the hidden aspects of reality and human nature, making their paintings both incredibly real and extraordinarily beautiful.

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