Fred Cecil Jones – the painter of the detail

Looking at the works presented on  the Tate web site I was attracted by a very simple and somewhat sad painting. A work of the British artist Fred Cecil Jones, which was painted in 1936.

Fred Cecil Jones (1891-1956) is a very humble and ordinary person who throughout his life remains focused on his art work.

He participated in the First World War when his talent was noticed, and he served as a military painter. During the war, he gained himself a little joking and a little nagging nickname – ‘Detail Jones’.

Then he came back from the war, got married (his wife was an artist, too), and painted a lot. He mostly painted cityscapes and landscapes of Northern England. This I managed to find for him in the laconic British art web pages.

A few things impressed me in his work.

Apparently talented graphics’ painter that uses innovative techniques of work, combining pencil, charcoal and water paints. He manages to truly achieve detail with a photo quality. Extremely attached to the objective reality, to the obvious. Very sparing colour use.

Besides his personal talent, one can feel his human softness. And an innate art intelligence that can be probably explained by the fact that his father and wife have been artists, too.

Look at this picture which name is perfectly found. Chimney stacks and winding ways. So simply and sadly.

The British are very modest in the presentation of their artists.

It is simply said in the Tate site that according to his widow (the exact year of what she has said is given) this is a view ‘from the top of the steps near a passage through the Kyber Pass (a tunnel through the hill side)’ and on the steps is their dog.

The city view is grey. The houses are poorly maintained, with broken windows and thin chimneys with rising smoke, slightly worn by the autumnal wind.

The most colourful detail in the picture is the water colour box of the painter.

Sometimes life paths could be thin and cold like a wind blowing over a grey city. Life could be simple and hopeless like a photo detail. The colours could be only in our heads.

I have also understood from his works two more simple things. The first is that there are artists who are not present in Wikipedia, but this does not diminish their value. How much life in Europe has been changed in less than a century. And together with that – our vision for the fine arts.