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Rebecca Wright At Dennis Severs’ House

March 1, 2020
by the gentle author

Illustrator Rebecca Wright sent me her fine portfolio of drawings of Dennis Severs’ House which it is my pleasure to publish for the first time publicly today

The Smoking Room

“When I first saw Dennis Severs’ House on television a few years ago I immediately wanted to visit, it looked beautiful and eccentric. I am an illustrator and I was looking for a project. History, architecture and the curious have always interested me, so the house was a perfect fit.

Between jobs it has taken a year and a half to draw each of the main rooms, now I would like to draw the landings and staircases. I began with the front room on the ground floor and finished in the back cellar, and I found some rooms more complicated than others to draw.

The Ladies’ Drawing Room on the first floor took ages because of all the different fabrics and crockery. It has been a lovely experience, studying each room while practicing drawing and experimenting with lighting to get the atmosphere right. One of my favourites is the Smoking Room which has a lot of details like the bird cage and the knocked-over bottles, and the smoke drifting in the sunlight.

I placed Madge the cat is in each of my pictures because the house is her home and she is the presiding spirit.” – Rebecca Wright

The Kitchen

The Drawing Room

The Victorian Parlour decked for Christmas

The Ladies’ Room

The Blue Bedroom

The Regency Room

The Charles Dickens Room

The Paupers’ Attic

The Back Cellar

Illustrations copyright © Rebecca Wright

Dennis Severs House, 18 Folgate St, Norton Folgate, E1 6BX

You might also like to read

Dennis Severs Menagerie

Isabelle Barker’s Hat

Simon Pettet’s Tiles

Rodney Archer at Dennis Severs House

24 Responses leave one →
  1. Ron Wilkinson permalink
    March 1, 2020

    Nice place. Great illustrations. Looks as if it took many years to come together like that. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Elizabeth Pither permalink
    March 1, 2020

    What beautiful illustrations! Thank you for sharing them, and congratulations to Rebecca on creating such a wonderful project.

  3. March 1, 2020

    I am a Sever’s House fan from across the pond.These are BEAUTIFUL renderings. Please,G.A., keep us posted if she would decide to offer prints or even post cards .

  4. Jill Wilson permalink
    March 1, 2020

    Extraordinary work and fantastically atmospheric lighting – particularly the smoking room.
    The intricate detailing is amazing too.

    And I love Madge being in all the rooms (although she is hard to spot in the drawing room!)

    I’m looking forward to seeing the landings and stairs in due course.

    Will there be a book or prints at the end of the project? I’m sure they would sell very well, especially at the house.

  5. PennyP permalink
    March 1, 2020

    What fabulously detailed and atmospheric drawings. Thank you for showing them – I have got to visit the house!

  6. March 1, 2020

    Bring back the smoking room. I can think of few things better than sitting by the crackling fire, tabbing up and having another ladleful of the Smoking Bishop. Whilst yarning companionably.

  7. Sharon O'Connor permalink
    March 1, 2020

    What beautiful illustrations, Rebecca, thank you for sharing them! Please make them into postcards or prints.

  8. March 1, 2020

    This series is wonderful. (what’s that theatrical dictum: “Never work with animals or children”?
    I think Madge the cat almost took over these fantastic panels. I had to go through once to look for Madge, and then I settled down and spent a lot of time with each panel. ) Stating the obvious, these are very accomplished illustrations. But, more than that, they are a lasting record of this
    artist’s fascination and dedication to her subject. When a perfect match is made — artist and
    subject — magic happens. I’ve never had the great pleasure of visiting the Severs House – but this morning I experienced the “next best thing”.

    Thank you, GA. Thank you, Ms. Wright. Thank you, Madge.

  9. Pauline Taylor permalink
    March 1, 2020

    What a delight. I thought that this incredible skill of depicting a room with all its component parts had been lost but Rebecca has proved me wrong, these are wonderful and everything is there, the wall coverings, the floor coverings, the furniture and fabrics, the china, candlesticks and lamps, there is just so much and how lovely to include Madge in every room. But, most delightful of all, is the atmosphere that is captured and I can’t help but wonder if the Charles Dickens room has a provenance? Why does it have that particular name?
    Congratulations Rebecca and I shall look forward to stage two of your project and thank you to the gentle author for making us aware of these.

  10. March 1, 2020

    Greetings from Boston

    GA, I really enjoyed Rebecca Wright’s portfolio of drawings of the Dennis Severs’ House in Spitalfields. Truth be told, I appreciated them more than my experience of visiting the house which I found too dark, confusing, and overwhelming.

  11. paul loften permalink
    March 1, 2020

    What a joy to behold! Art takes many forms and you have displayed more than one form in the magnificent illustrations of Rebecca Wright and the intricate talents of Denis Severs in reconstructing an age gone by.
    This is art but we should not be under the illusion that this was a typical Spitalfields dwelling. Its beautiful work regardless. Thank you Gentle Author for bringing it to us.

  12. Pence permalink
    March 1, 2020

    Lovely pictures. I hope a collection will be published. Put me on the list to buy it!

  13. Shelley permalink
    March 1, 2020

    Absolutely stunning. Most beautiful and you have captured the rooms spectacularly

  14. sara midda permalink
    March 1, 2020

    Amazing .

  15. Carol Davies permalink
    March 1, 2020

    These paintings are absolutely exquisite. I would love to be able to walk into every scene. Beautifully done!

  16. March 1, 2020

    Hi everyone,
    thankyou so much for the compliments on my drawings. I’m quite a traditional artist, although started off as liking grungey moody art when I was 18. 30 years later the love of detail and beauty has taken centre stage.
    Sometimes it’s hard finding work that’s so detailed, but I found the best place for to look is graphic novels like the beautiful ‘Love’ series by Federico Bertolucci- The Lion, Tiger, and Fox.
    It would be great to turn these drawings into a book, I think that would be the next step, so stay tuned, I’ll be back with more drawings.

  17. March 2, 2020

    For those lucky enough to have visited the house when Dennis Severs was still presenting his half-play, half-documentary experience, this will be a special treat.
    The atmosphere he created was extraordinary, these drawings are equally so. They help to bring the memory back to life.

  18. March 2, 2020

    Rebecca, you are such a talent, I have always known it. You are so generous with your passion for creating engaging, sensory, fascinating spaces (and characters too … ).
    My dear friend, never stop

  19. Bernard Lamb permalink
    March 2, 2020

    How nice to see the “Pudding Cats” on the fire place in the Christmas scene. That is the name that they go by in my house. I have a set of these and they are displayed every year at Christmas. For anybody unaware of what became of Madge, her ashes are in an urn in one of the rooms.

  20. March 3, 2020

    Please make these into postcards – I would definitely order a few sets.

  21. Carolyn Hooper permalink
    March 4, 2020

    Thank-you, gentle author, for presenting Rebecca’s paintings. They were obviously painted with much love. Beautiful!

  22. March 4, 2020

    Oh, I have so many pictures of Mr. Severs house. These paintings are Gorgeous!! I’d love to spend the night there in that Lovely House!!!?????????

  23. RiaSunflower permalink
    March 5, 2020

    Beautiful, loved the colours and the illustrations evoked my memories of the house perfectly.

  24. Ann Chellone permalink
    March 18, 2020

    What beautiful pictures. I do hope you publish them in some way.

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