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The Life and Work of Charles Bell

Charles Davidson Bell - artist, land surveyor, designer of stamps, medals and silverware - was a man of many and varied talents. His contribution to the aesthetic social and commercial life of nineteenth-century Cape Town was enormous, yet for a hundred years after his death very little was known about him. The return of much of his oeuvre from England to Cape Town in 1978 has enabled historians and art historians to appreciate much of his work, and now this publication reveals even more to the world at large.

Meticulously researched text is complemented by some 130 of Bell's most appealing sketches and paintings, many of which show his quirky sense of humour. His sensitive depictions of the heterogeneous population of Cape Town and of the indigenous peoples he encountered on the expedition to the Tropic of Capricorn are a valuable record of life in nineteenth-century South Africa.

An in-depth appraisal of Bell's diverse creations by Professor Michael Godby completes this portrayal of a remarkable man.

Foreward Frank Bradlow
List of Illustrations
Chapter 1: The Immigrant
Chapter 2: Towards Capricorn
Chapter 3: Civil Servant
Chapter 4: Surveyor
Chapter 5: The Middle Years
Chapter 6: Diversity in Maturity
Chapter 7: A Man of Good Report
Chapter 8: A Multifarious Life
Chapter 9: Years of Responsibility
Chapter 10: Return to Scotland
The Art of Charles Bell: An Appraisal by Michael Godby
Significant dates in Charles Bell's Life
Selective Bibliography


Phillida Brooke Simons is a respected historical writer who eloquently shares her fascination for some of the people and events that have helped shape contemporary South Africa. Her research is meticulous and, during the course of it, she has many insights into the lives of her subjects, which add a new and very personal dimension to our knowledge of South Africa's history. Some of her publications include, Meerlust: 300 Years of Hospitality; Cape Dutch Houses and Other Old Favourites; and Groote Schuur: Great Granary to Stately Home.

176 pages, hardcover with dustjacket, 240 x 275 mm (landscape), 145 illustrations

ISBN: 978 1 874950 34 9

Price (excl. shipping):   R: 325.00  : 24.07  $: 40.63  : 29.55

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