The Magazine

November, 1893, Page: 29

Image Dimensions: 2.7 x 8.2 cms

Page Dimensions: 30.7 x 24.5 cms


Title: Some words on originality

Date: 1893

Inscription: 1 page of text with 2 epigrams on p. 29, and a pen and ink tailpiece illustration, 2.7 x 8.2 cm, attached to p. 29, signed bottom right “L. R” [Lucy Raeburn]. Part of 3 pages of text.

Keywords: epigrams; tailpieces; originality; creativity

Material: Pen and ink

Commentary: Both the headpiece and essay are by Janet Aitken. The headpiece represents two identical chickens and three eggs, the central one highlighted. Perhaps this is intended to underline the author’s argument that there is no such thing as an original work or opinion but that originality consists in an ability to highlight a particular aspect of reality and to bring it to notice. This asks for courage, but it also requires an understanding and appreciation of tradition before it can be transcended. Aitken is here reflecting the opinions of Francis Newbery, Glasgow School of Art’s Head Master, who maintained the importance of the cultivation of the artist’s individuality against the background of a dialogue with artistic tradition. The two epigrams further underline the argument of the essay. The tailpiece is the only drawing by Lucy Raeburn in The Magazine.