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Arnold Henry Savage Landor

A. Henry Savage LandorArnold Henry Savage Landor, born in Florence in 1865, was an English painter, explorer, writer and anthropologist. He spent his childhood in Florence where he was educated at the Liceo Dante and the Instituto Technico. He was an artistically precocious child and studied with Harry Jones Thaddeus, an Irish portrait painter. He became inspired with a passion for travel by the books of Samuel Baker, Jules Verne and the French Journal des Voyages. Before his sixteenth birthday, he went to Paris to study at the Julian studio directed by Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre, where his talent amazed his teachers. He visited Holland, Spain, Malta, Morocco and Egypt, and with his continuing passion for drawing and painting produced many works. When he came to England to visit his uncles and cousins, he found the effects of the grey and green of the countryside to be very different from the color tones he was accustomed to in Italy. In London he met Algernon Charles Swinburne, Theodore Watts and Lynn Linton who were associates of his grandfather.

A. Henry Savage LandorLandor went to America with only forty British pounds in his pocket, and there he painted portraits which included President Benjamin Harrison and Miss Lincoln, granddaughter of the former president Abraham Lincoln. He met the actress Lily Langtry in Chicago and painted the portraits of the American actress Cora Brown-Potter as 'Juliet', and the actor Harold Kyrle Bellew as 'Antonio'. With the money he had made in America, Landor then went to Vancouver where at age 27 in 1889, he embarked for Yokohama, Japan. When he got to Japan, he was filled with enthusiasm for all that was around him. In Nikkō, Kyoto, Hakone, Kamakura and other locations, he painted 24 large canvases and numerous smaller ones. While in Japan Landor painted several portraits of people at the Mikado's Court, among which was a life size portrait of the Countess Kuroda, second wife of the Prime Minister, one of the Countessa Saigo, daughter of the Prime Minister after Count Kuroda, and one of the baby daughter of the Countess Hijikata, daughter of the Emperor's Treasurer. While in Tokyo, Landor painted a half-size portrait of Sir Edwin Arnold, author of The Light of Asia and of many other books about India and Japan.

A. Henry Savage LandorDuring this visit to Japan he made a journey to the largely unexplored Island of Hokkaidō, where he got to know the customs of the indigenous Ainu. He made several paintings and subsequently wrote the book Alone with the Hairy Ainu in 1893. After leaving Japan he next went to Korea, where he painted portraits of Min San-ho, a nephew of the Korean queen, the Prince Min Yeong-hwan, Commander in Chief of the Korean army, and Min Yeong-chun, Prime Minister - whom Landor described as Korea's Bismarck. From this journey to Korea, aside from his vivid sketches, came another book called Corea, or Cho-Sen, the Land of the Morning Calm in 1895. From Korea he proceeded to China, visiting the Great Wall and then on to Peking, always sketching and making faithful notes of what he saw and of famous people he met in the most remote areas. At Hankow, for instance, he met Czar Nicholas II of Russia and Prince George of Greece. The Czar commissioned him to paint a huge canvas of the shipwreck of the Russian cruise ship the Crisorok, which Landor had originally sketched on the west coast of the island of Yezo. The canvas was then given by the Czar to the Naval Club of Vladivostok.

A. Henry Savage LandorIn Peking, Landor met Sir Robert Hart, 1st Baronet, an English writer who was proficient in Chinese. In 1891, he visited Australia, where he painted a portrait of the Prime Minister of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes and a portrait of the African explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. Upon his return to England, Queen Victoria invited him to Balmoral so that she could look at his drawings and hear of his journeys. While in London he became great friends with James McNeill Whistler and Joseph Pennell. Next in 1897 he set off traveling to explore Tibet where he was captured and suffered terrible adversities and tortures. Nevertheless, he discovered the sources of the Indus and the Brahmaputra rivers. Landor returned fearlessly to Tibet a second time and then to Nepal as well. From his journeys to Tibet and Nepal come his books In the Forbidden Land in 1898 and Tibet and Nepal in 1905.Returning to Europe, Landor gave an increasing number of popular lectures and went on to America to repeat them there. While in America, he heard of the Boxer Rebellion in China, and immediately left for Peking where he was the first to accompany General Linievitch in the triumphal entry parade of honour at the Forbidden City. From this journey came his book China and the Allies in 1901.

A. Henry Savage LandorIn that same year he journeyed to India from Russia, riding on horseback with cats Kerman and Zeris, whom he travelled with through Persia, and published his account of the journey in the book Across Coveted Lands in 1902. He next went to the Philippines where he met the future General Pershing and in returning to America, he succeeded in convincing Theodore Roosevelt that Pershing would be the man which America would need for its Army. Another book written in 1904 called The Gems of the East, describes this journey of discovery. Traveling again Landor dedicated himself to exploring Africa which was almost unknown at the time. In Abyssinia he painted the portrait of the Emperor Menelik II and in 1906 he published Across Wildest Africa and in 1911 and 1912 he again left for the Mato Grosso region in Central America. During his lectures upon his return to Europe he told stories of meeting boa constrictors, weeks spent almost dying of starvation, voyages in canoes on rapids leading to the Amazon River, and many other hair-raising adventures. In 1913, Landor published Across the Unknown South America.

A. Henry Savage LandorIn the first years of the twentieth century Landor was interested in making flying machines with bamboo and taffeta, but abandoned these inventions to take up traveling again. With the outbreak of the Great War he dedicated himself to inventions and designed tanks and airships between 1915 and 1918 on the Italian front. After so many years of adventures his health broke down, and he travelled less frequently. He was meanwhile an extremely popular figure, being a friend of the Kings of Italy and Belgium and of Pope Pius X. Other friends included General Luigi Cadorna, Prince Alexander Obrenovic of Serbia, Eleftherios Venizelos of Greece and Essad Pasha. In the theatre he knew Maude Adams and Sarah Bernhardt and painted a portrait of Sada Yacco, the Japanese actress. When his mother died in 1915 and his father in 1917, he was deeply affected and retired to his home in Florence, Italy where he died in 1924. His autobiography called Everywhere: The Memoirs of an Explorer published in 1924 is an account of a life lived extremely intensely as a witness to the history and customs of far away people of the last two decades of the nineteenth century and those of the first two decades of the twentieth century. Three exhibitions of his paintings have been displayed by the British Council. Once in the Palazzo del Drago at Rome, again at the Palazzo Antinori in Florence and another time in Naples at the British Consulate.

Free EBook downloads written by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Alone with the Hairy Ainu (1893)

Corea or Cho-sen (1895)

In the Forbidden Land (1898)

China and the Allies (1901)

Across Coveted Lands (1902)

The Gems of the East (1904)

Tibet and Nepal (1905)

Across Widest Africa (1907)

Across Unknown South America I (1913)

Across Unknown South America II (1913)


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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to starta new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats.. take a look

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