Tag Archives: Matthew Rice

New Art Books: ‘Venice – A Sketchbook Guide’ (2022)

Matthew Rice is a long-time observer and illustrator of cities, buildings and all those who inhabit them, with an uncanny ability to express the energy of a place through a few lines of ink and splashes of paint.

For years, Venice has been a source of deep creative inspiration for him; and now, in Venice: A Sketchbook Guide, he captures the highlights of this most beguiling of Italian cities. Unsurprisingly, given his abiding passion for architecture, Matthew provides a wealth of information about the ‘stones’ of Venice, including an illustrated guide to the main building styles of the city – Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern – and exemplars of its balconies, bridges and campaniles.

Further sections explore the city’s sestieri – its six residential quarters – as well as its history, paintings, festivals, wildlife and, not least, its cicchetti and aperitivi. Following the same landscape format as Matthew’s real-life sketchbooks, Venice: A Sketchbook Guide will combine enchanting watercolour illustrations with an informed, personal and witty text, and promises to delight all visitors to Venice, armchair or actual.

Literary Illustrators: ‘The Houses Of Sherlock Holmes’ By Matthew Rice

Dartmoor’s Baskerville Hall is one of the most famous country houses in English fiction. The arrival at its doors of Dr Watson, in the company of Sir Henry Baskerville, is a vivid piece of cinematic direction, artfully combining the Gothic horror tale with the more modern taste for detective thrillers.

Passing a ruined black-granite lodge, Watson and Baskerville go through the gates that are ‘a maze of fantastic tracery in wrought iron’ before reaching an avenue where ‘old trees shot their branches in a sombre tunnel’. The hall is a ‘heavy block’, with a projecting porch, its façade ‘draped in ivy’ within which the odd window or heraldic display can be seen.

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