November, 1893, Page: 27
Image Dimensions: 4 x 13.7 cms
Page Dimensions: 30.7 x 24.5 cms
Title: Some words on originality
Inscription: 1 page of text with headpiece illustration, pen and ink on paper, 4x13.7 cm, attached to page 27, signed bottom right "J.M.A.". Part of 3 pages of text.
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.