"With regard to the biographical details you ask for I presume I had better give you the date of my birth & the dates of the appearance of the principle works of mine," Crane writes in the earlier letter. He then proceeds to lay out a through timeline of his life and words, spanning several pages. "I had studied the early Italian Masters in our National Gallery," he continues, listing Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Bellini, and others. Crane, who was very influenced by the Elgin marbles, later mentions viewing Greek art in the British Museum.
The second letter takes up a far more intimate tone, beginning: "Mon cher Pica". He continues: "I feel much honoured by the request that I should paint my own portrait for the renowned collection at the Galerie Pitti in Florence, & shall be pleased to meet the wishes of Sign. Corrado Ricci...".
Crane, one of the most prolific children's books illustrators and creators of his day, appreciated the detailed sensibility of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and was also a diligent student of the renowned artist and critic John Ruskin.
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