The Art of Melancholy – Heni Talk

Last November I had the great pleasure of recording a condensed lecture of mine for Heni Talks, focusing in on the history and cultural associations of melancholy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As part of the lecture I also performed two pieces of lute song, with Soprano Faith Waddell, which brought the theme to…… Continue reading The Art of Melancholy – Heni Talk

Gainsborough’s Cittern (?)

Image: Sourced from the Telegraph.co.uk website. It was announced in the press today that an extremely fine ‘Lost’ portrait by Thomas Gainsborough is going on public display for the first time in 131 years. Identified as the artists’s daughter Margaret Gainsborough, the picture is believed to have remained in the painter’s possession and was in…… Continue reading Gainsborough’s Cittern (?)

A set of Tapestries by Spiering of Delft.

Image: Detail of a tapestry by François Spiering of Delft, signed and dated 1604. Warwick Castle, Warwickshire. Writing to Robert Cecil in 1603, on an impending visit to his offices in Deptford, Sir Fulke Greville (1554-1628) wrote; “If the housewifery be not good, I will get a handsome wench, in hope the rather to invite…… Continue reading A set of Tapestries by Spiering of Delft.

The Battle of the Amazons – Simon Cognoulle

Image: The Battle of the Amazons, after Peter Paul Rubens, by Simon Cognoulle. Warwick Castle, Warwickshire. Easily missed within the neo-gothic chapel of Warwick Castle is a magnificent feat of woodcarving. On closer inspection, the tangle of limbs which stretch out from the framed panel draws us into the scene itself. It is perhaps of…… Continue reading The Battle of the Amazons – Simon Cognoulle

National Gallery Talk – Listen and Look

Image: Hendrick ter Brugghen, A man playing a lute, oil on canvas. National Gallery, London. On Wednesday 26th April I’ll be giving my first talk at the National Gallery, London, focusing on the Ter Brugghen’s A man playing a lute. The lute was used by painters to express various ideas, apart from the obvious allusions…… Continue reading National Gallery Talk – Listen and Look

New Blog – ‘Oranges and Lemons: Greville gardens & portraits’

Image: Francis or Robert Greville, Attributed to Gilbert Soest, oil on canvas, 50 x 40″. Warwick Castle. I’ve posted a new blog (in two parts) on Our Warwickshire, describing the exotic portraits and connections of the seventeenth century Grevilles of Warwick Castle. Click here to follow the link. Above: A detail of the African servant…… Continue reading New Blog – ‘Oranges and Lemons: Greville gardens & portraits’

A Prince reappears in Baltimore

  Photo: Attributed to Heindrick Gerritsz Pot (Dutch, c. 1585-1657) Portrait of a Gentleman, n.d. Oil on wood panel 7 x 5 1/4 in. (17.8 x 13.3 cm.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Mary Frick Jacobs Collection, BMA 1938.385 Studying art history is an endlessly thrilling affair. Whether snooping around a museum store, or…… Continue reading A Prince reappears in Baltimore