A portrait by Joan Carlile reappears

Image: A portrait of Catherine Lyttleton by Joan Carlile Instagram via. Pip Shergold @Shergoldco The business of attribution is a curious thing. At times, we can suggest in an instant that this picture must be by so-and-so. Yet, at other times, attributions to certain painters requires the slow burn of research and rumination. Whilst swiping…… Continue reading A portrait by Joan Carlile reappears

A curious portrait of Emma (?)

Image; A portrait, ‘catalogued’ as Emma Hamilton by George Romney (?), coming up for sale in February 2019 in a regional auction house. A rather intriguing picture is coming up for sale in a regional auction house in early February. The oil on canvas is catalogued (in full) as a painting by George Romney (1734-1802)…… Continue reading A curious portrait of Emma (?)

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

Charles’s Queen Gets the Chop

Image: Queen Henrietta Maria, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, formerly in the collection of Warwick Castle, currently Private collection, USA. (Photograph by Stephen Hand) In 2015 Merlin Entertainments sold a portrait of a Queen of England at public auction in London. Henrietta Maria (1609-1669), wife to King Charles I, was by all accounts not the most…… Continue reading Charles’s Queen Gets the Chop

Torn and Forlorn

Image: Francis Greville, 1st Earl of Warwick, after Gainsborough. Gouache on paper laid on canvas. Calke Abbey, National Trust. A few weeks ago I came across this rather disconcerting image on the National Trust’s Collections website. This damaged and torn image is a portrait of Francis Greville, 1st Earl of Warwick, (1719-1773). It is in…… Continue reading Torn and Forlorn

Private thoughts on a bust of Shakespeare

Image: Twitter – @MethShakespeare Portraits are powerful objects. They play an enormous role in helping visualise and shape our interpretation of figures from the past. Whilst driving through Stratford upon Avon last week I spotted many bright and glossy posters promoting a Shakespeare Anniversary event being held in the town. Whilst waiting in traffic lights,…… Continue reading Private thoughts on a bust of Shakespeare

A Stranger in Warsaw

Image: Portrait of a man by an Imitator of Van Dyck, oil on canvas, 76 x 65cm. National Museum, Warsaw. (164201) The National Museum in Poland has recently done a fantastic job of uploading their collection online. These exhaustive databases are the perfect way to explore the stores of a gallery or museum from literally…… Continue reading A Stranger in Warsaw