The dawn of the sixteenth century saw the portrait being used more widely for self-promotional purposes thanks to one man - Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). Albrecht Dürer sketched himself from the from the age of thirteen and as an adult, completing at least three individual self-portraits during his lifetime. The very first of these was a silverpoint… Continue reading Albrecht Dürer : The Master of self-promotion
The portrait of Elizabeth I known as the Armada Portrait was saved for the nation thanks to contributions from a generous public and a huge donation from the Art Fund. It has now been fully restored and hangs in The Queen’s House, Greenwich. It is one of three portraits that clearly derive from the same… Continue reading The Armada Portrait Reconsidered.
I have been interested in Sarah Bryson's work ever since I met her in September 2016. She has been researching Charles Brandon, Henry VIII's brother-in-law and Henry's sister, Mary Tudor for the past ten or so years. This February her book La Reine Blanche: Mary Tudor - her life in letters, was published by Amberley… Continue reading An Interview with Sarah Bryson
Two years ago history of art was removed as an 'A'-level option in the English education syllabus, so I was delighted to hear on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that free online courses will be available on YouTube. These have been created by a former curator of the Courtauld Institute (the number one institute… Continue reading “Art is the Conscience of a Nation”, or why the study of the history of art is important.
On International Women's Day I am asking you to consider the life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762), wife of the British Ambassador to Turkey 1716-18, medical pioneer, adventurer and prolific letter writer. After their time in Constantinople the Wortley Montagu's returned to England, but left England again in 1739, not returning until the 1760s.… Continue reading A Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in the NPG, London.
In the British Library we have a collection of illuminated manusripts that are as important to our national culture as the history of battles won and lost by kings long gone. Gifts by George II and George III form the core of the British Library known as the King’s Stack. George II gave 2000 volumes,… Continue reading Illuminated manuscripts fit for a King
Sarah Bryson has brought this less well known Tudor princess to life. Using the surviving letters of Mary Tudor we are drawn into the world of a Tudor princess who was initially used as a political pawn. The book begins with a description of Mary's childhood up to 1515 when she was married off to the… Continue reading Book Review: La Reine Blanche: Mary Tudor – Her Life in Letters by Sarah Bryson