Flemish primitives, Illuminated manuscripts, Illumination of legal documents, study days, Subjects for discussion, Symbols and emblems

Study Day – Hidden in Plain Sight. 7th December, 2019. West House, Pinner, London.

Some years ago my curiosity was piqued by an Indian ring-necked parakeet in an early 15th century Flemish altarpiece,  Detail of the Madonna and Canon van der Paele (1434): Jan van Eyck (c1390-1441): Groeninge Museum, Bruges and an Australian sulphur crested cockatoo in one of 1496 painted for the Dukes of Mantua in Italy.  This altarpiece was… Continue reading Study Day – Hidden in Plain Sight. 7th December, 2019. West House, Pinner, London.

Artists of Northern Europe, Flemish primitives, Portraiture, Royal Portraits, Subjects for discussion, Symbols and emblems

Solve the puzzle of this 16th century painting for a £5,000 reward!

Recently I was contacted by Susan Abernathy suggesting I might be able to help the owner of this painting who has owned the panel for the past thirty odd years and is still none the wiser as to who painted it, what it commemorates, who is portrayed and where it has been until it was… Continue reading Solve the puzzle of this 16th century painting for a £5,000 reward!

Guest Posts, Subjects for discussion

Guest Post: The Case of the ‘Mad Middie’ – August 1796.

I met Ian earlier this year when he presented a paper at the conference, Maritime Animals, held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich in April. That paper was a fascinating insight into how an 18th century midshipman in His Majesty's Navy supplemented their diet with rats. In this article Ian is looking at a particular… Continue reading Guest Post: The Case of the ‘Mad Middie’ – August 1796.

Modern Art, Subjects for discussion

What is Cubism, who invented it, when did they do it and why?

In simple terms, the who is easy – Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and George Braques (1882-1963) are credited with ‘inventing’ this style of art.  When? 1907 is the first year a work in this style is exhibited.  The why and what is cubism are questions that are not so easy to answer. The 19th century saw rapid… Continue reading What is Cubism, who invented it, when did they do it and why?

Artists of Northern Europe, Interviews, Royal Portraits, Subjects for discussion, Symbols and emblems

An Interview with Heather Darsie: Author of Anna Duchess of Cleves, The King’s Beloved Sister.

Mell.  Heather, welcome.  As an art historian, I am interested in the various portraits of Anna and the iconography used by the family.  I remember when we both attended the 500th anniversary celebratory conference of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and you disappeared for a morning. What were you doing while I was listening to the… Continue reading An Interview with Heather Darsie: Author of Anna Duchess of Cleves, The King’s Beloved Sister.

Subjects for discussion

Remembering personal responsibility when posting on social media

As an art historian part of my research is into the derivation and power of images. No matter how many articles are written, a single image can say much more than written words. This week saw the departure of two senior Facebook executives.   Evidently, their reason for leaving is ‘creative differences’ with FB’s founder, Mark Zukerberg.  I… Continue reading Remembering personal responsibility when posting on social media

Exhibitions, Illuminated manuscripts, portrait miniature, Portraiture, Subjects for discussion, Symbols and emblems

Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619) & Isaac Oliver (1565-1617): Painters to the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts

Nicholas Hilliard was England’s first English artist to become internationally famous. His self portrait (© Victoria & Albert Museum, London) is a mere 41mm in diameter (1.6 inches) and it is for these exquisitely delicate and miniature images of Elizabeth I and her court that he becomes famous. I fell in love with Hilliard’s miniatures… Continue reading Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619) & Isaac Oliver (1565-1617): Painters to the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts