152 – One and a half princesses…

Thomas Gainsborough, The Three Eldest Princesses: Charlotte, Princess Royal, Augusta and Elizabeth, 1783-84. The Royal Collection. This Monday, 14 March, I will be talking about Gainsborough’s ‘Blue Boy’ and the following week, I will be returning to the Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace which I didn’t get round to talking about the last time I tried… soContinue reading 152 – One and a half princesses…

141 – a rose, By any other…

Allan Ramsay, Margaret Lindsay of Evelick: The Artist’s Wife, 1758-60. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. Context is everything. You’re a very sophisticated lot, and I’m fairly sure that most of you will have completed the above quotation from Romeo and Juliet, that tale of star-crossed lovers. It comes from Act 2, scene 2: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,By any other name would smell as sweet. ThisContinue reading “141 – a rose, By any other…”

140 – A Blog about a Dog

William Hogarth, The Painter and his Pug, 1745. Tate Britain, London. I’m not much of a dog person, but I have developed a fondness for William Hogarth’s pet pug, not least because rejoiced in the name of Trump (no relation). This portrait – if that’s what it is – features in the exhibition Hogarth andContinue reading “140 – A Blog about a Dog”

136 – At Home with Uncle Gianni

Bernardo Bellotto, Venice: Upper Reaches of the Grand Canal facing Santa Croce, about 1738. National Gallery, London. This Monday, 20 September, I will be putting the National Gallery’s small but perfectly formed exhibition Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited into context with a lecture I have entitled Bellotto – The Journey to Dresden, so today IContinue reading “136 – At Home with Uncle Gianni”

Psyching myself up

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Psyche showing her Sisters her Gifts from Cupid, 1753, National Gallery, London. I was going to write a new post today, but it turns out I’m still in acting mode. After two weeks in Sidmouth playing three different roles in the four playlets that make up Neil Simon’s California Suite we have half a weekContinue reading “Psyching myself up”

129 – The Calm before the Storm

Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat, 1793. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels. One more painting from the 18th Century before I head back to the Baroque – my next series of lectures is called Caravaggio: A life in three paintings, and will start on Monday 24 May (at 2pm and 6pm, as before) withContinue reading “129 – The Calm before the Storm”

128 – Unfinished Business

Johann Zoffany, The Academicians of the Royal Academy, 1771-72. Royal Collection Trust. Two weeks ago I talked about Mary Moser, one of the two women who, in 1768, were founder members of the Royal Academy. Today I would like to talk about a portrait of her, which hangs next to another, which depicts her fellowContinue reading “128 – Unfinished Business”

127 – Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Self Portrait with Two Pupils, 1785. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A slight change of plan – rather than talking about a painting by a man this week, as I had planned to – even if it does impinge upon one of my Three Women in the 18th Century – I wantedContinue reading “127 – Adélaïde Labille-Guiard”