Pre-Raphaelites, Dragons and a Cabinet of Curiosity: A Visit to Wallington

Wallington is a beautiful William and Mary period country house in the Northumberland countryside – the house as seen today, including the beautiful big clock tower you walk underneath as you enter the grounds, was largely remodelled by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, who had inherited the house from his party-loving and debt-ridden uncle, Sir William…

An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection

I realised a couple of weeks ago that, even though I’ve spent plenty of time visiting galleries and museums in London, that I’d never actually been to the Wallace Collection. I have been meaning to go for ages, and decided that, last weekend, I had a free morning in London and it was time to…

Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757)

A Muse, Rosalba Carriera, mid-1720s, pastel on laid blue paper (Getty Museum, 2003.17) Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program. On Monday 12th June 1741, Henrietta Fermor, Countess of Pomfret, was exploring Venice with her travel companions. She had been on a Grand Tour with her husband and two of her daughters since…

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing

2019 marks five hundred years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, and the Royal Collection are commemorating this with the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. I say “the” exhibition but actually, it consists of twelve simultaneous exhibitions in art galleries across the UK, containing 144 drawings from the Royal Collection. It’ll…

A Wander round Eighteenth-Century Rome with a Georgian Lady

Ever wondered what Rome was like in the eighteenth century, in the age of Grand Tourists, endless art shopping and constant archaeological excavation? Well here are the adventures of Henrietta Femor, the Countess of Pomfret, who took to the continent with her husband and two eldest daughters from 1738 to 1741. Henrietta detailed all of…

A Visit to the Pompidou: The Day I Fell in Love with Matisse

Last week I got to banish the January blues and Wednesday “hump day” in one fell swoop with a day trip to Paris with my sister. We got a nice and early Eurostar from London, ate croissants on the way there (to get us in the right mood of course!) and had a whirlwind day…