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…

Cabinets of Curiosity, Salons and the Era of Annual Exhibitions at Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

I’ve recently got back from a two-week whirlwind trip to Canada so I think my November and December posts are going to be full of some of my favourite places we visited: starting with my first, which was the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. We’d been in Montréal approximately half an hour when we arrived…

Titian and the Alabaster Room

Bacchus and Ariadne, by Titian. 1520-3, oil on canvas (National Gallery, London, NG35) I haven’t written a blog in a while and inspiration struck recently when I was flicking through some art books (even though I don’t technically do History of Art anymore, I can’t let it go!) and rediscovered my favourite painting, Bacchus and…

An Afternoon at the Frick Collection

Want to spend some time looking at art in a place that’s just as beautiful as the paintings, sculpture and decorative arts that are on display inside? Then the Frick Collection should definitely be on your list of places to visit! Held in a gilded age mansion on Fifth Avenue, it makes for a wonderful…

Belton House: A Celebration of Creative Women

2018 is a special year in British Women’s History: it marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, when, for the first time, some women were eligible to vote. This moment in history has provided the opportunity for many heritage sites and organisations to reflect on the stories of women and their achievements:…

Raphael and La Fornarina

Rome, from the Vatican. Raffaelle, Accompanied by La Fornarina, Preparing his Pictures for the Decoration of the Loggia by J. M. W. Turner, exhibited 1820, oil on canvas (Tate Britain, N00503) For the three hundredth anniversary of Raphael’s death, which occurred on Good Friday in 1520 (supposedly the artist's thirty-seventh birthday), J. M. W. Turner…

A Venetian Palazzo in Boston: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A museum created out of the pursuit of pleasure and left behind for public enjoyment and education. Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Museum in Boston is a really unique and wonderful place which arguably, almost a century since she died, Isabella still exerts a certain control over. When she left the museum behind, along with an endowment…

“C’est mon plaisir” – Isabella Stewart Gardner and her collection

Isabella Stewart Gardner by John Singer Sargent, 1888, oil on canvas (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum P30WI) Above the central portal to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is her motto: “C’est mon plaisir” (“it is my pleasure”) This sums up perfectly the collection housed at Fenway Court: a unique and beautiful museum created by a unique…