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…

What women really thought about “Grand Tourists” in the eighteenth century…

A Caprice Landscape with Ruins, in the style of Bernardo Bellotto, 1740-1800, oil on canvas (National Gallery, London, NG 135) When reading about the eighteenth century and the treasures that came into the country house, it might seem a little bit like only young men were travelling to the continent to undertake the rite of…

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…

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…

Tudor, Medieval, Art Deco: Old meets New at Eltham Palace

A friend once told me about a country house, just outside London, which was the childhood home of Henry VIII but had also been transformed into an Art Deco masterpiece in the early twentieth century. I found this really hard to visualise – it’s such a clash of different styles! Recently I was fortunate enough…