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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

miniature portrait of unknown lady

Miniature portraits: Jane Austen’s sentimental favourites

I mentioned yesterday the remarkable exhibition Miniatures from the Time of Marie Antoinette at the Philip Mould Gallery. Certainly Marie Antoinette and her brother Emperor Joseph II are represented there, but the vast majority of the sitters in the collection are unknown ladies and gentlemen. Why? Because, unlike grand portraits meant to be displayed in the […]

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Marie Antoinette naked miniature

Marie Antoinette naked?

Would this miniature represent the young Queen of France, only dressed in a sheer veil? This is the intriguing question begged by the superb exhibition of late 18th century miniatures at Philip Mould Gallery in London. The exhibition Miniatures from the Time of Marie Antoinette offers an exceptional opportunity to view the delicate treasures of Tansey Collection, kept […]

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Vinci The_Virgin_and_Child_with_St_Anne

The Virgin and Child, with St. Anne, by Leonardo Da Vinci

To celebrate Mother’s Day, a Leonardo, The Virgin and Child, with Saint Anne. So here we have two mothers: the Blessed Virgin, of course, and her own mother, Saint Anne. You may admire the masterpiece at Le Louvre. At Leonardo’s death, the painting (oil on wood) was purchased by his last and most devoted patron, […]

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Madame du Barry returns to Versailles

Or at least this beautiful portrait of her. The Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon purchased it at auction a few days ago for the equivalent of $140,000. The royal favorite is represented here at the age of 26 by Court painter François-Hubert Drouais. She is dressed as Flora, goddess of flowers. […]

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Jan Gossaert: Virgin and child

Happy Mother’s Day!

To celebrate the occasion, Virgin and Child, by Jan Gossaert, alias Jan Mabuse, or Jean de Maubeuge. It belongs to the collections of the Prado, in Madrid, but you can now admire it at The National Gallery of London, in the context of the magnificent exhibition dedicated to the painter. Gossaert stays away from traditional, static […]

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wedding Napoleon-Marie-Louise-wedding-by-Rouget

Empress Marie-Louise’s wedding gown

I discussed Queen Victoria’s in a prior post. Not that Victoria was the first bride to wear white, far from it, but she was a trend-setter in that regard. White fabrics, since the invention of chlorine bleach by Berthollet in the 1770s, had become affordable and consequently very popular with regular ladies, for both wedding […]

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Fields in Spring, by Claude Monet

Yes, springtime is here at long last. To present my best wishes for the season, I am posting one of Monsieur Monet’s many celebrations of the glories of nature. Now, if you will excuse me, I will go for a stroll in the park…

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Queen Victoria: Irish? Illegitimate?

The circumstances surrounding Victoria’s birth are hardly romantic: the beloved Princess Charlotte of Wales, who was to inherit the British throne, died in childbirth in 1817. Her father, the Prince Regent, later George IV, had no other legitimate offspring, and neither had his brothers. A rather unseemly race to the craddle ensued among the princes, […]

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Tres Riches Heures du duc_de_Berry_Janvier

The Duc de Berry’s New Year wishes (and mine too…)

I could think of no better way to convey my new year wishes than to post another of the extraordinary miniatures of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, the prayer book of this most worldly of medieval princes, Jean de France. Here we see the Duc himself, ever the bon vivant, receiving his […]

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Merry Christmas!

Dear friends and readers, All my best wishes of a spiritual, peaceful and joyful holiday. As for me, I will brave the snows of this unusually harsh winter (yes, Paris and its region are still blanketed in white) to join my family for the occasion. I wish to share with you this beautiful Nativity by […]

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