It is always a pleasure to look for illustrations for Mother’s Day. This year I hesitated between Rubens, with his portraits of his young wife, Helene Fourment, and their children, and Renoir. But it is this Boy blowing bubbles, by the Dutch painter Frans van Mieris, that caught my attention.
Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
When Jane Austen’s parents were married in 1764, the bride, Cassandra Leigh, wore a red riding habit to the ceremony. Cassandra was not being eccentric or making a fashion statement. Such dress was perfectly appropriate for a young woman from a genteel but not particularly wealthy family marrying a country parson
Yes, readers of Versailles and more get their May Day greetings from royalty… See how fortunate you are? The custom of exchanging sprigs of lily-of-the-valley, a French tradition, is also popular in England. See this lovely painting by Winterhalter. The baby in Victoria’s arms in Prince Arthur, her seventh child, and his mother’s indisputed favourite, more […]
As promised, Stephanie Cowell‘s guest post! —————————————————- The grave was overgrown, the headstone worn and tumbled when you used to walk through the graveyard of the old church of Vétheuil in search of Monet’s muse and first wife Camille. For a hundred and twenty years, the remains of the beautiful woman who died young had […]
Without Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s many portraits of Marie-Antoinette, our mental image of the Queen would be different, so iconic have these paintings become. All the more reason to look into the relationship between the two ladies. And what better way to do so than return to Madame Lebrun’s Memoirs? It was in the year 1779, she […]
There are so many striking images of the Passion of Christ that it is very difficult to choose. Last year I selected the Tenebrae from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. This year, I invite you to gaze at the Lamentation for Christ, by that master of the German Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer. Also, […]
What a gorgeous day it was for a visit to the Getty Center. Sunny skies, clear vistas of the Pacific to the West and the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains to the East. For the first time I took the guided tour of the extraordinary gardens, where the red, pink and white azalea maze was still […]
Madame d’Haussonville (she was not yet the Comtesse d’Haussonville when this portrait was painted, circa 1842) has returned home after a three-month stay in sunny California, at Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum. She awaits the pleasure of your company on Wednesday, March 3, at 6 in the evening for a free lecture at The Frick Collection.
It is snowing in Auvergen already, but the weather in and around Paris is still mild. So I will nevertheless post this Fragonard, L’hiver (Winter) from the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This is an early work (1755) and his manner is still very close to that of Boucher, though there […]
I won’t have time to do justice to this remarkable exhibition at the V&A, but wanted to mention it before it closes a few days hence. The visual splendor of the objects, paintings, jewels and textiles presented matches the historical interest of the show. It follows the course of India, from the decline of the […]