elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
There was no love lost between the English and Napoleon. In the years between the Corsican’s rise to power and his exile at St Helena, the English mercilessly made fun of him in lots of satirical prints. Here are a few: A POLITICAL FAIR A crowded fair-ground, full of spectators, attractions, performers, placards, and flags.
Hunters in the Snow (Winter) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565 Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp, ca 1608 Megalith Grave near Vordingborg in Winter by Johan Christian Dahl, between 1824 and 1825 Travellers in a Snowdrift Print by William Turner, ca 1829 First Snow Along the Hudson River oil on canvas painting
Industry and Idleness was a common theme for many prints in the 18th century. The most famous example is Hogarth’s. His series features 12 plates, which were just engraved and never painted, each of which has a Biblical quotation relevant to the scene: THE FELLOW-‘PRENTICES AT THEIR LOOMS “The drunkard shall come to poverty, and
Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window by Johannes Vermeer, 1657 Woman Reading a Letter by Gabriël Metsu, mid-1660s An Elegantly Dressed Lady Seated at a Table, Reading a Letter by Pierre-Alexandre Wille, 1776 The Letter Print by Vittorio Reggianini The Letter by Vittorio Reggianini A Woman Reading A Letter by Francisco De Goya,
To say that King George IV and his consort, Caroline of Brunswick had never got on well would be an understatement. The two separated soon after their wedding, but never stopped trying to make life hell for each other. George, in particular, was keen on getting rid of his wife and tried several times to
Westminster Bridge, with the Lord Mayor’s Procession on the Thames, 1746 London: Westminster Abbey, with a Procession of Knights of the Bath, 1749 The Thames and the City, 1747 Greenwich Hospital from the north bank of the Thames, Canaletto, 1750 – 52 London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City St Paul’s Cathedral
In his book, Great Artists Vol.1, Jennie Ellis Keysor compares two famous paintings by Spanish painter Murillo: In Elizabeth of Hungary Tending the Sick, “we admire the composition of the work, but the subject rather repels than holds us. With the diadem of a queen upon her head, with the delicate hands of a gentlewoman,
Giovanni Boldini, The Summer Stroll Seymour Joseph Guy, Summer Issue Winslow Homer, Weaning the Calf Winslow Homer, The Veteran in a New Field Alfred Thompson Bricher, Summer Reverie Charles Courtney Curran, The Boulder Jerome Thompson, Noonday in Summer William Merritt Chase, Detail of Afternoon by the Seal at Gravesend Bay Winslow Homer, The Return of
Estelle M. Hurll thus describes this portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds: Henry VIII. had been dead some two hundred years before the Master Crewe of our picture was born, but English kings are not allowed to be forgotten. Successive generations of children were shown Holbein’s portraits of the bluff old ruler, and were taught something
The story of Cupid (or Eros) and Psyche has always been one of my favourites from mythology. It is romantic, but also so sad. According to legend, Psyche was so beautiful that people began to worship her instead of the goddess Venus (or Aphrodite). Furious, she ordered her son Eros to make her fall in