I’ve always had a soft spot for Charles II (1630-1680). I know he is often thought of as a lascivious, extravagant king, always short of money and having running battles with Parliament. I see him rather differently. Partly because, I confess, I find him a very attractive man; I know this shouldn’t affect a rational view of him 337 years on, but there we are.
- Charles II by John Michael at his coronation. He wears King Edward’s crown and holds the newly made orb and sceptre.
Continue reading Queen’s Gallery Charles II: Art and Power
I’m always delighted to be invited to a Bloggers’ Breakfast at the Queen’s Gallery; I know I’ll be in for a treat – and that’s not including the delicious coffee and croissants.
Oh! the croissants!
Their new exhibition, Portrait of the Artist, showcases 150 portraits from the Royal Collection, and the range is much wider than you’d expect. Not only are there the greats: Rubens, for example, but also humbler artists, like Paul Sandby, whom I’ve long admired; the photographer, Herbert Ponting – ditto; and the decidedly bizarre, like the French tragedienne Sarah Bernhardt’s large bronze inkwell in the form of herself as a harpy-like creature with bat’s wings, clawed feet clutching the inkwell, and with her own head.
In this post, I have chosen to look mainly at the more unexpected exhibits.
Inkwell of a harpy-like creature by Sarah Bernhardt Continue reading Queen’s Gallery: Portrait of the Artist
The Queen’s Gallery has two exhibitions on at the moment. The larger exhibition space is showing Scottish Artists 1750-1900: from Caledonia to the Continent which I also saw at the Bloggers’ Breakfast preview last week. All the pictures come from the Royal Collection and the exhibition’s subtitle is well chosen – Sir Walter Scott’s phrase ‘Caledonia stern and wild’ comes to mind. I’m concentrating on just four of the paintings which George IV, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought that show their love of Scotland.
Deborah Clarke talks about the exhibition
Continue reading Queen’s Gallery: For the Love of Scotland
On Friday, I had the great pleasure of being invited to the Bloggers’ Breakfast at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, to a preview of the new exhibition, Maria Merian’s Butterflies.
Continue reading Queen’s Gallery: Maria Merian’s spectacular butterflies