Bitesize Blog: Holbein

Click the image for XXL Hans Holbein the Younger A Lady with a Squirrel and Starling Oil on Panel, 56×38.8cm, 1526-8 This is one of Holbein’s most beautiful paintings and yet we do not know for certain who this serene…

Verspronck: Girl in Blue

To many viewers, his paintings might look alike. Portraits of men and women, often with dark brown backgrounds, wearing black clothing and a fabulous snow-white ruff or flat collar. There are a few exceptions of course, but the majority of…

Ten Ruffs

One of the most recognisable and iconic fashion statements of the 17th century surely is the cartwheel ruff. The fancier and bigger the better.  I love the sculptural and slightly crazy qualities of a ruff. Here are ten of them,…

The Velvet Top Twelve

Soft and lush, rich and deep colours; velvet is and always has been one of the most gorgeous and tactile fabrics around. It has been used for drapery, table covers and clothing for centuries and hence we can find it…

Bess of Hardwick Hall

I visited Hardwick Hall today, a spectacular Tudor mansion, commissioned and lived in by one of the most illustrious ladies of Tudor England: Bess of Hardwick. The House sits on top of a hill and oversees the land like it…

Painted Pals

I am indulging myself in going slightly dog mad these days.  Ever since our beloved English Springer Spaniel died last year at the age of 12 we have missed not only her but also the walks and the games. So…

A Master of Pastel

Image: Jean-Étienne Liotard: Marie-Anne Françoise Liotard with a Doll, circa 1775, pastel on parchment, 45x50cm. Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva. Although Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss, 1702 – 1789) is not very well-known (and I must admit I know very little about him) it…

Birds & Bees & Embroidery

  ​A Portrait by William Larkin? I recently came across this portrait at Bristol Museum (above left) and found it immediately interesting. Of course ever since my BP Travel Award project I have a slight soft spot for portrait artist William Larkin…