Art History Articles

Verspronck was born in Haarlem around 1601-03, although his exact birth year is not known. He learned his painting skills from his father, Cornelis Engelsz., who was trained by Karel Van Mander and [Read More...]

Lace in Verspronck’s Portraits

Lace has long been associated with luxury and elegance, and it was a popular accessory in the fashion of the elite during the 16th and 17th centuries. In portraiture, lace was often used [Read More...]

Van Dyck’s Lace

The lace used to decorate Elizabethan ruffs is either an early lace called cutwork and/or the slightly later reticella lace. Cutwork is a decorative technique where small areas of fabric are cut out [Read More...]

Lace in William Larkin’s Jacobean Portraits

In the miniatures of Nicholas Hillard sitters wear similar lace ruffs to the one we can see in the Armada portrait, but then portrayed on a tiny scale. Hilliard painted the complex patterns [Read More...]

Hilliard and Lace Painting

One of the most iconic images of the Tudor age is the Armada Portrait. It portrays Queen Elizabeth I and commemorates the failed Spanish invasion of 1588. Three versions of this portrait are [Read More...]

Lace in the Armada Portrait

Did Rembrandt Paint Oopjen's Lace?IntroductionLace is one of the most beautiful, complex, refined, and expensive items depicted in many early seventeenth-century Dutch portraits. And yet it is often a little overlooked by art [Read More...]

Rembrandt’s Lace

What you Wear is Who you Are Dress in 16th and 17th century portraiture was loaded with meaning. Elizabeth I’ portraits, which functioned as one of the most important means of propaganda for [Read More...]

Dress in 17th-Century Portraiture

Nicholas Hilliard (1546/7 - 1618) was a famous Tudor artist, working for the royal court of Elizabeth I and, after her death, the court of James IV. He is particularly well known for [Read More...]

Hilliard’s Tudor Painting Tips

Despite its title, Vincenzo Cartari’s (1502? -1570s?)  Images of the Gods (Le imagini degli dei delli antichi, Venice, 1556) was initially published without illustrations. But that did not stop this wonderful book from becoming one of [Read More...]

Gods and Myths in Cartari’s 16th Century Imagini

The Anne Boleyn Canopy is a large lace cover held at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.  It is made up from various square lace pieces, sewn together to make one large cover.  It has [Read More...]

Lace History: The Boleyn Canopy

Museum websites are completely missing a trick. That's what I concluded after an afternoon of museum website browsing. I am writing this article during the Corona lock-down and wanting to experience the art [Read More...]

Best Museum Websites (in a Lock-Down)

 Jean Ettienne LiotardPortrait of Louise Jacquet (opera singer)Pastel, 59.8 x 45 cms, 23 1/2 x 17 3/4 in1748-52Private collection. Photo © Sotheby’s/Art Digital StudioThis lively and confronting portrait is by Swiss master pastel [Read More...]

Bitesize Blog: Liotard’s Opera Singer

Flower painting has been a strong favourite for artists and art lovers for centuries but they really became a subject in itself in the early 17th century. Dutch and Flemish artists took the [Read More...]

Best Flower Paintings

Albrecht DurerThe Large Piece of Turf1503Watercolour on Paper, 40.8 cm (16 ″); Width: 31.5 cm (12.4 ″)Albertina Museum in ViennaThis highly detailed small work was painted in watercolour in 1503 by Albrecht Durer [Read More...]

Bitesize Blog: The Large Piece of Turf

Until 6 May 2019 there are no less than 12 exhibitions of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings simultaneously all over the UK. The Royal Collection has a fantastic collection of drawings by Leonardo and [Read More...]

Leonardo’s Drawings

Black is one of the most difficult colours to get right in painting. Many artists prefer to use Ivory Black, others swear by Mars Black. For some the deepest black is conveyed by [Read More...]

Paint it Black

I’d like to continue with the article I started last week. It was written in 1718 by an anonymous author and dealt with the characteristics of painting and poetry. These two art forms [Read More...]

On Painting & Poetry (2)

The piece of writing below was sent to The Free-Thinker, an early 18th century journal (or magazine), by an anonymous author in 1718.  The author wanted to share a few thoughts on the [Read More...]

On Painting & Poetry (1)