The Tree of Life: 17th century

  “This association with the Tree of Life in Revelations is reinforced by the curling grape vine wrapped around the trunk of the tree, which is symbolic of the Passion of Christ and the promise of eternal life.” TheMet     This unique image of a miraculous tree bearing multiple species of fruits and vegetables…

Thomas Francis Dicksee: Jessica (1867)

Thomas Francis Dicksee (1819-1895), Jessica, signed with monogram and dated 1867 (lower right), oil on canvas, framed as an oval, 14 x 12 in. (35.6 x 30.5 cm.), Source: Christie’s   Farewell, and if my fortune be not crossed, I have a father, you a daughter, lost. — Jessica, The Merchant of Venice   Who Is…

Isobel Lilian Gloag: Four Corners to my Bed…

  ‘Four corners to my bed Four angels round my head Matthew, Mark, Luke & John Bless the bed that I lie on’     What Does This Mean? James Greig explains this rhyme in his essay “Isobel Lilian Gloag and Her Work“,  published in The Magazine of Art, Volume 26 in 1902: ” [This]…

Sir Alfred Munnings: Portrait of Florence Munnings, at sunset (1912)

More Munnings One of the best British Impressionists and a strong supporter of en plein-air painting, Sir Alfred Munnings, “like the French Impressionist painters, … captures the salient qualities of form while conjuring the dramatic atmosphere of light, air, and colour.” Christie’s A Hint of Mystery: Florence Carter-Wood Portrait of Florence Munnings, at sunset (1912)…

Cap’s Blog: Greensleeves VII

Claudio Capriolo at Cap’s Blog writes,   “For me, the most beautiful song of all time is ‘Greensleeves’.”    In fact, he has written at least sixteen posts on themes related to this song. Today, I choose Greensleeves VII because this medley contains an astonishing mixture of styles featuring lute and baroque guitar by George…

Sir Alfred James Munnings: Idle Moments or The Boathouse (1906)

Munning’s Earliest Boating Theme According to Christie’s, Idle Moments; or The Boathouse (1906) “is the earliest boating theme, foreshadowing [Sir Alfred James Munning’s] series of ladies in canoes painted in the 1930’s and 40’s.”  The description continues: This scene is the boathouse at Mendham … The lady in the back reclines and contentedly settles in…

Sir Alfred Munnings: Langham Mill Pool

The Best of British Impressionism A strong supporter of en plein-air painting, Sir Alfred Munnings, “like the French Impressionist painters, … captures the salient qualities of form while conjuring the dramatic atmosphere of light, air, and colour.” Painted at a site only a few miles from his home, “Langham Mill Pool is an extraordinary example…

Marie Spartali Stillman: Beatrice (1895)

Marie Spartali Stillman’s Earthly Beatrice Loosely inspired by the writings of the early Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), this painting by Marie Spartali Stillman depicts Dante’s beloved Beatrice who appears in both the Vita Nuova and Purgatory. “While Dante’s Beatrice is described in terms of the divine, Stillman paints a more earthly beauty, lost in…

Marie Spartali Stillman and Mr. Shakespeare: Love Sonnets

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds By William Shakespeare     Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests…

James Jebusa Shannon: Jungle Tales (Contes de la Jungle) 1895

Reading Kipling’s Jungle Book? Shannon studied in London during the 1880s and remained there, enjoying success as a society portraitist and figure painter. (In 1922 he renounced his United States citizenship in order to accept a knighthood.) “Jungle Tales” portrays the artist’s wife reading to their daughter, Kitty, shown in profile, and another child. The…

John Gulich: A Violin Concerto (1898)

  Who Is John Gulich? John Percival Gülich (also Gulich) (26 December 1864 – 11 December 1898) was a British illustrator, engraver and artist. Details: Artist: John Gulich 1864–1898 Medium: Watercolour on paper Dimensions Support: 889 x 711 mm Collection: Tate Acquisition: Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1899 Image released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0…

Cabinet with personifications of the Five Senses, 17th Century

What Is Stumpwork? “Raised work, or stumpwork as it is sometimes called, developed in England during the early seventeenth century, and was characterized by its high relief. The technique was used to create pictures and to decorate objects such as storage boxes for jewelry and writing supplies, baskets, and mirror frames. This box is typical…