Musings: The Concept of “Femininity” and the Rococo Style

With the rococo, given the social climate contemporary to that time in history, you cannot help but notice that the scenes and embellishments demonstrate the nuances of taste, decoration and aesthetic influenced and informed by women. It was the Earl of Shaftesbury who, in, 1713 denounced the Rococo style as “a revolting form exalting Sensation … Continue reading Musings: The Concept of “Femininity” and the Rococo Style

Displaying Porcelain in the 17th and 18th Centuries

The porcelain displays of William and Mary were prevalent on a lesser scale (in terms of grandeur, moving on from the baroque palace) in the Dutch interior of the 17th century where Chinese pieces were a desirable luxury and a popular commodity among the affluent [1]. Here, choice examples of an eclectic variety (vases, bowls, … Continue reading Displaying Porcelain in the 17th and 18th Centuries

‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Women in Medieval Art

Reinforcing the lockdown on women’s sexuality and the expectations surrounding her position is made explicit in their representation in late-medieval art through the frequent juxtaposition of those seen to be as vessels of virtue or vice. Popular divisions were made between good and evil, of life and death and between body and soul: where women … Continue reading ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Women in Medieval Art

Decoration in the 18th Century: A Companion to West Wycombe

1740-1800 Fig. 1: Louis Jean Deprez, The Herculaneum Gate at Pompeii, undated, black ink, grey wash and watercolour, National Museum, Stockholm. Outfitting a country house in the 18th century was as much a consideration of its function as with anything else, which, naturally, would reflect the tastes and pursuits of its owner along with their … Continue reading Decoration in the 18th Century: A Companion to West Wycombe

Napoleonic Patronage: Canova and the Bonapartes

Patron’s, either from the public or private spheres, commission the creation of works for a number of reasons: the work of art may be an assertion of status, commemorative or designed for civic purposes. The mentality? If you're going to invest a large sum, it ought to make a statement on a grand scale, especially, … Continue reading Napoleonic Patronage: Canova and the Bonapartes

Porcelain, Palaces and the Dutch Influence in 17th Century England

Royal incentive enabled trends to catch across Europe in the interests of fashion and Queen Mary II and King William III's arrival in England as co-regents swore in the Dutch decorative taste, fresh from their residences in the Netherlands. The King and Queen's collection of palaces followed the sequential pattern of those in France, decked … Continue reading Porcelain, Palaces and the Dutch Influence in 17th Century England

Light Reading: Afternoon Tea Week

Hooray Henry! Its Afternoon Tea Week. A decidedly English habit with its own ritual, Afternoon Tea truly puts the gentility into polite society. At any rate, tea, along with luxury commodities like sugar and porcelain was formerly the preserve of the well-heeled and for the curious modern reader, promises a chequered history of questionable morals. … Continue reading Light Reading: Afternoon Tea Week

Musings: Women, the Toilette and the Boudoir in Rococo Painting

Time for a little titillation: The Rococo's answer to pin-ups on cigarette cards, peep holes and voyeuristic fascination - let's step into the boudoir. Gentlemen getting hot under the dog collar at thoughts of 'walking in' on a lady in a state of undress, that glimpse of an ankle, a well turned calf, the cinching … Continue reading Musings: Women, the Toilette and the Boudoir in Rococo Painting