Dadaism & Surrealism: An Introduction

Dada (1916-1924) and Surrealism (1924-1966) stand as two movements from markedly different time periods and cultural contexts. Both of these span artistic, literary and intellectual activity of the early 20th century, involving circles of writers, poets and visual artists who feed into a larger group output. Dada launched in 1916 in Zurich as a direct … Continue reading Dadaism & Surrealism: An Introduction

The Victorian Country House: Morality, Domesticity & Organisation

Running a household in Victorian England had become a science – with tasks to be delegated and a system of categorised activity for those at every level of society. When Girouard writes of the eminent concern for ‘morality, domesticity, organisation and hospitality’[1] in the country house the emphasis is on the rigid upholding of standards … Continue reading The Victorian Country House: Morality, Domesticity & Organisation

The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

From 1570 – 1620 one can chart the ‘Elizabethan building boom’[1]. Here, we see an unprecedented rise in the building of ‘proud, ambitious heaps’[2] and the beginnings of the ‘architect’ as an entity in the cultural, economic and social landscape. Architectural historian Sir John Summerson credits ‘the most daring of all English buildings’[3] as the … Continue reading The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

The Impressionists – Introducing ‘Le Flâneur’

We've explored how painters like Renoir and Degas concerned themselves with capturing scenes of the capital by day and by night, an occupation which stemmed from Paris opening like a cultural flower in the mid-19th century - its new environs practically buzzing with diversions to catch the eye. The monolithic intentions of city planner Baron … Continue reading The Impressionists – Introducing ‘Le Flâneur’

The Impressionists – Capturing 19th Century Paris By Day and By Night

The work commissioned by Napoléon III formed the basis of modernity under an extensive series of ‘Second Empire reforms’ during the years 1853-18701. Chief Urban Planner, Baron Hausmann’s planned redevelopment of Paris (quite literally) opened the avenues expected of a modern metropolis: sprawling boulevards, public spaces and monuments invited polite society to engage in leisure … Continue reading The Impressionists – Capturing 19th Century Paris By Day and By Night

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

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