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: Boucher, Women and Ownership in Rococo Painting

The open display of the female body in the private arts becomes synonymous with questions of ownership. Boucher’s painting of the nude is intimately bound with the patron. In the 18th century, sensual scenes involving European mistresses serve to demonstrate what Cavendish identifies as a “contemporary vogue for erotic intrigue among the French nobility”. Jean … Continue reading Musings: Boucher, Women and Ownership in Rococo Painting

Tastes and Collecting: Augustus II & The Japanese Palace

Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland greatly patronised the decorative arts as a matter of kingly acquisitions and the cultural flourishing of Dresden. Here, his investment across various residences was in accord with the extravagance of Baroque court life and a symbol of power. Augustus the Strong's establishment of the exquisitely gilded Green … Continue reading Tastes and Collecting: Augustus II & The Japanese Palace

Tastes and Collecting: The Appetite for Chinese Porcelain in Britain (1)

The collection and display of Chinese porcelain, both in Britain and on the continent, acted as a social signifier of taste, status and sensibility - significantly figuring in interior decoration of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Greatly accumulated and emulated, porcellena, from the Italian was held in high esteem and revered as a … Continue reading Tastes and Collecting: The Appetite for Chinese Porcelain in Britain (1)