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

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

In the Frame: Botticelli’s Primavera

Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510) paints Primavera in the second half of the 15th century, Florence - speculated to be the year 1482. Here, he works on a commission from his principal patrons, the Medici dynasty, having found favour with it’s burgeoning intelligentsia. Botticelli presents Primavera as a large-scale mythological painting playing on popular literary, … Continue reading In the Frame: Botticelli’s Primavera