THE 2017 BADA FAIR

BADA 2017, Duke of York Square, King’s Road, London SW3, 15th — 21st March 2017

Joseph Walsh (b. 1979)
Lilium I – A Unique Sculptural Form
2014
Olive Ash
325 x 215 x 74 cm
Courtesy Peter Petrou © Peter Petrou

From the moment you arrive at the BADA Fair you know that you have come to a place which will inspire and tempt you to buy pieces for your home or collection – things which you can live with and enjoy and understand why you acquired them.

An Irish George III white statuary marble and brocatelle marble chimneypiece of Neo-classical design,
Attributed to George Hill and Arthur Darley.
Courtesy of Mallett

The noted firm of Mallett’s are exhibiting there for the first time and as always provide an interesting selection to choose from.

A lantern in parcel-gilt bronze in the Gothic style.
Courtesy of Mallett

It’s hard to believe that this is the twenty-fifth BADA Fair and one feature that has always drawn interest and appreciation is the Loan Exhibition and this year’s is no exception. Entitled Samuel Prout: A Grand Tour in Watercolour it celebrates the life and work of Samuel Prout (1783-1852) from his simple beginnings to achieving the status of being ‘Painter in Water-Colours in Ordinary’ to both King George IV and Queen Victoria. His highly detailed works revealed the cities and towns of Europe to his wealthy compatriots who were once again able to do a ‘Grand Tour’ following the defeat of Napoleon. One can quite understand why his views of Venice are so popular. The exhibition has some thirty works drawn from both private and public collections and has been organised by John Spink of John Spink Fine Watercolours.

Samuel Prout (1783–1852)
Ducal Palace, Venice
Circa 1828
Watercolour with scratching out
69.8 x 101.2 cm
Courtesy John Spink © John Spink

 

www.badafair.com

Battersea Spring

Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Spring, Battersea Evolution, London SW11, 9th – 12th March 2017

 

Peep Show II by Kevin Hendley. Oil on panel, 21 x 17cm. from Cameron Contemporary Art at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

Peep Show II by Kevin Hendley.
Oil on panel, 21 x 17cm.
from Cameron Contemporary Art at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

I am sure there is no need to tell you what a tempting mélange of artistic works in most disciplines awaits you at this Spring edition but I thought a gentle reminder may be welcome.

 

https://affordableartfair.com/fairs/battersea-spring

 

The Palais Rose recalled

Boni de Castellane & Anna Gould, La Mémoire Du Palais Rose, Christie’s Paris, 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris, 7th March 2017

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

This sale takes us back into the Belle Époque where Boniface de Castellane, known as Boni, was one of the more famous dandies of the time and regarded as a tastemaker.  In 1895 he married the American railway heiress Anna Gould and her substantial dowry allowed them the following year to start building the Grand Trianon inspired Palais Rose which was completed in 1902.  It became a major centre in Parisian social life where Kings, Queens and aristocracy were received. The house was sumptuously furnished with old master paintings and drawings, furniture and porcelain of the best quality.

LOT 19 NÉCESSAIRE DE BUREAU ART DÉCO « JARDIN JAPONAIS », PAR CARTIER Estimation : €1.000.000-1.500.000 AN ART DECO 'JARDIN JAPONAIS' DESK SET, BY CARTIER Mouvement no. 2968872 ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

LOT 19
NÉCESSAIRE DE BUREAU ART DÉCO « JARDIN JAPONAIS », PAR CARTIER
Estimation : €1.000.000-1.500.000
AN ART DECO ‘JARDIN JAPONAIS’ DESK SET, BY CARTIER
Mouvement no. 2968872
©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

However this idyll was not long-lived for in early 1906 Anna filed for divorce with Boni’s extravagances and expenditure being a major cause. Some of their collections were disposed of after the divorce and more after Anna’s death in 1961.  Anna however did leave a mixture of wonderful things to her grand-daughter Diane de Castellane and she lived surrounded by these elegant pieces, including the group of Boulle furniture which so evocatively recalls the interiors, sadly not photographed for posterity, with the exception of the staircase and a fireplace of the Palais Rose.  The building was demolished in 1969 but its large Salon des Arts decorated with marble carvings celebrating the arts by Jean-Paul Aubé are remembered in the four tinted plaster preparatory studies which hung in the dining room of Diane de Castellane’s apartment.

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

I think you will agree with me that the photographs of the apartment show what a beautiful place it was, filled with great treasures and giving us a fascinating glimpse into a world gone by.

BIBLIOTHÈQUE, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

BIBLIOTHÈQUE, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

LOT 74 JEAN-HONORÉ FRAGONARD (GRASSE 1732-1806 PARIS) L’heureux ménage huile sur toile, circulaire Diam.: 34,2 cm. (12.3/4 in.) Estimation : €500.000-700.000 J.-H. FRAGONARD, THE HAPPY HOUSEHOLD, OIL ON CANVAS, CIRCULAR ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

LOT 74
JEAN-HONORÉ FRAGONARD (GRASSE 1732-1806 PARIS)
L’heureux ménage
huile sur toile, circulaire
Diam.: 34,2 cm. (12.3/4 in.)
Estimation : €500.000-700.000
J.-H. FRAGONARD, THE HAPPY HOUSEHOLD, OIL ON CANVAS, CIRCULAR
©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

 

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

LOT 52 PAIRE DE "VASES" EN PORCELAINE TENDRE DE SEVRES DU XVIIIe SIECLE, A MONTURES EN BRONZE DORE CIRCA 1770, MARQUE EN CREUX P Hauteur totale: 44 cm. (17.3/8 in.) Estimation : €80.000-120.000 Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris A PAIR OF 18TH CENTURY SEVRES PORCELAIN "VASES", WITH ORMOLU MOUNTS ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

LOT 52
PAIRE DE “VASES” EN PORCELAINE TENDRE DE SEVRES DU XVIIIe SIECLE, A MONTURES EN BRONZE DORE
CIRCA 1770, MARQUE EN CREUX P
Hauteur totale: 44 cm. (17.3/8 in.)
Estimation : €80.000-120.000
Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris
A PAIR OF 18TH CENTURY SEVRES PORCELAIN “VASES”, WITH ORMOLU MOUNTS
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

LOT 142 PAIRE DE MEUBLES À HAUTEUR D’APPUI DU DÉBUT DE L’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XVI ESTAMPILLE DE JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, VERS 1770-1780, RÉEMPLOYANT DES ÉLÉMENTS DE MARQUETERIE D’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XIV Estimation: €1.000.000-1.500.000 Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris. A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND COPPER BOULLE MARQUETRY AND EBONY MEUBLES-A-HAUTEUR-D’APPUI STAMPED BY JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, CIRCA 1770-1780, REUSING SOME LOUIS XIV MARQUETRY ELEMENTS ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

LOT 142
PAIRE DE MEUBLES À HAUTEUR D’APPUI
DU DÉBUT DE L’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XVI
ESTAMPILLE DE JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, VERS 1770-1780, RÉEMPLOYANT DES ÉLÉMENTS DE MARQUETERIE D’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XIV
Estimation: €1.000.000-1.500.000
Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris.
A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND COPPER BOULLE MARQUETRY AND EBONY MEUBLES-A-HAUTEUR-D’APPUI STAMPED BY JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, CIRCA 1770-1780, REUSING SOME LOUIS XIV MARQUETRY ELEMENTS
©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.christies.com

Hockney Celebrated!

David Hockney, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1, until 29 May 2017

As I was unable to attend I asked John Kirkwood to go on my behalf – here are his thoughts:

Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater 1970 Coloured pencil and crayon on paper 430 x 355 mm Private collection, London © David Hockney

Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater
1970
Coloured pencil and crayon on paper
430 x 355 mm
Private collection, London
© David Hockney

This major retrospective of David Hockney to celebrate his eightieth birthday is a real trip through time as we go from his very earliest student drawings and sketches all the way through to his most recent work with iPads.

Garden 2015 Acrylic paint on canvas 1219 x 1828 mm Collection of the artist © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

Garden
2015
Acrylic paint on canvas
1219 x 1828 mm
Collection of the artist
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

Hockney’s innovative and immediately recognisable style stands out in every room.  There are what one might call ‘the old favourites’ like his portraits of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell with their cat Percy (1970-71 and Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (1972) and of course A Bigger Splash (1967) which the curator amusingly described as ‘painting a splash by splashing paint’ but also photography and huge screens displaying The Wolds taking Hockney back to his home county.

Billy + Audrey Wilder Los Angeles April 1982 1982 Composite Polaroid 1117 x 1168 mm David Hockney Inc. (Los Angeles, USA) © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

Billy + Audrey Wilder Los Angeles April 1982
1982
Composite Polaroid
1117 x 1168 mm
David Hockney Inc. (Los Angeles, USA)
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

There are even two new works  created specifically for the exhibition being unveiled of Hockney’s garden in Hollywood; Garden # 3 2016 and Two Pots on the Terrace 2016 which demonstrate that he has lost none of his magic and in so many ways has returned to his roots,

Domestic Scene, Los Angeles 1963 Oil paint on canvas 1530 x 1530 mm Private collection © David Hockney

Domestic Scene, Los Angeles
1963
Oil paint on canvas
1530 x 1530 mm
Private collection
© David Hockney

 

9 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon 1998 Oil paint on nine canvases 1003 x 1689 mm Richard and Carolyn Dewey © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

9 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon
1998
Oil paint on nine canvases
1003 x 1689 mm
Richard and Carolyn Dewey
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

 

Going Up Garrowby Hill 2000 Oil paint on canvas 2133.6 x 1524 mm Private collection, Topanga, California © David Hockney

Going Up Garrowby Hill
2000
Oil paint on canvas
2133.6 x 1524 mm
Private collection, Topanga, California
© David Hockney

 

 

www.tate.org.uk/Hockney

The Artist Depicted!

Portrait of the Artist, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until 17th April 2017

Daniel Mytens, A Self-Portrait, c.1630 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Daniel Mytens,
A Self-Portrait, c.1630
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

This extensive exhibition encompasses portraits of artists from the reign of Charles I to the present day. A whole variety of disciplines have been used in creating these works of art, including Hockney’s 2013 self-portrait created on an iPad.  It was a gift to Her Majesty The Queen to mark his receiving the Order of Merit.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani, Bartolozzi Sleeping,c.1770 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani,
Bartolozzi Sleeping,c.1770
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Several portraits were in the collection of Charles I such as the Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura) (c.1638–9) by Artemisia Gentileschi.  The Rembrandt portrait was acquired by George IV. Dating from the 1950s are the reciprocal portraits of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Edward Seago.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Seago Painting, 1956-57 © HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh,
Seago Painting, 1956-57
© HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Displayed in their entirety for the first time are the 224 miniatures created by the Italian artist Giuseppe Macpherson for Lord Cowper in the 1760s who presented them to George III.  They depict the artists’ self-portraits hung in the Vasari Corridor of the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence and which are the most important such group in the world.

Attributed to Francesco Melzi, Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515-18 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Attributed to Francesco Melzi,
Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515-18
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

I can only give a taste of what awaits you in this exhibition but I feel sure you will want to visit more than once – so don’t forget your ticket allows you free re-admission for a year if you ask them to treat your ticket purchase as a donation.

Johann Michael Wittmer, Raphael's First Sketch of the 'Madonna della Sedia', 1853 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Johann Michael Wittmer,
Raphael’s First Sketch of the ‘Madonna della Sedia’, 1853
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

 

Lucian Freud, Self-Portrait: Reflection, 1996 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Lucian Freud,
Self-Portrait: Reflection, 1996
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

 

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

This January two fairs, one venue:

The Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 24th-29th January 2017  

Pair of Louis XV Painted Bergere Armchairs - Adam Calvert Bentley

Pair of Louis XV Painted Bergere Armchairs – Adam Calvert Bentley

While I am sure that many of you will already know about this exciting regular event I always feel that it is worth reminding you that it is on.  It is a magnet for homemakers, antique collectors and, of course, interior decorators. It is the sort of fair where you find the absolutely perfect thing – which you didn’t realise you wanted until you see it.  Happy purchasing!

 

Wax Seal Tea Caddy - Adam Calvert Bentley

Wax Seal Tea Caddy – Adam Calvert Bentley

http://www.decorativefair.com

 

London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 24th -29th January 2017 

19th Century Kurdish rug from Sauj Bolaq, Kurdistan Brian Macdonald

19th Century Kurdish rug from Sauj Bolaq, Kurdistan
Brian Macdonald

In this welcome move the LARTA Fair moves to the mezzanine floor at Battersea Evolution and makes the perfect combination with the Decorative Fair downstairs.  Visitors will find a good range of collectable decorative rugs, carpets, tapestries, suzanis and embroideries and other textiles. Now that it will be a bigger event than usual there will also be some contemporary designs and a variety of tribal, Islamic and Asian artefacts, including jewellery as well. Don’t forget that the best pieces can be seen online in a ‘virtual fair’ which becomes live when the fair opens.

An early 1800’s Epigonation (in Greek meaning “over the knee”) vestment, worked in silver gilt on a red velvet ground. Marilyn Garrow

An early 1800’s Epigonation (in Greek meaning “over the knee”) vestment, worked in silver gilt on a red velvet ground.
Marilyn Garrow

http://www.larta.net

 

The 2017 London Art Fair

London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1, 18th-22nd January 2017

Deborah Azzopardi Love is the Answer..., 2016 Limited Edition Silk-Screen Print with Platinum Leaf 121 x 87 cm 47 5/8 x 34 1/4 in. Edition of 15 Courtesy, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Deborah Azzopardi
Love is the Answer…, 2016
Limited Edition Silk-Screen Print with Platinum Leaf
121 x 87 cm
47 5/8 x 34 1/4 in.
Edition of 15
Courtesy, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

The London Art Fair – this the 29th – to me sets the scene for the year ahead and gives some indication of what we might expect the market to be like.  It has a wide remit covering art from the early 20th century to the present day and has one hundred and twenty nine participating galleries.  More than a fifth of these come from overseas.

EUAN UGLOW (1932-2000) Two Peaches, 1992 oil on board 7 x 9 7/8 inches Browse & Darby

EUAN UGLOW (1932-2000)
Two Peaches, 1992
oil on board
7 x 9 7/8 inches
Browse & Darby

There are talks, tours and performances aimed at all levels of collectors and there is also ‘Photo50’ which celebrates contemporary photography. This year’s Museum Partnership is with The Lightbox, Woking who are showing works from the Ingram Collection in a special exhibition entitled ‘Ten Years: A Century of Art’.

Paul Wright 'Summer Profile' Thompson's Gallery

Paul Wright
‘Summer Profile’
Thompson’s Gallery

 

Going to the Match signed by L.S. Lowry, 1972. Edition of 300 Image Size: 52.8 x 68.0cm. Available from www.peterharrington.co.uk

Going to the Match signed by L.S. Lowry, 1972.
Edition of 300
Image Size: 52.8 x 68.0cm.
Available from http://www.peterharrington.co.uk

 

Antoine-Louis Barye, French, (1796-1875) Walking Lion, 1836 Dimensions: Height 10 in 24 cm Length 16 in 40 cm Sladmore Gallery

Antoine-Louis Barye, French, (1796-1875)
Walking Lion, 1836
Dimensions:
Height 10 in 24 cm
Length 16 in 40 cm
Sladmore Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Burford Top Films of the 20th Century Number 1, 2016 cropped Fiumano Projects

Sam Burford
Top Films of the 20th Century
Number 1, 2016 cropped
Fiumano Projects

 

Nitin Amin Selfhood Series (detail) 2006, 28 x 33 cm each, total width 272 cm, analogue photographs, edition of 12. courtesy Nunnery Gallery, copyright the artist

Nitin Amin
Selfhood Series (detail) 2006, 28 x 33 cm each, total width 272 cm, analogue photographs, edition of 12.
courtesy Nunnery Gallery, copyright the artist

 

Maria Friberg, Belonging II, 2010, pigment print, silicone mounted on aluminium, 58 x 80 cm Pi Artworks London

Maria Friberg,
Belonging II, 2010,
pigment print, silicone mounted on aluminium, 58 x 80 cm
Pi Artworks London

 

Iain Faulkner Paris Morning 2016 Oil on Canvas 91.5 x 91.5 cm (36 x 36 in) Pontone Gallery

Iain Faulkner
Paris Morning 2016
Oil on Canvas 91.5 x 91.5 cm (36 x 36 in)
Pontone Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.londonartfair.co.uk

BOOK REVIEW: Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity

Emma Hamilton

Seduction & Celebrity

(In association with the Royal Museums Greenwich)

Edited by Quintin Colville with Kate Williams
ISBN 9780500252208
 £29.95

emma-hamilton-jacket

It would have been totally wrong for me to have mentioned this beautifully illustrated book when I reviewed the marvellous exhibition ‘Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity’ at the National Maritime Museum (6th January, 2017) since this book is equally as enjoyable and while complementing the exhibition it very definitely stands alone too.  It takes us into the world of Emma Hamilton (1765–1815) and reassesses her life and role and shows her cultural and social achievements.  I have always thought that if Emma could have gained the confidence and friendship of Naples’s Queen Maria Carolina, daughter of Maria Theresa, then there was obviously something more substantial than being just a temptress about her.

The contributors which also include Vic Gatrell, Hannah Greig, Jason Kelly, Margarette Lincoln, Christine Riding and Gillian Russell bring a fresh understanding of a woman who not only captured the heart of a great naval hero but has beguiled us ever since.

Porcelain lovers will also be interested to see the series of pictures of Emma’s beloved Merton Place done by Thomas Baxter who is also well known for the decoration of porcelain.

 

www.thamesandhudson.com

A Cautionary Tale

Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE 10, until 17th April 2017

'Emma as La Penserosa', 1791-92 by Sir Thomas Lawrence ® The Abercorn Heirloom Settlement Trustees; Bryan F. Rutledge B.A.

‘Emma as La Penserosa’, 1791-92 by Sir Thomas Lawrence
® The Abercorn Heirloom Settlement Trustees; Bryan F. Rutledge B.A.

This is an exhibition that has exceeded my expectations and one I had been looking forward to since I learnt of it.

It is I think very much a story of a beautiful young woman that has resonance today – a tale of humble beginnings, of becoming a “celebrity” but ending in disillusionment and obscurity.

Berlin service: Teapot depicting Emma Hamilton ® National Maritime Museum, London. From the Clive Richards Collection

Berlin service: Teapot depicting Emma Hamilton
® National Maritime Museum, London. From the Clive Richards Collection

Born in Cheshire in 1765, daughter of a struggling blacksmith Emma came to London in her thirteenth year and became part of the Covent Garden world which mixed high society with the sexual underworld. Aged sixteen she became the mistress of Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh and as readers of my blog ‘Unravelling Uppark’ (06/06/14) will know Emma danced naked on the dining room table there to entertain his friends. However when she fell pregnant Fetherstonhaugh chucked her out and she returned to Cheshire and gave birth to a daughter.

'Emma dancing the tarantella' c.1791 by William Lock ® The Jean Kislak Collection

‘Emma dancing the tarantella’ c.1791 by William Lock
® The Jean Kislak Collection

Fortunately she had made the acquaintance of Charles Greville, a son of the Earl of Warwick, and he took her under his wing, installing her in his house just off the Edgware Road in London, an area more rural then than it is today. It was there that Greville introduced her to the painter George Romney.  She was, as the wonderful paintings shown in the exhibition amply prove, a perfect Muse for the artist.

Emma as Circe, 1782, by George Romney ® The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Emma as Circe, 1782, by George Romney
® The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

She also met Greville’s uncle Sir William Hamilton and it was on to him that Greville passed Emma when he tired of her by sending her to Naples where Hamilton was British envoy. Naples was a major stopping-off place on the Grand Tour and thanks to Hamilton’s patient teaching and her own talent she created her famous “Attitudes” which brought scenes from paintings and sculpture to life. She achieved even more of a celebrity status which was crowned when Hamilton married her in 1791.

Gold and micro-mosaic necklace belonging to Emma ® National Maritime Museum, London

Gold and micro-mosaic necklace belonging to Emma
® National Maritime Museum, London

Her new position as an envoy’s wife meant that she had to play a political role too and in this Emma was fortunate that the Neapolitan King’s wife Maria Carolina, a sister of Marie Antoinette, liked her and made a confidante of her.

Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White by Johann Heinrich Schmidt ® National Maritime Museum, London

Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White by Johann Heinrich Schmidt
® National Maritime Museum, London

However in 1798 the arrival of Admiral Nelson, following his victory at the Battle of the Nile, was the beginning of what would be one of the great love affairs of history.  It was one fraught with dangers as her infidelity rocked society and it was not helped by Emma’s giving birth to Nelson’s child whom they named Horatia.

Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1761 - 1815 by Johann Heinrich Schmidt ® National Maritime Museum, London

Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1761 – 1815 by Johann Heinrich Schmidt
® National Maritime Museum, London

They acquired a house at Merton in Surrey and set up home their but because of Nelson’s naval duties he was frequently away.  His death at the Battle of Trafalgar 21st October 1805 brought it all crashing down. Life became difficult in every way and her attempts to maintain her lifestyle and position led to her being imprisoned for debt in 1813 in the King’s Bench Prison.  Thanks to funds being provided she was released but had to flee to Calais to escape her creditors and it was there in January 1815 she died after months of illness in the same poverty as she had been born.

Gold 'fede' or betrothal ring, one of a pair exchanged by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Emma ® National Maritime Museum, London

Gold ‘fede’ or betrothal ring, one of a pair exchanged by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Emma
® National Maritime Museum, London

This somewhat salutary tale is beautifully told through pictures, objects, jewellery, furniture, prints, costumes and personal letters.  It really does give a wonderful insight into her life and times and explains why she remains so beguiling a figure. She is one of those people from history you would really want to meet!

'View of Merton House showing Lady Hamilton and Horatia in the grounds' ® National Maritime Museum, London

‘View of Merton House showing Lady Hamilton and Horatia in the grounds’
® National Maritime Museum, London

 

http://www.rmg.co.uk/emmahamilton

‘The Great Salisbury’

Constable in Context: Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows in perspective, The Salisbury Museum, The King’s House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN, until 25th March 2017

 

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831 John Constable (1776 - 1837) © Tate, London 2013 Purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Manton Foundation, Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831
John Constable (1776 – 1837) © Tate, London 2013 Purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Manton Foundation, Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members

John Constable called this painting ‘The Great Salisbury’ and also wrote ‘I am told I got it to look better than anything I have yet done.’ Well, I certainly am not going to disagree with him there. It was secured for the Nation by the Tate through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), The Manton Foundation, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members and will tour the UK as part of ‘Aspire’.

The City & Cathedral of Salisbury from Harnham Hill, 1955 Lord Methuen © The Salisbury Museum

The City & Cathedral of Salisbury from Harnham Hill, 1955
Lord Methuen © The Salisbury Museum

One of his ‘six footer’ canvases it is a tour-de-force and its radical style was a turning point for many artists who copied Constable’s “expressive” style for architectural subjects. The Museum in this fascinating exhibition has made the painting the centrepiece of a show which focuses on images of the Cathedral from the 17th century up to this century, including works by Henrick de Cort, Frederick Nash, Frederick MacKenzie and JMW Turner.

West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, 1900 Albert Goodwin © The Salisbury Museum

West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, 1900
Albert Goodwin © The Salisbury Museum

The Museum’s Marketing Officer, Louise Tunnard, sums it up well saying: “Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most significant and memorable buildings in England – so many of us have direct memories of this building that will always be treasured. Just in the same way that you never forget your first view of the sea, people do not tend to forget their first view of the Cathedral. The impact this building has had on artists and their subsequent urge to record it for posterity, has provided us with an amazing record of the building over time.

The irony is that as human beings, having seen something we then tend to stop looking closely at it, but I hope this exhibition will encourage residents of Salisbury and visitors alike, to really look at the Cathedral building and see how lucky we are to live and work alongside such a wonderful structure.”

Salisbury Cathedral from the West, 1671 Wesceslaus Hollar © The Salisbury Museum

Salisbury Cathedral from the West, 1671
Wesceslaus Hollar © The Salisbury Museum

I couldn’t agree more. The Cathedral is such a special place and whenever I go to Salisbury it is the first place I visit to wonder and marvel anew.  Constable obviously felt the same way too – thank goodness!

Kate Giles and her painting after John Constable. Courtesy of Salisbury Museum

Kate Giles and her painting after John Constable.
Courtesy of Salisbury Museum

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/

http://www.tate.org.uk