A coaching inn in Augsburg

Choosing a cover image for a book is tricky, especially on an early modern subject. Ideally, the image should relate both to the title and contents of the book and be available on one of the standard image sites. Since my book is entitled The English Republican Exiles in Europe During the Restoration, I should have… Continue reading A coaching inn in Augsburg

Grumpy George and his family: The First Georgians at the Queen’s Gallery

The first Georgians must have been a grumpy lot. At least this is the impression visitors of the exhibition The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714-1760 get. For all the publicity materials show a smiling David Garrick with his Wife Eva-Maria Veigel painted by William Hogarth, while none of the pictures of George I (1660-1727) currently… Continue reading Grumpy George and his family: The First Georgians at the Queen’s Gallery

The Holbein Stare and Other Works of Art

Be prepared for the Holbein stare. His sitters will look right at you, or through you – like Derich Born. Serious beyond his years, wealthy and confident, the 23-year-old merchant of Cologne was the youngest member of the London Hanseatic League and seems remarkably lifelike as his dark brown eyes look out from underneath his… Continue reading The Holbein Stare and Other Works of Art

The First Actresses and some of Charles II’s mistresses

I finally managed to see the First Actresses exhibition on a late Friday evening trip to the National Portrait Gallery after a hard day’s work at the British Library. It was entirely worth it. The NPG has a number of beautiful pictures of Nell Gwyn, Moll Davis, Hester Booth, Lavinia Fenton, Sarah Siddons, Mary Robinson… Continue reading The First Actresses and some of Charles II’s mistresses

God Save the Queen in Gotha: Early Modern Research in a German Town

The brass band on the market square is playing God Save The Queen. It’s Gotha on a Saturday night, a sleepy little German town in the former East. Overlooking the town, just up the hill from the  market, is Friedenstein Castle. Built during the Thirty Years’ War by Ernest the Pious (1601- 1675), the Lutheran… Continue reading God Save the Queen in Gotha: Early Modern Research in a German Town

Raphael: Cartoons and Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel at the V&A

The Raphael Cartoons at the V&A are quite impressive works of art in their own right. Roughly four metres wide and three metres high they show scenes from the lives of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, such as  The Miraculous Draught of Fishes or The Sacrifice at Lystra. They are powerful reminders of… Continue reading Raphael: Cartoons and Tapestries for the Sistine Chapel at the V&A

Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill at the V&A

The little blue-enamelled toothpick case left quite an impression. Not because it was so remarkably beautiful, but because it seemed so random, useless even – in a good way. Many of the items currently on display in the V&A’s exhibition on Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill are of that quality, and that’s their attraction. There… Continue reading Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill at the V&A