“Contemplation” (1945) by Francis Edwin Hodge, part of the Russell-Coates museum collection. The fashion is so evocative of the late 40s (think of photos of the Queen’s engagement and the early episodes of “The Crown”), but the image of a young wife perched on a chair in a fashionably-slender dark dress with bright hat perched at a jaunty angle and with hints of old England in the setting behind her is much more interwar.

Just as importantly, the tasselled bow on her hat is making me think of these fantastic shoes from MissLFire that a friend and I bought in this year’s sale:


Palazzo Massimo


A three minute walk from the main Rome train station is part of the national museum’s collection, the Palazzo Massimo.


If you’d said to me before would I want to spend a morning looking at Roman art, I’d probably have said no (too many memories of the British Museum’s overcrowded and ill-displayed galleries), but as with so many things, a look at Simon Martin’s Instagram page put me onto it.


And I’m so glad we went – it was a whistle stop tour of the best part of a thousand years of power and art, and by the end the medieval age had definitely begun.


All pics December 2018. From the archives this time last year: the Rodin museum.

Elizabeth, jewelled


Close ups of this beautiful 1560s portrait of Elizabeth I.


The overall face is idealised, but what’s interesting is that these close ups look pretty realistic when compared with portraits of Elizabeth’s grandfather Henry VII.


Under an equal sky


“Under an equal sky” by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, in Canterbury Cathedral. A good reminder that I want to see more of Kent this year. Photo by the excellent @georgianlondon, who seems to love the Spitalfields area as much as I do.