Sunny rebellion


The Sussex Modernism exhibition at 2 Temple Place has just closed, and although the (rather gorgeous) mock-Jacobean setting was exactly what this generation rebelled against, the works themselves remained defiantly sunny.

A little madness


A little madness in the Spring /
is wholesome even for the King

Emily Dickinson. As ever with ED, there are so many meanings, that I could read a sentence forever. But right now, while weighing up whether I should see the ED biopic A Quiet Passion, I’m just enjoying these madly extravagant coiffures and bonnets.


From top to bottom: an early Picasso I’ve always liked, The Duchess of Kent, Julia Lady Peel, and a fashion shoot in this month’s Harpers Bazaar.

Three ladies


‘Mary’ by Leon Kroll (image from the freelimes Instagram account); ‘Her Leisure Hour’ by Irving Ramsey Wildes (image from the susan_holloway_scott_author Instagram account); ‘La Toilette’ by Marie Louise Catherine Breslau (image from the paintings.daily Instagram account).

Self portrait with hyacinth



Surely a great title for an extremely fey autobiography? I imagine it being used by Dodie Smith, perhaps.

Self-portrait with a hyacinth by Jacek Malczweski (incidentally a lot less scary than his other self-portraits, which tend to show him with shaved head and in uniform, occasionally wrestling snakes or lay-deez. Either they mean something symbolic that I don’t understand, or he was having a lot of weird dreams).

image via Wikiart.

Life goals


I don’t know who Lady Stern is/was, but there’s something about the no-nonsense gaze and stack of books, combined with the comfort of that rug, vase  of flowers and cornflower suit that I can get behind. Portrait by Lance Cattermole, an artist who lived till he was 94 (1898 – 1992); his style reminds me of Enslin du Plessis.

Photo via Art UK, the renamed website of Your Paintings and the Public Catalogue Foundation. It’s a free website, dedicated to cataloguing all the public art across Britain, much of it held in provincial museums, fire stations and council buildings and provides a fascinating social history survey of a time between 1890 and 1960 when local pride and a belief in the inspiring powers of art were strong.

Rockwell Kent



In a fit of serendipity, I came across this picture of Moonlight in the Adirondacks a day or two after I’d seen a much earlier Rockwell Kent in the Met:


(Winter, Monhegan Island, 1907)


I also like this rather Paul Nash-like scene from 1960. Top photo via Curiator, bottom via Artstack; middle by me in New York, October 2016.