Category Archives: Biography

Brother of the More Famous Jan

One of the treasures of the Fairhaven Bequest at the Fitzwilliam Museum is the series of twelve flower paintings, one for each month of the year, by van Huysum. Until a few days ago, I had assumed that the artist … Continue reading

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Two Graven Stones

I had a Grand Day Out in London this week, not the least of its grandeur being my success in walking from Pimlico (where the plane trees have suffered remarkable pruning) to the Garden Museum at Lambeth, then back past … Continue reading

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Jane Dormer

Back in the autumn, I had the happy experience of wandering around the Palazzo Ducale at Mantua, drooling over the Mantegnas, though rather less appreciative of the efforts of Giulio Romano. More rooms are open than the last time we … Continue reading

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The Nuremberg Hesperides

This blog was going to be called ‘The Hand of Buddha’, but, as so often, one thing led to another. The inspiration was found in the Chinese herbal garden at the Hortus in Leiden, which was in good autumnal form … Continue reading

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Edward of Windsor

I have written before (twice) about the tombs inside SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, but on our visit a few weeks ago, Him Indoors pointed out something we had missed on many previous occasions – on the wall of … Continue reading

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Dawson Turner

I have just discovered, down the side of the metaphorical sofa, another large piece in the fascinating jigsaw of who knew whom in the Victorian artistic and scientific community. Dawson Turner (1775–18580 was a Great Yarmouth man, his father being … Continue reading

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Titian in the Malverns

We recently had a very few days in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a tiny bit of Shropshire, a lovely wallow in nostalgia for me, and a bit of a revelation of the counties’ beauty for Him Indoors. (A further revelation was … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: August 2021

When I was at school, a sign that autumn (and therefore the end of the holidays) was on its way was that buddleia started flowering – i.e. the end of August to early September. These days, it seems to start … Continue reading

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An Instance of Polyonymy

Jan Gossart, Jan Gossaert van Mabuse, Jan Gossaert van Mauberge, Jan Gossart van Mabuse, Jan Gossart van Mauberge, Joannes Malbodius, Jan Mabuse – and indeed Jennyn van Hennegouwe – are all names of the same painter (born c. 1478, died … Continue reading

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The Duke of Argyll’s Tea Tree

In a recent stroll around the Systematic Beds in the Botanic Gardens, I was intrigued to spot this label:

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