The Ballroom at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent. © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

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Discovering a Samuel Percy wax portrait in Northern Ireland by Anna Moore

Since receiving an Understanding British Portraits bursary, I have been undertaking research trips relating to my work on the eighteenth-century wax modeller, Samuel Percy. Born in Ireland in c.1750, Percy received his early artistic training at the Dublin Society school of art. As with many artists seeking a profitable career, he moved to London in […]

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Hidden potential at Coughton Court by Rebecca Farr

It’s time to confess: I know very little about portraits. I don’t have a degree in Art or History. My degree is in English, and my background is conservation, so I will apologise in advance if I appear easily pleased by the things I learnt when I attended my first Understanding British Portraits workshop! My […]

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Reflections on the ‘Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered’ workshop by Rosanna Harrison

Experiencing an Understanding British Portraits workshop for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery on the 15th January was a very interesting and thought-provoking experience for me, both on a personal and professional front.  The half-day Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered workshop I attended was concerned with listening to discussion of, as well […]

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The Mysteries of Funding Revealed, by Alex Patterson

‘How to succeed in Getting Grant Funding: Opportunities for Researchers’, a seminar organised by the V&A and the Understanding British Portraits network, left me feeling inspired, informed and motivated. The seminar kicked off with a series of talks from various funding bodies such as The British Academy, The Association of Art Historians (AAH), The Paul […]

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A selection of portrait collections in Bath – a study visit Visit by Alison Cooper

The Understanding British Portraits study day in Bath offered the chance to visit four fascinating collections across the city. With 18th century portraiture being particularly represented in Plymouth’s collections by artists including Sir Joshua Reynolds, James Northcote and John Opie, Bath seemed like it could be the perfect Georgian inspiration to start thinking more deeply […]

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A Welshman returns from Italy by Dr Paul Joyner

This year we remember the Welsh artist Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782), who brought a good deal of the Italianate light a flavour to British art of a former age. He was not the only Welshman who found the Italian experience of great  importance to his thinking and feeling for art. Quite recently we were offered this […]

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The family history of a portrait: John Fenton by Clare Griffiths

As a local history museum we were quite excited when the portrait of John Fenton first arrived at our venue in 2012. The owner was exceptionally keen that we should acquire him for our collection and kindly left the portrait in our care for consideration. On first glance it was a pretty average 18th century […]

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