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

Latest News

Portraiture and Biography conference, 29 to 30 November 2018

National Portrait Gallery, London Biography has always haunted the study of portraiture.  Although in recent decades art-historians may have developed a healthy scepticism for the intuitive practice of interpreting portraits with straightforward reference to what is known about the lives of their subjects, the temptation to do so remains strong.  These tendencies often appear in […]

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Exhibition: Gainsborough and the Theatre

The Holburne Museum, Bath, 5 October 2018 to 20 January 2019 By bringing together some of Thomas Gainsborough’s finest portraits of his friends in the theatre, this exhibition will create a conversation between the leading actors, managers, musicians, playwrights, designers, dancers and critics of the 1760s-80s.  Gainsborough and the Theatre explores themes of celebrity, naturalism, […]

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National Portrait Gallery’s new Fashion Plates Collection

A new online resource to assist portrait and dress research has been created on the National Portrait Gallery website, utilizing the Gallery’s collection of engraved and hand-coloured fashion plates. One hundred years of mostly women’s fashions from 1770 to 1869 can now be explored by date, by garments, or by the magazine in which the […]

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Lace for Lady Anne Clifford by Gilian Dye

Sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits are a wonderful resource for lace historians. Two types of lace evolved during the sixteenth century: needle lace and bobbin lace. Needle lace, as the name suggests, is a form of free embroidery, worked with a needle and a single thread, while bobbin lace is a combination of plaiting and […]

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Copying the Fanshawes: An investigation into the replicas found within the Fanshawe portrait collection at Valence House Museum, by Leeanne Westwood

In 2016 a portrait, identified as Elizabeth Fanshawe (1609-1668), née Cockayne, came up for sale at a well-known auction house (left).  This portrait bore an uncanny resemblance to the female sitter in a small double portrait of Sir Thomas Fanshawe and his second wife Elizabeth, née Fanshawe at Valence House (below). A visit to Melbourne […]

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Exhibition: Ladies of Quality & Distinction, The Foundling Museum, London

21 September 2018 until 20 January 2019 The Foundling Museum presents a landmark exhibition highlighting the hidden stories of women in the Foundling Hospital’s history. Marking 100 years of female suffrage, Ladies of Quality & Distinction resets the focus of the Foundling Hospital’s story, revealing portraits and stories of the remarkable women who supported both […]

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