Recent Posts

XYC308303 Baronet, 1794 (etching) by Stubbs, George (1724-1806); 39x50 cm; Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA; English,  out of copyright
Art, Culture

Giddy Up! The Horse in Art

The horse in Anglo-Saxon mythology is an extremely significant symbol. ‘Horsa’ – from which we derive the modern word ‘horse’ – was the semi-mythological leader of the Anglo-Saxons who landed near Ebbsfleet, on the Isle of Thanet in the 6th century and so the white horse became the symbol of […]

XOT330951 Northern Europe, from an Atlas of the World in 33 maps, Venice, 1st September 1553 (ink on vellum) (see also 330952) by Agnese, Battista (1514-64); 29x49 cm; Museo Correr, Venice, Italy; Italian,  out of copyright
Art, History

The Art of Mapping

Take a closer look at the wonderful world of maps through history. More than simply a topological survey of a country or continent, historical maps are as diverse as the lands they depict. From hunting dogs to sea monsters and cherubs blowing the winds across the ocean, their creativity makes […]

HGM81110 Vanitas, 1628 by Heda, Willem Claesz. (1594-1680); 45.5x69.5 cm; Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands; Dutch,  out of copyright
Art, History

Vanitas – symbols of death & decadence

Looking back at the ‘Memento Mori’ painting tradition, Vanitas is a macabre genre of symbolic still-life that prospered in the Netherlands in the early 17th century reminding the viewer of their mortality.  The word ‘vanitas’ is Latin for vanity, or ’emptiness’, and signifies the meaningless of earthly life. The purpose of Vanitas’ […]

STC312888 Britain's Prime Minister signing the Treaty of Peace with Germany in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, June 28th 1919 (sepia print), English School, (20th century) / Private Collection / The Stapleton Collection
Culture, History

Key Figures of World War I

Many different nations were involved in the Great War. It is therefore not surprising that royals and political personalities played significant roles during the conflict. How it all began: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Franz Ferdinand was the nephew of Emperor Franz Joseph and heir to the throne of the […]