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Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

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thorntonrigg

Cranach: Artist and Innovator : Compton Verney

… absorbing and thought provoking …

rings gloves costume

Who isn’t beguiled by Cranach? His sinuous, other worldly women and big nosed men in their sumptuous clothes and fine jewels, Continue reading “Cranach: Artist and Innovator : Compton Verney”

King John : The Swan, RSC

… whip smart, immensely enjoyable …

RSC King John

Eleanor Rhode‘s vibrant interpretation re-energises what could be seen as a bitty, minor tragedy into a fast moving procession of Continue reading “King John : The Swan, RSC”

The Boy in a Dress : RSC

… feel good fabulous …

Stratford upon Avon RSC David Walliams

 

The RSC’s Christmas show is a winner. The breezy David Walliams’ story has been given smart tailoring by the wonderful Mark Ravenhill and decorated with some great show tunes Continue reading “The Boy in a Dress : RSC”

The Coventrys and Art : Croome Court

… pleasurable and thought provoking …

deerhurst coventry croome nesta

This excellent one room exhibition brings together 25 portraits of the Coventry family from the ermine robed dignitaries of the 17th century (attributed to Cornelius Johnson van Ceulen) right through to this year’s Continue reading “The Coventrys and Art : Croome Court”

A Dormouse Jar at the Ashmolean

… an earthenware fattening jar …

dormouse ashmolean

Obviously the star exhibit at the Last Supper in Pompeii show currently at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford is the glirarium or dormouse jar. (Glires is Latin for dormouse.) This large, lidded terracotta jar mimics the hibernation nest, perfect for Continue reading “A Dormouse Jar at the Ashmolean”

Ravencry : Ed McDonald

… tremendously satisfying …

grimdark fantasy fiction

Ravencry continues the highly enjoyable story of wounded hero, Ryhalt Galharrow, with his seriously bad tattoo and relentless drink problem fighting his way through a post apocalyptic world. Ed leavens Ryhalt’s grisly existence with a thoughtful generosity Continue reading “Ravencry : Ed McDonald”

Helene Schjerfbeck : Royal Academy of Arts

… absolutely extraordinary. Go and see them …

Finnish Self Portrait expressionism

Wow! What a revelation! Why have I not heard of this artist before?

Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) is a Finnish national icon – and most of her work remains there – after wandering around the Jungels-Winkler Galleries at the back of the Royal Academy, I can see why. I would hold onto every single one of them, tightly. From gorgeous Continue reading “Helene Schjerfbeck : Royal Academy of Arts”

Aston Hall, Birmingham

… is this Birmingham’s best kept secret? …

aston birmingham jacobean strapwork

Aston Hall is an astonishing Jacobean mansion that practically nobody’s heard of. A c17th contemporary described it as: “A noble fabric which for its beauty and state much exceedeth anything in these parts.”* It has some of the finest

Continue reading “Aston Hall, Birmingham”

3 Bird details from the Marshall Collection : Ashmolean Museum

… beautiful birds from an outstanding porcelain collection …

porcelain worcester c17th

The Ashmolean holds the extraordinary Marshall Collection. This huge bequest of early Worcester porcelain was presented Continue reading “3 Bird details from the Marshall Collection : Ashmolean Museum”

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