Continuing with entries on this blog of the portrait sculpture of Isaac Newton.
See my previous blog posts - these are not finished essays but a collection of loose notes and photographs of the various portraits of Newton - none of these entries is definitive - It is my intention to edit them into a more coherent whole in the future.
This is a subject close to my heart. The purpose of my blogs is to disseminate information, both written and visual about (mostly) English Portrait Sculpture and I want this information to be freely available to anyone who might be interested in the subject. In the main I have only encountered encouragement and enthusiasm from both private and institutional owners.
It seems to me that there are still a few people within the museum world who see their holdings as their personal property - forgetting who paid for the objects and the reason for their existence in the first place.
If the purpose of Museums (which I believe) is to educate and enlighten, then it surely follows that images of their holdings should be freely available, (particularly where information on exhibits is limited and I find this is a real problem with many institutions) to those like myself who wish to add to the knowledge of the subject and to inspire others to research further.
Very occasionally I have encountered brick walls when I have requested information or photographs.
No thanks are currently due to the Huntington Collection, who some time ago when I asked for photographs and information on their English portrait busts were unable to supply any - despite several requests.
I will try again! I have stated that I do not require professional studio photographs - those taken with a smart phone can serve my purpose - I prefer more candid photographs which give a much better indication of the sculptors original intentions.
The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia have a single beautiful photograph of the Rysbrack terracotta bust of Rubens on their website but were unwilling to provide any further good images for me, fortunately a member of staff did take some further digital photographs of it and sent them to me with strict instructions that they couldn't be published!
Despite paying the entrance fee at Westminster Abbey I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not take any photographs of the monuments and was referred to their library where (very poor) photographs are available for a large price.
These days most museums and galleries have very enlightened views regarding photography of their holdings but one or two still feel that they can monetise their collections.
The Rijksmuseum is particularly good in this respect and one can only hope that others will follow their lead.
It is not currently my intention to publish, in print any of the work on my blogs, although I have not ruled this out for the future.
Should I attempt this in the near future the current cost of obtaining permissions from institutions such as Tate Britain would probably make any such project uneconomical.
Other works on my chosen subject have been severely hampered by the authors inability to locate and provide good photographs of their subject, The Marble Index by Malcolm Baker, published by Yale in 2014, Published price £50 - now available on Amazon for about £40, comes to mind, where the majority of the photographs are old black and white library photographs.
The estimable Bendor Grosvenor has covered this subject at some length on his blog Art History News - see these recent blog entries-
In my blogs have tried to credit all the information and photographs used and any omission is due to working in haste.
Certain websites do not allow one to "right click" in order to save an image - but this is easily overcome using control print screen - I currently use a piece of Software called Faststone Capture not free but very easy and quick to use - see their website -
This can be particularly useful for saving pages from online journals where there is limited availability - jstor comes to mind
Whilst I am on the subject - it seems to me that print, either in book or journal form is an antediluvian method of providing information and it still surprises me that many authors see it as the sole means of delivering their product.
Blogging is very simple - it allows one to publish for very little or no cost and is most importantly interactive. It also allows for comments or criticisms to be made and for the reader to engage with the author.
Whilst I will never stop buying books I believe that it is about time that publishing caught up with modern digital technology - in my case it is simplicity itself for me in my blog to provide many images of a three dimensional object, to provide a descriptive text and to link it to Museums, Libraries and other websites in order to provide maximum information at minimum cost.
Most of the modern non fiction books in my personal library have cost between £40 and £100 - putting them out of reach of most interested individuals. The inclusion of a CD with further information is always a bonus but it is still used infrequently.
I hope that my readers here will forgive my amateurism. and look forward to any responses.
This blog acts as a sort of test bed, aide memoire and online filing system although it seems to have taken on something of a life of its own - interested parities might like to take a look at my other blogs
Sculpture in the Paintings of Sir Peter Lely. some very brief notes - Unknown Gentleman with Bust
Sir Peter Lely (1680 - 1680).
c. 1660 - 65.
at Hatchlands Park.
Continuing with the theme of occasional posts of 17th and 18th Century Sculpture depicted in other media.
Oil on canvas
1245 x 1010 mm.
It has only tentatively been suggested that the
informality of the pose of the sitter could be an artist friend of Lely and
therefore possibly Alexander Browne who was living at Long Acre, Covent Garden,
London in the 1660s and was a teacher of Samuel Pepy's wife.
see - http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/1166160
Self Portrait with Statuette
1080 x 876 mm
Oil on Canvas
National Portrait Gallery
Lely succeeded Anthony van Dyck in 1661 as Principal Painter in Ordinary to the Charles II.
He was in turn followed by Godfrey Kneller in 1680 __________________________________________ Anna Marie Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury. (1642 - 1702). nee Anna Maria Brudenell With Bust on Pedestal. Peter Lely. Her husband was Francis Talbot, 11th Earl of Shrewsbury, who died after a duel fought with the Duke of Buckingham over her.
Up, and by coach to White Hall to attend the Council
there, and here I met first by Mr. Castle the shipwright, whom I met there, and
then from the whole house the discourse of the duell yesterday between the Duke
of Buckingham, Holmes, and one Jenkins, on one side, and my Lord of Shrewsbury,
Sir John Talbot, and one Bernard Howard, on the other side: and all about my
Lady Shrewsbury, who is a whore, and is at this time, and hath for a great
while been, a whore to the Duke of Buckingham. And so her husband challenged
him, and they met yesterday in a close near Barne-Elmes, and there fought: and
my Lord Shrewsbury is run through the body, from the right breast through the
shoulder: and Sir John Talbot all along up one of his armes; and Jenkins killed
upon the place, and the rest all, in a little measure, wounded.
This will make
the world think that the King hath good councillors about him, when the Duke of
Buckingham, the greatest man about him, is a fellow of no more sobriety than to
fight about a whore. And this may prove a very bad accident to the Duke of
Buckingham, but that my Lady Castlemayne do rule all at this time as much as
ever she did, and she will, it is believed, keep all matters well with the Duke
of Buckingham: though this is a time that the King will be very backward, I
suppose, to appear in such a business. And it is pretty to hear how the King
had some notice of this challenge a week or two ago, and did give it to my Lord
Generall to confine the Duke, or take security that he should not do any such
thing as fight: and the Generall trusted to the King that he, sending for him,
would do it, and the King trusted to the Generall; and so, between both, as
everything else of the greatest moment do, do fall between two stools.
whole House full of nothing but the talk of this business; and it is said that
my Lord Shrewsbury’s case is to be feared, that he may die too; and that may
make it much the worse for the Duke of Buckingham: and I shall not be much
sorry for it, that we may have some sober man come in his room to assist in the
As a child, Bartholomew Beale assisted his mother Mary
Beale in her studio. It was expected that he too would become a painter. The
bust upon which Bartholomew rests his hand in this portrait probably alludes to
this. It appears to represent the ancient Greek poet, Homer. Blind and
impoverished, Homer had long been considered the embodiment of artistic
integrity, because he was true to his genius and did not seek to gain wealth
from his art. As such, Homer would have acted as the perfect model for an
aspiring young artist. Yet Bartholomew followed a different path and in 1680
entered Clare College, Cambridge to study medicine. In 1687, he settled in
Coventry to practise as a physician until his untimely death in 1698.
Text here lifted from Dulwich Gallery website
Self Portrait of Sir Peter Lely with architect Hugh May