|at the V&A Museum, Marcus Gheeraerts,|
portrait of Margaret Laton, 1620
A lot of these ladies have been identified as wives and daughters of courtiers, dukes and counts. Many of them had their own circle of power and influence. Many other portraits, however, show unknown people. Faces of, no doubt, rich and fairly powerful people, but not so powerful as to have been remembered by us. It all gives you sense of a certain 'in-crowd'. They must have known each-other; after all there were only a few families reigning high while James I was king. Although many are painted conforming to beauty ideals of the day (pale white faces and chests) and painting styles in favour (the slightly googly eyes and protruding eye lids) you can still discern that these were individual women. No models, no famous beauties (although some were) but women. Women who played their part, did their duties, fought for their families or their rights and presented themselves to the world as mothers, wives or daughters, rich, powerful, sensitive or defiant. What strikes me, is that they were normal women, who just like me and millions of others nowadays balance between motherhood, marriage life, taste and beauty and their own aspirations and talents. From some of these we know a lot, from others we know very little. But despite the times being different and the fashion almost opposite to today's, the human inside is so very like us.
|On my way in the train|
|Sketch after John Critz' portrait of|
Queen Anne of Denmark, 1605-10
|a lace handkerchief à la Larkin!|
|some glorious Italian needle lace (punto in aria) from 1600-20|
|sketching after John Critz's portrait of Anne of|
Denmark, 1605-10 at the National Portrait
|sketching after Rembrandt's portrait of Margaretha de Geer,|
|sketching after Larkin's portrait of Frances, countess of Somerset|
1615, at National Portrait Gallery.
|too hot to walk or for the tube: taxi it is! On my way to the Tate|
Britain while Andy Murray plays the Wimbledon final...
|Tate Britain in the hot sun|
|Tate Britain has a great exhibition: BP Walk through British|
Art with many treasures in the first room.