Category Archives: Art

The Unhappy Countess

I was lured into reading about the melodramatic and unhappy life of Mary Eleanor Bowes (1749–1800), by the National Trust, who said, on its website on Gibside, one of her many homes, that she was a botanist. Further investigation revealed … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: July 2020

The other day, I found myself standing under a Broussonetia tree in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden (so happily now reopened, though you do have to book), and was reminded of my oft-repeated note to self to find out more … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: July 2020

This was going to be Object of the Month for November 2019, but various unfortunate events from a database problem up to Covid-19 have rather got in the way. However, onwards and upwards!

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Ruskin Relics

I came across a reference to this 1903 book last week, and was fortunate enough to find a copy (on Abebooks), which arrived a few days ago. It was presented by ‘Miss Hutchinson’ to Alexandra Hall in 1905. Alexandra Hall … Continue reading

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The Pliny of Switzerland

I vaguely knew of Conrad Gessner (often spelled Gesner) as a botanist, but it wasn’t until I was tracing the taxonomy of the bluetit a few days ago that I became aware of his wide-ranging work across the fields of … Continue reading

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The Bluetit

One of the upsides of the lockdown (from my own purely selfish point of view) is that I have been able to spend much more time watching the birds in my garden, at a time of year when they are … Continue reading

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The Deacon Also Paints

The Flowers Gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum (currently closed, alas, because of COVID-19) is one of my favourite places – I can’t get enough of the botanical paintings, the glorious jumble of blooms which you would never find (even in … Continue reading

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Epiphanius Evesham

Being very definitely an on-trend kind of person, I am self-isolating at home at the moment. This is mostly because my friends and colleagues are none too keen on meeting up with my coughing, snivelling, snotty self. No, I don’t … Continue reading

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Fede Galizia

One of the perks of my part-time employment is that my job description includes an injunction to open the mail, which regularly contains interesting Stuff, not least the beautifully designed and printed catalogues of auction houses trying to tempt us … Continue reading

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In Ghent

Him Indoors and I are partial to the Flemish Primitives (and indeed to the Flemish in general), so the opportunity of the current exhibition in Ghent, ‘Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution’, offering ‘the largest Jan van Eyck exhibition ever’ and … Continue reading

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