Category Archives: History

Pills

An appurtenance of any self-respecting apothecary’s shop was, it seems, a pill-tile. Made of pottery, and sometime lavishly decorated like that other essential, the pharmacy jar, it provided a flat, smooth surface on which to roll pills. The Fitzwilliam Museum … Continue reading

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Painting Women

I’m guessing that if you were to ask 100 random people to name an historical (as opposed to contemporary) female painter, some at least would answer ‘Artemisia Gentileschi’ (1593–?1654), who has been in the public eye (in the UK at … Continue reading

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1687 and All That

If Francesco Morosini is remembered worldwide today, it is probably for the collateral damage caused when a stray Venetian cannon ball hit the gunpowder store which the Turks had so thoughtfully placed in the Parthenon during the siege of Athens. … Continue reading

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The Immortal Peacock

I first saw a real live peacock when I was quite young, in Victoria Park in the city where I was brought up. An area of grass and trees very close to the railway station, and therefore – in the … Continue reading

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Snaps

Our recent jaunt to Venice and Ravenna provided more than the usual amount of food for thought, so while I ponder further on Titian and Rubens, peacocks, camels, women painters, Francesco Morosini and silence, here are some pictures which I … Continue reading

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A Secret Garden

Of course, a great many gardens in Venice are secret – that is, invisible to the normal passer-by in the calle. But the garden of Palazzo Soranzo Cappello is probably the most famous secret garden in the city (with the … Continue reading

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Anon.

I just made it to ‘Artist: Unknown: Art and Artefacts from the University of Cambridge Museums and Collections’, the current exhibition at Kettle’s Yard. (It continues until 22 September, but the Hedgehog ménage will be away – Venice, since you … Continue reading

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