30 December 2014


Harold Knight’s The Breakfast Table 1927 – painted 450 years after yesterday’s madonna and child but in a straight line of descent from it, linked not just because of the glorious pink both women are wearing but because their preoccupations are so similar  – the detail may be different but the essentials are the same. (The Harold Knight painting has recently been sold and its whereabouts are unknown – someone, somewhere is looking at it and we hope they love it as much as we do.)

29 December 2014


The Post failed to have a week of Christmas-y things due to the drama of the website going down (nearly sorted now) so here is one of the greatest madonna and child paintings ever – it’s worth going specially to Urbino to see it. Madonna di Senigallia was painted by Piero della Francesca in c.1474, extraordinary to think that this great masterpiece was painted 540 years ago.

25 December 2014

(c) National Railway Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

For those far away and for those in the UK something very very English on Christmas Day: a railway poster called The Cotswolds, it’s  by Paul Chater and was painted in 1949 (the same year as Because of the Lockwoods was published; we hope that the 3000 people who have bought a copy in the last couple of months will soon be tucked up on the sofa with a cup of tea and some Christmas cake, turning happily to the first page).

24 December 2014


Steer at Home 109 Cheyne Walk Christmas Eve 1930 by Henry Tonks. (We may have had this picture before on the Post but a) it bears repetition b) now some – although mysteriously not all – of our archive has disappeared we shall be repeating the occasional image in future.)

23 December 2014

Christmas Eve dinner in the private dining room of a restaurant by Ludovico Marchetti 1853-1909. Christmas is for family but the harassed might wish every evening could be like this one.

Ludovico Marchetti Christmas Eve dinner in the private dining room of a great restaurant, illustration from 'L'Illustration', December 1893, Paris (1893

22 December 2014

John_Worsley_British_1919_2000_Decorating_the_Christmas_Tree_1944 IWM

Decorating the Christmas Tree December 1944 Marlag O by John Worlsey.  ‘Lieutenant Houston Rogers playing the whistle while behind, decorating the tree, is Lieutenant ‘Blondie’ Mewes, RNVR who had tried to escape the first time “Albert RN” (a mannequin) was used’ (Imperial War Museum). There is another John Worsley painting, possibly of the same room at Marlag, here.

20 December 2014


This is a bluebell wood at Sissinghurst. Spiritually we are here while we recover from a website meltdown. Normal service will be restored next week. Meanwhile the book ordering system is working and we shall be sending out books on Monday and Tuesday; and the shop will be open (although not on Christmas Eve).