Tag: Artists

23
Jun

Lady Hertford’s Chinese Drawing Room

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Last week I wrote about Chinese paper-hangings in the Regency, and mentioned that one set of these very expensive papers may have had special significance in the life of a young girl. In 1806, the Prince of Wales made a gift of a full set of Chinese paper-hangings to the mother of a woman who would later become his mistress. However, the facts seem to suggest this gift was actually made in an effort to gain custody of a child in order to please his current inamorata.

How a set of Chinese paper-hangings may have been an attempt to sway the choice of who had custody of the little girl who gave the Prince his nickname …

9
Jun

The English Print Room Phenomenon

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

In recent weeks I have written about both paper-hangings and the private display of art during the Regency. Those divergent topics intersected during the second half of the eighteenth century and through the decade of the Regency to produce a unique phenomenon which occurred in the decoration of rooms in many private houses. However, this phenomenon was restricted primarily to England, though there were some instances of it in Ireland and America at about the same time.

The phenomenon of the English Print Room …

21
Apr

Rule England, But You Still Can’t Study Painting   By Regina Scott

On 1 April 2014, Regina Scott released her most recent Regency romance, The Husband Campaign. Today, she shares her research into the art education which was considered proper for young ladies, including the future queen of England, in the early nineteenth century. As Regina explains, options for expressing themselves in painting were very limited for the young women of the Regency, and continued to be for many decades thereafter.

25
Feb

Grosvenor House — Regency Treasure House   By Angelyn Schmid

Though it no longer stands, during the Regency, Grosvenor House held one of the finest collections of paintings in all of England. In today’s article, Regency romance author, Angelyn Schmid, shares her research into this remarkable house and the extraordinarily wealthy family that owned it, and the surrounding property. The question is, once you have read Angelyn’s article, would you want to live in this house?

16
Dec

The Real Regency Reader:   Jane Austen   by Angelyn Schmid

In honor of Jane Austen’s two hundred and thirty-eighth birthday, today we have an article by Angelyn Schmid about the importance of reading, not only in the Regency, but specifically in the novels of Jane Austen. Though she did not have many years of formal education, Jane Austen was an avid reader, as were some of the characters in her books. Angelyn also explains what it meant to be literate during the Regency.

Happy Birthday, Jane!

23
Nov

When Carpets Answered Ceilings

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Though it is seldom, if ever, done today, there was a time when grand rooms in fine homes were designed so that the carpet on the floor mirrored the design painted or carved on the ceiling. This practice had begun in Europe by the mid-seventeenth century, but it reached its peak in England in the late eighteenth century. However, the practice did continue during the Regency, which is, of course, why it finds mention here.

The whys and hows of matching ceilings and carpets …

19
Nov

Cube and Double Cube Rooms:   Harmonics and Agreeables

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

How many of us would notice the proportions of any room we might walk into today? Even if the room shouted out its dimensions as we crossed the threshold? If it did, would we care? Yet, many people in the Regency, especially those among the beau monde, would have been well-aware of the proportions of a certain type of room, typically found only in the grand town houses and the great houses on country estates.

The axioms and arithmetic of cube rooms …

10
May

Public Spectacles, Amusements, and Objects Deserving Notice, May by Regina Scott

What did our Regency ancestors do in the month of May? Today, Regina Scott, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde Chapter past president, tells us about some of the various activities which took place during the month of May in Regency England. Not all of them may have been the type of activities to which the ton flocked, but there seems little doubt they amused a great many people across Britain during the merry month of May.

15
Apr

A Regency Bicentennial:   The Day Henry Bone Broke the Bank

A Regency Bicentennial cross-post from The Regency Redingote, originally published in April 2011:

For Henry Bone, 15 April 1811 was a red letter day. But for the bank of Marsh, Sibbald, Stracey & Fauntleroy, it was a black day indeed. Over £2,000 shifted from one end of Berners Street to the other that day, and very nearly shuttered the bank forever. It is possible the events of this day also led one of the bank’s officers into a life of clandestine crime which, when it was exposed, would ultimately end with his execution.

How an artist from Cornwall rocked the foundations of a London bank, two hundred years ago, today.

10
Feb

Temple of Diana   By Angelyn Schmid

Today, Angelyn Schmid, author of Notorious Match, discusses garden rotundas similar to the Temple of Diana, which is situated on the grounds of the fictional estate in her story. Regency gardens are always such wonderful settings for romantic encounters between the hero and heroine. Angelyn explains how these gardens were laid out and enjoyed by those lucky enough to have access to such "natural" beauty.

21
Nov

Claude Glasses and Mirrors

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:



At leisure, then, I viewed, from day to day,
The spectacles within doors, — birds and beasts
Of every nature, and strange plants convened
From every clime; and, next, those sights that ape
The absolute presence of reality,
Expressing, as in mirror, sea and land,
And what earth is, and what she has to show.

William Wordsworth
The Prelude
1805 — Book 7, Lines 245 -251

The "mirror" to which Wordsworth refers was the Claude mirror, an optical device used by many artists and devotees of the picturesque during the Romantic period, which includes the decade of the Regency.

Wordsworth did not approve of the use of either the Claude mirror or the Claude glass, both of which rendered views of the natural world in a manner he considered unnatural. But both of these devices had been popular in the later part of the eighteenth century and continued to be so in the first decades of the nineteenth century.

So just what are Claude glasses and mirrors?

13
Nov

The Golden Glory of the Amber Room During the Regency

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

For nearly two and a half centuries, the stunning achievement of the Amber Room stood as one of the world’s most exquisite works of art. Conceived and originally constructed in Prussia, it was soon thereafter presented to one of the most enlightened and forward-thinking of the Russian Tsars. There it was expanded and enhanced by his successors until it ranked as one of the wonders of the world and a powerful symbol of the glory of Mother Russia. It reached the apotheosis of its design and ornamentation scant decades before the Regency, and was famous across the Continent, indeed, the world, as a treasure beyond price. It survived Bonaparte and his invasion of Russia, yet like the Royal Hanoverian Creams, what Napoleon could not destroy, the Nazis ultimately did. But during the Regency, visitors to Russia with entrée into royal circles would have had the opportunity to behold this magnificent masterpiece.

The Amber Room, from its conception to the Regency …

8
Aug

The Regency — The Apotheosis of the Sideboard

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

In the opinion of many art historians, myself included, it was during the decade of the Regency that the sideboard reached the pinnacle of its design and craftsmanship. Regency sideboards were elegant, graceful, but highly functional furniture forms, not equaled before or since.

But this board at the side of the table had been in use for centuries before the decade of Regency and would continue in use right up to the present day. What was so special about the sideboard in the Regency?

18
Jul

The Now Vanished Ephemeral Art:   Chalking the Regency Ballroom Floor

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

… like chalk-figures drawn on ballroom floors
to be danced out before morning!

William Hazlitt
The Conversation of Authors
1826

And so they would be danced out, never to be seen again. But while they lasted, they enhanced the ballroom decorations for the evening, amused and/or charmed those who would soon dance across the surface of those ballroom floors, even as those same dancers consigned the lovely images to oblivion while they enjoyed themselves.

While researching the details of the grand Carlton House Fête which the Prince Regent hosted in June 1811, I finally stumbled upon the truth of the use of chalk in ballrooms. On the handful of previous occasions on which I had encountered a reference to the practice, it was stated that the doors of the ballroom were chalked. It was not until, during the course of this last round of research, that I finally discovered that those references could all be traced back to one incorrect source. In actual fact, it was the floors of the ballroom which were chalked. As I pursued that very thin line of inquiry, I was eventually able to piece together enough details about this delightfully ephemeral art form to realize that it was a frequent practice for notable Regency balls. And now, the chalk on the floor …

27
Jun

What is Shagreen?

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

And why should you care? Well, it was everywhere during the Regency, and the word actually referred to more than one material, each of which could be put to a different purpose, though all were somewhat similar in appearance. The uses for shagreen ranged from carpentry to scientific instruments to high fashion.

Those living in the Regency would have known the difference, and I thought perhaps those of us who like to slip back to that decade through novels set during that time would like to share that knowledge. To avoid chagrin, or perhaps, to embrace it?

22
Dec

The Education of Young Men and Women in the Regency — by Cheryl Bolen

Today we offer you an article by Cheryl Bolen about the way in which young people of both sexes were educated during the Regency. She presents some interesting facts on a Regency education which authors might find of value in their research. Bolen makes clear that the education of ladies was not ignored, nor was education available only to the wealthy. However, as you read about education in Regency times, consider whether or not you would have enjoyed getting an education, Regency-style.

17
Dec

Mrs Hurst Dancing

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

No, this book is not about Jane Austen’s Mrs. Hurst from Pride and Prejudice. The Mrs. Hurst who lent her name to the title of this delightful volume was a real woman, who lived during the Regency. Her home was in a small English village in Buckinghamshire called Newport Pagnell, and she loved to dance. She was captured in full swing one evening at her home in a charming watercolor by a young friend, Diana Sperling.

The full title of this book is Mrs Hurst Dancing & Other Scenes from Regency Life 1812 – 1823. I stumbled across it in my local library and was immediately enchanted. This volume contains full-size reproductions of a number of watercolor sketches made by a young woman called Diana Sperling during the years of the Regency and just beyond. Miss Sperling also wrote witty explanatory captions for most of these watercolors which gives a real flavor of the daily life of a family of the minor gentry during the Regency.

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