During my travels in Edinburgh I spent a blissful afternoon at the National Gallery and then, in the gift shop, I purchased an exhibition catalogue of images of witches in European art as a fun read for myself. While reading it I came across this really stunning painting that, as a British historian (granted, of a slightly earlier period) I had never seen before. And it was so captivating that I promptly printed it in colour for my desk at work.
The work, by Daniel Gardner, depicts the extremely influential Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (you may know her from the not-half-bad Keira Knightly movie The Duchess), Elizabeth Lamb, Viscountess Melbourne, and Anne Seymour Damer as the three witches from Macbeth. Only instead of being portrayed as withered and deformed hags (the weird sisters), as the Macbeth witches are described in Shakespeare and typically depicted artistically, they are beautiful and fashionable and the picture itself is just sort of light and charming and yet witchy. Tantalizingly little is known about the picture but it’s entirely out of Garner’s usual style and may have been commissioned by one of the women (Damer, most likely) who were all notorious, influential, politically minded, and somewhat scandalous figures in the eighteenth century. Anyways, I found it all immensely interesting and wanted to share!
- I believe that cheese is as addictive as hard drugs. I’d kill anyone who comes between me and my cheese. I’m not joking.
- The name says is all: Necropants!
- In honour of both history and Halloween.
- Some of these humorous quips on movies are pretty amusing.
- Well this story of a bear massacre is just really sad.
- This insane website, Six Degrees of Francis Bacon, may be the most amazing thing ever!!!! I am going to spend days, DAYS, on this!