Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)

Portrait of François Langlois (1589 – 1647) London, probably early 1630s Oil on canvas 97.8 x 80 cm This engaging portrait depicts François Langlois (1589-1647), an engraver, art dealer and publisher, who lived in Florence and Rome in the 1620s, where he presumably met Van Dyck. In 1634 he settled in Paris. He is dressed … Read more

Marguerite Gérard (1761 – 1837)

The Reader In the privacy of her tastefully uncluttered home, a young woman intently reads a book. Her delicately ringleted head cranes towards the pages, slightly disturbing her otherwise impeccably upright figure, which sports a fashionable late-18th-century empire waistline. A cat is settled on her lap, while her son stands listlessly at her side. This … Read more

David the younger Teniers (1610-1690)

The Bleaching Ground possibly Antwerp, the 1640s Oil on canvas 85 x 120.5 cm The women of an unidentified town gather for the first spring wash after the long winter months. The setting is a communal bleaching ground with its wells and an open wash house to the right. This is located outside the town … Read more

Ascribed to Jan de Beer (about 1475 – before 1528)

Joseph and the Suitors (recto), The Nativity (verso) This panel is painted on both sides and it formed part of an altarpiece or a screen illustrating the life of the Virgin Mary. She is shown in a nocturnal scene adoring the infant Christ. Two shepherds approach through the door to the right, and Joseph with … Read more

JOSHUA REYNOLDS (1723 – 1792)

Maria Marow Gideon and her Brother, William London, 1786/7 Oil on canvas 240 x 148 cm Maria (1767-1834) and William (1775-1805) were the children of Sir Sampson Gideon, who paid Reynolds £300 for this painting in 1787. Maria later married Gregory, 14th Lord Saye and Sele, whilst William, having risen to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel … Read more

The Studio of Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)

Saint Marina (Margaret) Seville, possibly the 1630s Oil on canvas 160 x 107 cm Saint Marina, also known as Margaret, was martyred at the beginning of the fourth century.  Marina is traditionally depicted with the dragon, the devil in disguise, which she killed. This is a much simpler representation, in her role as shepherdess, with … Read more

Emanuel de Witte (about 1617-1691/2)

The Interior of the Old Church, Amsterdam Amsterdam, probably the 1680s Oil on canvas 83.5 x 66.5 cm De Witte painted over forty views of the Old Church in Amsterdam, including others taken from this viewpoint by the side entrance at the west end.  With the sun shining from behind, a man casts a prominent … Read more

Richard Wilson (1712/13-1782)

The River Dee near Eaton Hall London, probably exhibited 1760 Oil on canvas 54 x 88.6 cm This view of the River Dee in Cheshire looks upstream to the south-west and the distant hills of Wales. It was painted for Sir Richard Grosvenor, the owner of the nearby Eaton estate.  The Welsh artist Wilson had … Read more

James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903)

Symphony in White, No.III London, about 1865-7 Oil on canvas 51.4 x 76.9 cm Whistler inscribed a musical title on this canvas to describe a painting of two young women dressed in white. The artist chose the term ‘Symphony’ to emphasise to visitors to the Royal Academy’s exhibition in 1867 that it was purely a … Read more

Edouard Vuillard (1868 – 1940)

Madame Vuillard Arranging Her Hair Paris, 1900 Oil on cardboard 49.5 x 35.5 cm We witness a private domestic scene: the artist’s mother is posed in front of a mirror in the Parisian apartment where they lived. The snapshot effect here suggests that Vuillard based this painting on one of the numerous family photographs that … Read more

Hendrick Cornelisz. van der Vliet (1611/2-1675)

A Grotto in an Imaginary Landscape Delft, Holland, 1643 Oil on wood 54.7 x 90.2 cm Vliet specialised in painting church interiors and this is his only known landscape, though such scenes were popular with his Dutch contemporaries. The grotto is a curious hybrid, partly natural and partly man-made with elements carved from the rocks.  … Read more

Paolo Caliari, called Veronese (1528 – 1588)

The Visitation Venice, about 1577 Oil on canvas 277.5 x 156 cm The Virgin, in the centre, greets her elderly cousin Elizabeth with news of the impending birth of Christ.  After a long barren life, Elizabeth is also miraculously pregnant, with John the Baptist.  Veronese locates the meeting in front of a palace.  The observers … Read more

Unknown Netherlandish Artist (16th Century)

A Portrait of an Unknown Ecclesiastic Netherlands, about 1550 Oil on wood 66.3 x 51 cm This fine portrait was previously attributed to Quentin Massys (1465/6-1530) but it is now thought to have been produced at least twenty years after his death. The sitter is identified as an ecclesiastic by his costume: a rochet with … Read more

Attributed to the Master of the Judgment of Paris

Daphne Pursued by Apollo The Metamorphosis of Daphne Florence, about 1450 Tempera on wood 47.4 x 53.1 cm The scenes illustrate a story from Metamorphoses written by the Roman poet Ovid.  The poem describes a series of magical transformations.  In the left panel, the god Apollo pursues the nymph Daphne who has rejected his love … Read more

Unknown Italian Artist

The Madonna and Child Enthroned (centre); Saint John the Baptist, with the Angel of the Annunciation (left); Saint Mary Magdalene, with the Madonna Annunciate (right) Tempera on wood Venice or Rimini, late 14th century 27.2 x 40 cm The Virgin Mary, enthroned with the infant Christ, appears against a finely decorated gold ground. They are … Read more

Unknown Italian Artist

The Crucifixion Probably Tuscany, the end of the 13th century Tempera on wood 56.5 x 32.5 cm The Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist mourn at the foot of the cross.  Their anguish directs attention to the humanity of Christ and his suffering.  Such small scale devotional paintings sought to deepen and inspire faith, … Read more

Unknown Italian Artist, after Andrea del Sarto (1486 – 1530)

The Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist Florence, the early 16th century Oil on wood 55.3 x 39 cm This is a copy of a fresco which Andrea del Sarto painted for an outdoor tabernacle near one of the medieval gates of Florence. The fresco was painted in 1520 and was … Read more

Ugolino de Nerio (worked from 1317, died 1339 or 1349)

Saint Francis of Assisi Siena, probably the 1320s Tempera on wood 88.2 x 32.2 cm Saint Francis (1182 – 1226) wears the brown habit of the religious order he founded in the early 13th century. The triple-knotted girdle hanging from his waist symbolises the poverty, obedience and chastity demanded of his followers.  The saint displays his stigmata, … Read more

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851)

The Sun Setting Through Vapour London, about 1809 Oil on canvas 69.2 x 101.6 cm The sun disperses the clouds and infuses sand and sea with a golden glow.  Fishermen unload their catch which is then displayed on the beach for sale. Behind, a number of ships including a first-rate man-of-war and a dismasted hulk … Read more

Jean-François de Troy (1679-1752)

Jason Taming the Bulls of Aeetes Rome, about 1742 Oil on canvas 55.3 x 128.9 cm Jason, in the centre, miraculously tames two fire-breathing bulls in his quest for the Golden Fleece.  He is watched in amazement to the left by Aeetes, the King of Colchis, and by his daughter Medea.  She was Jason’s lover … Read more

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 – 1901)

A Woman Seated in a Garden Paris, about 1890 Essence on cardboard 49.4 x 31.3 cm Toulouse-Lautrec painted many studies of women posed in a garden setting in the years around 1890.  The studies were made in a public park close to his studio in Montmartre and they included friends and paid models. The unknown woman … Read more

Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto (1518 – 1594)

A Portrait of a Young Man Venice, 1554 Oil on canvas 121 x 93.3 cm The inscription records that this portrait was painted ‘in the year 1554 in the month of May [or March], in the 22nd year of his age’.  Unfortunately, the identity of the young man has been lost.  However, the three-quarter-length format, … Read more

Tiberio of Assisi (about 1470-1524)

Saint Francis of Assisi Bastia, near Assisi, early 16th century Fresco, transferred to canvas in the 19th century 153 x 70 cm Saint Francis (about 1181-1226) is shown in the habit of the religious order he formed, the Friars Minor.  He displays the stigmata, the scars corresponding to the five wounds of the crucified Christ.  … Read more

Tiberio of Assisi (about 1470 – 1524)

Saint Ansanus Bastia, near Assisi, the early 16th century Fresco, trasferred to canvas in the 19th century 153 x 70 cm Ansanus (died 303) was a Sienese nobleman martyred by the Emperor Diocletian for converting to Christianity.  He was the city’s earliest patron saint.  He is shown holding his trachea, lungs, heart and liver, possibly … Read more

Bernardo Strozzi (1581 – 1644)

The Head of an Old Woman Genoa, the 1620s Oil on canvas 48.3 x 38.8 cm This startling image is a study of old age made from a model, rather than being a commissioned portrait.  Such character studies were occasionally painted by artists as the basis for biblical or mythological subjects which included elderly people. … Read more

Attributed to José Campeche y Jordán (1751 – 1809)

Portrait of a Lady San Juan, Puerto Rico, about 1800-05 Oil on canvas  105 x 85 cm Acquired in 1940 as a portrait by the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya of his mother, this attribution has long been dismissed – along with the authenticity of two accompanying letters, also supposedly by Goya, that mention the … Read more