Icons of British Fashion at Blenheim

We went to Blenheim on bank holiday Monday because I wanted to walk from the Ditchley Gate right up to the house. Well, it was pouring down with rain so that wasn’t happening. I managed to check a few aspects of the parkland that I wanted to, but we were soon...

Seaton Delaval Hall

I’m in the midst of writing a book about Sir John Vanbrugh and European art, so apologies for the lack of blogs. However, I didn’t want to miss sharing my photos of Vanbrugh’s late masterpiece, Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland, which I was lucky...

York Watergate

York Watergate, Embankment Gardens, London, Dec 2023. On my way to review an exhibition at the Courtauld, I had a closer look at the York Watergate in Embankment Gardens. It was built around 1626 in the grounds of York House: the Duke of Buckingham’s mansion. The...

Domestic Baroque: Vanbrugh House

As we were in Oxford, we thought we’d have a look at a building on St Michael’s Street, close to the Oxford Union, that had the reputation of being by Sir John Vanbrugh. It probably isn’t, but it’s an intriguing bit of Baroque architecture that...

Birthday Blenheim

The North Front: an interplay of Doric and Corinthian orders. I chose to spend my birthday this year visiting an architectural masterpiece by Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor. One of the Baroque qualities of Blenheim Palace is the way it incorporates a sense...

Consul Smith’s Palazzo

View of the Rialto Bridge from the front of Joseph Smith's palazzo. I’ve been doing some research on Joseph Smith (c. 1674-1770): an Englishman who moved to Venice around 1700, where he established himself as a collector of rare books and paintings. In 1744 he...