Art History with Anne

Newsletter June 2023

Throughout May I was kept very busy with Travel Editions tours to Normandy and Lille/Antwerp.  Monet and Impressionists in Normandy, which has been running very successfully for many years, includes a full day in Giverny to visit Monet’s famous house and garden, the Museum of Impressionism and Monet’s final resting place.  Early May is a perfect time to visit Monet’s water garden, as the lilac and white wisteria on the Japanese bridge are usually in full bloom. I was lucky to catch the tree peonies at their best. In the Clos Normand, the garden surrounding his house, the irises should be out. But at what ever time of the year you visit the gardens, there will be beautiful flowers to see: in early spring tulips followed by geraniums in early summer and sunflowers in late summer. My favourite feature is the grand ally, which originally took visitors from the house to the Japanese bridge. In late summer the ground is covered with vibrant nasturtiums. Monet’s ‘garden of an artist’ may well inspire your own green fingers!

Live lecture for June

Art Nouveau/Jugendstil in Strasbourg

The Live Lecture: To be given on Monday 26th June 2023 at 11am and repeated at 7pm BST

Finally, after several cancellations due to COVID restrictions, I was able to lead my new Travel Editions tour to Strasbourg and Karlsruhe. After Paris and Nancy, Strasbourg boasts the largest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in France.  However, the local architects were influenced as much by German Jugendstil and the Vienna Secession as they were by the whiplash style of Hector Guimard’s Paris Metro Stations. Falling into the annexed territories ceded to Prussia after the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian war, Strasbourg became a cultural crossroads. Most of the Art Nouveau buildings can be found in the Neustadt and Neudorf areas developed under Prussian rule. Many of the architects had German origins or had studied in Germany. Architectural duos, who co-authored of buildings, are a local peculiarity: Franz Lütke (1860–1929) and Heinrich Backes (1866–1931); Jules (Julius) Berninger (1856–1926) and Gustave (Gustav) Krafft (1861–1927); and Ferdinand Kalweit and Max Geist.  

Join me to discover the idiosyncratic nature of Art Nouveau in Strasbourg!

Immeuble, 22 Rue Du Général de Castelnau, Built 1903, Franz Lütke  and Heinrich Backes, architects

Immeuble, 22 Rue Du Général de Castelnau, Built 1903, Franz Lütke  and Heinrich Backes, architects. Window on the staircase.

Maison “egyptienne” 10 Rue du Général Rapp, Built 1905.Franz Scheyder, architect, Adolphe Zilly painter

Date and Time

Art Nouveau/Jugendstil in Strasbourg To be given live on Monday 26th June 2023 at 11am and repeated at 7pm BST

The cost of this month’s lecture is £10.  
  You can book the lecture for either the morning or the evening presentation.

Once you register and pay, you will be sent a separate email with your link. You will need this link to access the lecture on the day so please do not delete it.

As the lecture will be delivered live by Zoom, you will be able to ask your questions in person at the end. You can also use the ‘Chat’ function.

After the lecture you will be sent another private link so you can access the lecture on my YouTube Channel.
To book your place please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield77@gmail.com
Please note Susan’s new email address as above

Please state your preferred time, Morning Lecture or Evening Lecture, for the zoom link as they have different codes.

You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to ‘Anne Anderson’.
Or you can pay by PayPal


Art Nouveau/Jugendstil in Strasbourg


Live and in Person! Thursday 15th June 2023

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey have asked me to deliver a study day on C.F.A. Voysey to be held at Goddards, a wonderful house designed by Edwin Lutyens with gardens by Gertrude Jekyll.  Owned by the Landmark Trust, the property is normally rented out. So, this is rare opportunity to see the property. I will be offering two lectures, Voysey’s Surrey Houses and The De Morgans, the Lovelaces and Voysey. Before these two lectures you will have the opportunity to tour the house.

Ticket prices includes a welcome drink and tea/cake: Members £24 and Non-members £26.

Numbers are limited to 30 people. There are just three places left.


or Carolyn Smith, chair ACMS,  cmsatreelhall@btinternet.com

Lutyens/Jekyll, Goddards, Surrey

C.F.A. Voysey, Norney Grange, Shackleford, Surrey

What’s New on the Channel

Why not have a look at what’s just been released on our free access channel:  Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel on YouTube.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1864 –1933) was an English-born artist who attended classes at the Glasgow School of Art and whose art and design work became one of the defining features of the Glasgow Style in the years around 1900. It was at the School of Art that she met her future husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, often seen as Scotland’s greatest architect. Her work has been somewhat marginalised in comparison, by later art and design historians, but in recent decades has been recognised as a major contribution to the progressive style and output of the Glasgow Four, the group that included her sister Frances and her husband Herbert MacNair, as well as Mackintosh.

Travel Editions Tours

Some news for those of you who are interested in the art and heritage tours, in the UK and/or abroad, that Scott and I undertake through the Travel Editions company. Following a successful series of UK tours in  2022,Travel Editions is running an interesting range of tours this summer and autumn. Below are listed some of our tours scheduled for later this year, that might be of interest to you.

Arts and Crafts Houses and Gardens, 31 July – 02 August (based in Cheltenham)
Following in the footsteps of William Morris, artists and craftsmen settled in villages throughout the Cotswolds, including picturesque Broadway and Chipping Campden, drawn here by its rich craft tradition and natural charm.

Gothic Castles to French Impressionism, 14 – 16 August (based in Cardiff) 
It was a love of Gothic Revivalism that bought the 3rd Marquess of Bute together with architect William Burges to sumptuously remodel Cardiff Castle and create the Neo-Gothic fairytale Castell Coch in the late 1800s, a main features of your visit to Cardiff. The tour also looks at the magnificent French Impressionist art collection, one of the most important private collections in Britain, formed by the Davies sisters and housed in the National Museum of Wales. 
For further details on these and other tours, please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-90), Landscape at Auvers in the Rain. 1890. Purchased Paris 1920. Bequeathed to the National Gallery of Wales by Gwendoline Davies, 1952


Art History with Anne

Newsletter April 2023

Live Lectures for April

The Vienna Secession 1897-1918

The highlight of my visit to Vienna in 2018 was the chance to scale scaffolding to get up close to Klimt’s paintings on the staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.  I came face to face with his larger-than-life image of Athena/Minerva, the Greek goddess of War and the Arts, who would become the talisman of the Vienna Secession in 1897.

As its titular leader, Klimt was the foremost artist of the Secession. His world renown rests on his golden images of Adele Bloch Bauer and The Kiss.  Egon Schiele was the Secession’s wild child, whose subjects still have the power to shock. However, it was the architect Otto Wagner and his student Joseph Maria Olbrich who transformed Vienna into a modern city, collaborating on the construction of the Vienna Stadtbahn. Another student, Josef Hoffman, renounced useless ornament in favour of simple squares. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, Hoffmann and Kolo Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte/ Vienna Workshops with financial backing from the industrialist Fritz Wärndorferin 1903. Advocating the concept of a building as a Gesamtkunstwerk or ‘total artwork’, Hoffmann’s greatest achievement was the Palais Stoclet, Brussels (1905-11) 

Over three lectures I will explore the paintings, architecture, and design of fin de siècle Vienna.

The architecture of the Vienna Secession: from Otto Wagner to Adolf Loos

Olbrich’s Secession House (1898), known locally as the ‘Golden Cabbage’, and Wagner’s House with medallions (1898/99) set the tone for the white and gold phase of the Secession. The commission for the Church of St Leopold/ Kirche am Steinhof (1902/07) allowed Wagner to realise his dreams for a modern style of church construction.   At the centre of a large new psychiatric hospital, this ‘total artwork’ is both beautiful and practical.

Declaring ‘Necessity is the only mistress of art’, practically led Wagner to develop a Nutztil or ‘Use-Style’ for the Österreichische Postsparkasse/ Austrian Postal Savings Bank (1904-06). Architect Adolf Loos went even further declaring ornament to be a crime! Lavish decoration was to be swept away by smooth and clear surfaces. The Looshaus (1912) exemplifies his functionalist outlook. Yet although starkly plain, the building uses sumptuous materials. Its nakedness was an affront to emperor Franz-Joseph’s sensibilities. Loos conceded to his objections by adding some decoration, flowerpots!

The Wiener Werkstätte: the designs of Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser

Inspired by the English Arts and Crafts ethos, artist designed hand-crafted products, Hoffmann and Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte.  The range of products was inclusive, furniture, metalwork, ceramics, leatherwork, bookbinding, postcards, jewellery, and clothing.  Influenced by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald, who showed their designs at the 8th Secession exhibition of 1900, they adopted a restrained, linear style rather than the organic curvilinear forms associated with Paris and Brussels.  The square and grid, often expressed in black and white, would become the signature of the Wiener Werkstätte, as seen in Hoffmann’s Sitzmaschine Armchair (1905) and Glitterwerk metal baskets (c.1906-1916). Hoffmann’s constant use of squares and cubes earned him the nickname Quadratl-Hoffmann (“Square Hoffmann”). Similarly, Moser’s design for a wallpaper, Die Reifezeit (Harvest Time) (1901), is dominated by a black and white grid pattern.

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Freud

Klimt and Schiele tackled taboo subjects; Klimt celebrated the sexualised woman, while Schiele was fascinated by the fragility of youthful innocence. With the advent of psychoanalysis, both artists appear to reflect the thinking of Sigmund Freud.  Critics accused them of creating pornography, of revelling in the sordid and bringing art down into the gutter. In today’s climate of ‘political correctness’, audiences might still be shocked by their subject matter. However, with the distance of time, their works allow us to tackle sensitive issues allowing us to explore aspects of the human condition, especially birth and death, love and loss and desire.

Please join me to explore the Vienna Secession

Lecture One Architecture

The architecture of the Vienna Secession: from Otto Wagner to Adolf Loos


Lecture Two Design

The Wiener Werkstätte: the designs of Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser


Lecture Three Klimt and Schiele

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Freud


Three Lectures

Architecture Design Painting


Please join me to explore the Vienna Secession


Art History with Anne

Newsletter February 2023

Lectures for February

Barcelona: Catalonian Modernisme

I am all too often asked when Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, often mistaken for the city’s cathedral, will be finished.  Hopefully in 1926 to celebrate the centenary of his death.

Everything about Gaudi is larger than life including his death. Knocked down by a tram, the shabbily dressed architect was mistaken for a tramp and failed to receive proper medical treatment. He died three days later in a pauper’s ward. Thousands citizens attended the funeral of ‘God’s architect’. He was buried in the crypt of his beloved Sagrada Familia, the ’magna opus’ which had dominated his every waking moment since 1915. Becoming a virtual recluse Gaudi lived and worked on the site.  Yet very little was completed upon his death, only the crypt, apse, and part of the Nativity façade. After WW1, the Sagrada Familia was ridiculed as a folly. In the age of austere international Modernism, Gaudi’s uniquely personal vision was not appreciated. His workshop was vandalised during the Spanish civil war in 1936, with many precious plans and models destroyed. However, in the 1950s another visionary artist, Salvador Dali, began to champion Gaudi. Today, partly thanks to the Olympics held in Barcelona in 1992, few have not heard of the Sagrada Familia, the church’s unfinished state adding an intriguing twist. Some 2.5 million people visit it each year, the ticket money going towards the cost of completion.  

When I first saw Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in the mid-1980s, the building could have been mistaken for a ruin rather than a building site. By that stage the Nativity façade had been completed but the shell of the nave had no roof.  

Construction of the Sagrada Familia Church in the spring of 1988.

The mind-numbingly mathematically complex stone vaults, using helicoids, hyperboloids, and hyperbolic paraboloids, covering the nave and transepts were finally completed in 2010 and the basilica consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI. Looking up at the vault, Gaudi envisioned a dense canopy of trees with sunlight shining through.

This luminous effect was brought to life once the stained-glass windows by Joan Vila-Grau were installed. Positioned east/west, the light streaming through passes from cool blues and greens in the morning to the vibrant yellows, orange and red of sunset.  Inspired by Tiffany, Gaudi experimented with coloured glass at La Seu, the cathedral in Palma de Mallorca. He envisioned a symphony of coloured light with ‘the light gliding over the windows like water over pebbles.’  Using leading and glass of different textures and thickness, Vila-Grau was able to achieve Gaudi’s luminism. Despite all the tourists, a mystic light imbues the church with a soul, creating a transcendent atmosphere.  Many are moved by the experience.

Many visitors are equally in astonished by the interior of the Palau de la Música Catalana, created by Barcelona’s other outstanding Modernsita architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The city boasts many masterpieces by Domènech: the Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau, the Casa Lleo Morera and the Hotel Espana, where I longingly hope to stay one day! 

The Saló de les Sirenes (Mermaids Room), with paintings attributed to Ramon Casas, now serves as the Breakfast room. 

Domènech, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau  1901-30

In fact, Barcelona is awash with Modernista, the Catalan name for Art Nouveau, with around 1000 buildings designated of architectural interest.  However, Barcelona’s Modernista buildings belong to a much wider cultural Renaissance or Renaixença.  Modernisme encompassed all aspects of Catalonian culture, literature and music as well as painting and the decorative arts. This can be read as a form of National Romanticism, an attempt to assert Catalonian identity in the face of ‘oppression’.  As Catalonia grew in wealth and power, the region strove to re-establish its national identity, separate to Castilian Spain, firstly by restoring its language after 150 years of repression and secondly by a conscious injection of modern ideas. 

With defeat in the 1898 Cuban War, and the ensuing loss of its last overseas colonies, Spain seemed mired in nostalgia, unable to grabble with the loss of imperial status.  Against the image of an isolated decadent Spain, arose the vision of a modern European Catalonia driven by industry and commerce.  Entrepreneurs, a mercantile class that had reaped the benefits of industrialisation and colonisation, saw the benefits of supporting Modernista architecture:  Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, 1st Count of Güell, initially made his fortune from textiles;  the fortune of Pere Milà and his wife Roser Segimón came from coffee plantations in South America; and Josep Batlló i Casanovas, a textile industrialist, married Amàlia Godó Belaunzarán, from the family that founded the newspaper La Vanguardia. Casa Amatller  celebrates the fortune made by Antoni Amatller i Costa from coco and chocolate. Architects and patrons came together, devising a ‘coherent cultural ideology’ based on Modernisme, Nationalism and Mercantilism.

Antoni Gaudi, Casa Mila (La Pedrera), 1906-1912

Join me to explore three aspects of Catalonia Modernisme, the work of Gaudi, Domènech and the impact of Realism and Impressionism on Catalan painting.

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet

Gaudi took the tenets of Modernista architect to daring extremes and developed a style unmistakably his own, as seen in the serpentine curves of the bench of the Park Güell  (1911-13), the undulating forms of the Casa Milà (1906-12) to the impossibly grandiose Roman Catholic Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (1882-), where nature informs both the structure and the decoration. His designs came ‘from the Great Book of Nature’, with his ‘textbooks’ the mountains and caves he loved to explore. Many have criticised Gaudi for his flamboyant style, in many ways a reworking of Gothic forms. George Orwell, who declared La Sagrada Familia to be ‘one of the most hideous buildings in the world’, rather hoped it would be destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Yet Louis Sullivan, said to be the ‘father of skyscrapers’, described it as ‘spirit symbolised in stone.’ For Manuel Vicent, writing in El Pais, the building’s only saving grace was being unfinished, ‘the dream of a genius driven crazy by mystic reveries.’ La Sagrada Familia came to dominate Gaudi’s life, as the intensely pious architect abandoned other projects. He sought to bring his experimental forms, tried out at the Park Güell and the crypt of the Colònia Güell, to fruition creating a church that was at once structurally perfect, aesthetically satisfying and spiritually fulfilling.

Bench of the Park Güell (1911-13)

Domènech i Montaner

Considered the father of Modernisme,  Domènech launched his unique style, blending Gothic with Moorish forms,  with the Castell de Tres Dragons (1888), in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Serving as a restaurant during the 1888 Universal Exhibition, this marks the moment Barcelona asserted its identity as both Catalonian and modern.  The son of a bookbinder, Domenech was a multi-talented intellectual, who engaged in politics, journalism, botany and heraldry amongst other interests. Aside from holding a 45-year tenure as a professor and director at the Escola d’Arquitectura, he orchestrated the mammoth project of the Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau (1902-1930).

Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau (1902-1930)

The Casa Lleó Morera, with furniture and joinery by Gaspar Homar and Josep Pey, as well as sculptures by Eusebi Arnau and stained glass by Antoni Rigalt, is a tour de force, a perfect expression of the gesamtkunstwerk that draws on the talents of several leading artists. Nevertheless, his most stunning contribution to Modernista is the Palau de la Musica Catalana (1905-08), another collaboration drawing on the talents of Lluis Bru i Salelles for the exterior mosaics and Dídac Masana i Majó and Pablo Emilio Gargallo Catalán for the mind-blowing monumental sculptures of the proscenium arch.

Palau de la Musica Catalana (1905-08)

Modernisme: Catalan Painters from Marià Fortuny to Pablo Picasso

Many are under the misapprehension that Marià Fortuny was Italian. This mistake arises from the famous fashion House of Fortuny, based in Venice, which was founded by his son Mariano Fortuny. Sadly, Mariano never knew his father, the leading Spanish painter of his day, as he died when his son was only three. Fortuny, who shares the same birthplace as Gaudi and Domènech,  Reus, near Tarragona,  is credited with developing Costumbrismo, thepictorial interpretation of local everyday Hispanic life, customs (costumbres)  and traditions. Although costumbrist painters focused on the precise representation of people and places, allying them to realism, the emphasis on colourful historic dress and events such as fiestas, bull fights and religious festivals, also ties them to romanticism. Fortuny’s vivacious iridescent brushstroke brought new life to Costumbrismo and established Hispanic life as a worthy subject. He paved the way for the next generation, the Modernisme painters.

Marià Fortuny, The Spanish Wedding, 1870

Through his posters and other graphic works, Ramon Casas (1866-1932) helped to define Catalan Modernisme. He was one of the founders of the café Els Quatre Gats (Four Cats), so named as in Catalan this expression means ‘weird’ people, namely artists, writers, and outsiders.  The café was opened in 1897 by four artists- Miguel Utrillo, Pere Romeu, Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931) and Casas. It soon became a meeting place for the avant-garde. The same circle of artists founded the art magazine of the same name, illustrated by themselves, in which they also voiced their ideas and opinions. 

Santiago Rusiñol i Prats, Gardens of Aranjuez, 1911

Exhibitions and concerts were held at the café, providing opportunities for younger artists: Pablo Picasso (1871-1973) had his first exhibition at the Els Quatre Gats. Although born in Malaga, Picasso’s family moved to Barcelona in 1895.  He thought of the city as his home, even learning Catalan. In his early works he often depicted Catalan life.

First Communion (1896), Picasso’s first painting, aged fifteen.

Please join me to explore Catalonia Modernisme:  the architecture of Gaudi and Domènech and Catalan Modernist painting.

You can pay for these lectures through PayPal

Lecture one Gaudi

Antoni Gaudi


Lecture 2 Domenech

Domènech i Montaner


Lecture 3 Catalan Painters

Modernisme: Catalan Painters


Three lectures

Gaudi Domènech Modernisme: Catalan Painters



Art History with Anne

Newsletter January 2023

In the Art world, there is plenty to look forward to in 2023!

Two centenary’s that have caught my eye are Sorolla, ‘Spain’s master of light’ and the ‘Divine Sarah’, the greatest tragic actress of her age. Both died in 1923. Both centenaries will be marked with exhibitions in Madrid, Valencia and Paris. I have three lectures on Sorolla on open access…go to Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel.

To mark Sarah Bernhardt’s centenary, the Petit Palais, Paris will be holding an exceptional exhibition from 14th April to 27th August 2023. With over 400 hundred exhibits ranging from costumes to paintings and photographs the exhibition will cover her amazing career as an actress and artist. To whet your appetite, I will be offering a one-hour lecture on the ‘Divine Sarah’ which will cover not only her stage career but also her complicated love life (she was bisexual) and success as a sculptor.  It will pay special attention to the intersection of her career with that of Oscar Wilde. The two had much in common!

Please join me on Wednesday 25th January, at either 11am or 7pm BST to learn more about the ‘Divine Sarah’. For details of how to join go to the end of this blog.

‘The Divine Sarah’: Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), a modern celebrity

With her lyrical ‘golden voice’ and stage presence the ‘Divine Sarah’  held her audiences in thrall. As Mark Twain put it, ‘there are five kinds of actresses: bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses—and then there is Sarah Bernhardt.’ Artists hoped to paint her. Playwrights created roles for her.

Edmond Rostand, who described her as ‘the queen of the pose and the princess of the gesture,’ wrote La Princesse Lointaine/The Unattainable Princess (1895) to display her talents. Rene Lalique designed her dramatic head-dress of bejewelled lilies, while Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau posters immortalised the role.

Sarah Bernhardt as Mélisande in La Princesse Lointaine wearing the headdress designed by Alphonse Mucha and created by Rene Lalique (1895).

Alphonse Mucha’s poster in honour of Sarah Bernhardt

Victorien Sardou offered Bernhardt many melodramatic roles, writing Fédora (1882), Théodora (1884), La Tosca (1887) and Cléopâtre (1890) for her. Playing variously a vicious queen, a prostitute, and a lady of dubious morality, Bernhardt embodied the ‘femme-fatale’.

Sarah Bernhardt in the role of La Tosca. Colour lithograph by Mucha, 1899.

When Bernhardt arrived in England in May 1879, Oscar Wilde, accompanied by the actor Johnston Forbes-Robertson went down to Folkestone to greet her. Forbes-Robertson presented her with a gardenia, while Wilde, overhearing the cry ‘they’ll make a carpet of flowers for you soon’, is said to have flung down an armful of lilies. As she rather reluctantly walked over the blooms, Wilde cried out ‘Hip, hip hurrah! A cheer for Sarah Bernhardt!’  After attending her opening night at the Gaiety Theatre, Wilde heaped rapturous praise on Sarah’s performance of Racine’s Phedre.

Sarah Bernhardt in Racine’s Phèdre, Nadar, c. 1874

He declared her performance to be ‘the most splendid creation’ he had ever witnessed. Oscar ‘poured out his soul’ in a sonnet, ‘How vain and dull our common world must seem/To such a one as Thou’. He had already learnt the lesson of hitching his star to an international celebrity; his sonnet appeared in the well-read Society weekly paper The World. During Sarah’s sojourn in London, Wilde remained her ‘devoted attendant’. The actress even graced his rooms in Salisbury Street, off the Strand. After one jolly supper party, she scrawled her signature on the whitewashed panelling.

Bernhardt returned to London in 1892, the same year Oscar achieved his first West End hit with Lady Windermere’s Fan.  Impressed by this achievement, Sarah asked him to write a play for her. In jest he replied he had already done so, with Salomé. A reading of the play apparently whetted her imagination. It was not ‘religious’ but rather dealt with desire- ‘love, passion, nature, the stars.’   She wanted to play the title role immediately, as part of her current London season. For Wilde this would have been an amazing coup, an artistic triumph to match the commercial success of his Society comedy.

Graham Robertson designed the costumes for the original production of Salomé at the request of Bernhardt. Wilde expressed a desire that they should be in varying shades of yellow, from pale lemon to almost orange.  The choice was deliberate, echoing the racy French ‘yellow- backed’ novels.

Rehearsals began at once. If Wilde harboured any doubts about a 47-year-old woman playing a young girl, they were soon dispelled. To hear his words ‘spoken by the most beautiful voice in the world’ was ‘the greatest joy that is possible to experience’. Although Wilde had grandiose plans for the stage setting and costumes, to save money the scenery and costumes for Cleopatra were to be used. However, Wilde’s ambitions were dashed when the Lord Chamberlain refused to grant a license for the play. Sarah was unwilling to give up the part, declaring ‘the role is mine, Mr Oscar Wilde has given it to me, and nobody else can perform it. No, no, no.’ But it was not to be, Wilde never saw his play produced. However, Mucha gives us a taste of what might have been!

Alphonse Mucha, Salomé , coloured lithograph, 1897

Like Oscar, Sarah was a shrewd self-promoter. According to Hannah Manktelow, she ‘cultivated her image as a mysterious, exotic outsider. She claimed to sleep in a coffin and encouraged the circulation of outlandish rumours about her eccentric behaviour.’

Like Wilde she has left us some wonderful ‘bon mot’….

Oscar Wilde: ‘Do you mind if I smoke?’ Sarah Bernhardt: ‘I don’t care if you burn.’

‘It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich’

‘Slow down? Rest? With all eternity before me?’

[When asked aged 79 why her Paris apartment was on the top floor, up many flights of stairs she declared:

It’s the only way I can still make the hearts of men beat faster.

Please join me on Wednesday 25th January, at either 11am or 7pm BST to learn more about the ‘Divine Sarah’. I will be repeating the morning lecture in the evening of the same day for those people unable to make the morning slot.

The lecture will be delivered live by Zoom. It will be uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel, and you will be provided with a private link to view it again at your leisure.
The lecture lasts for around an hour. 

As the lectures will be delivered live by Zoom, you will be able to ask your questions in person at the end. You can also use the ‘Chat’ function.
The lecture costs £10. To book a place

Please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com

Or you can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to Anne Anderson.

Or you can pay by PayPal

One lecture

‘Divine Sarah’


Once you register and pay, you will be sent a separate email with your link. You will need this link to access the lecture on the day so please do not delete it. 
After the lecture you will be sent another private link so you can access the lecture on my YouTube Channel.

Please join me on Wednesday 25th January, at either 11am or 7pm BST


Art History with Anne

December Newsletter

A Christmas Lecture

Peter Pan: It’s Behind You!

Is Peter Pan a pantomime?  Well, if you want to adhere strictly to the Victorian rules, probably not. But as the ‘fairy play’ was first performed on 27 December 1904, Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up has inevitably been thought of as a ‘holiday entertainment for children’.

Poster for Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Charles Buchel, 1904

Peter Pan has been performed continually as a play and musical for over a hundred years, more recently entering the panto repertoire. This year it will be played in Stoke-on-Trent, Malvern, and Manchester. The show borrows from panto’s gender-crossing convention: Peter Pan has always been played by the ‘principal boy’ the role being first taken by Nina Boucicault. The reason for this was the difficulty of using a child actor in the main role; children were not allowed to perform after 9pm. Also, a ‘breeches role’ allowed women to defy convention by showing their legs. This drew the attention of many fathers, guaranteeing a big audience! 

Peter Pan also has a great villain, Captain Hook.  He certainly needs to keep an eye over his shoulder, as he is stalked by a crocodile who has already acquired a taste for him. The dual role of Hook and the children’s father Mr. Darling was first played by Gerald du Maurier.  That name will be familiar to many, as Gerald was the son of the famous cartoonist and author of Trilby George du Maurier and in turn the father of novelist Daphne du Maurier. Gerald had already made a name for himself playing Ernest in Barrie’s comedy The Admirable Crichton.  By one of those strange coincidences Gerald was also the brother of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the mother of the boys who inspired J M Barrie to write Peter Pan.

James Hook (The Pirate Captain) Gerald du Maurier

Barrie first encountered George (5), Jack (3) and baby Peter Llewelyn Davies with their nanny whilst walking his dog, Porthos, a St. Bernard, in Kensington Gardens. However, it was his dog Luath, a Newfoundland, who appears to have inspired ‘Nana’ the dog nursemaid.  In the first stage production Nana was played by actor Arthur Lupino dressed as a dog!    Apparently Lupino studied Luath first hand, at the writer’s home.  Many of Nana’s stage movements, such as banging a paw on the floor, were derived from the dog’s behaviour. The tradition of an actor dressed in a dog costume continues. Impersonator George Ali gave an impressive performance as Nana in the 1924 silent film adaptation. However, Christopher Walken as Mr Darling/Hook, in NBC’s 2014 live televised production, was up staged by a real dog, Bowdie a rescued poodle cross!

Arthur Lupino (1864-1908) as Nana and Sir Gerald Du Maurier 

Soon a friend of the family, which grew to five boys, Barrie, whose marriage was childless, enjoyed entertaining them with tall tales of adventure. While he claimed all five boys inspired him, Barrie was also haunted by the tragic death of his older brother, David, who died in a freak ice-skating accident before his 14th birthday. His mother thought of David as ‘forever a boy’. Today the story’s appeal rests on the hope that we remain ‘forever a child’ in spirit.

As Barrie never fully described Peter’s appearance, leaving it to the imagination of the reader, our image of Peter Pan has been shaped by later illustrators. John Hassall designed a set of six prints for Liberty & Co as nursery pictures in 1905.

Prior to the play, Peter Pan made his first appearance in the adult novel The Little White Bird (1902) featuring in chapters 13-18.  Over hearing his parents talking about what it means to be an adult, Baby Peter flies from his nursery to Kensington Gardens. Living among the fairies and elves, he is described as ‘betwixt-and-between’ a boy and a bird.

Following the stage success of Peter Pan, these chapters were reissued as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens with illustrations by Arthur Rackham.

Barrie then adapted and expanded the storyline of his play, publishing the novel Peter and Wendy with illustrations by Francis Donkin Bedford in 1911. 

However, my own cherished volume has charming illustrations by Lucy Mabel Atwell (1921)

If you would like to discover more about Barrie and his ‘Lost Boys’, who were orphaned in 1910, go to my You Tube Channel, Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel, where you will find an open access lecture.



Anne’s Pocket Guide to Helsinki Jugend Suomessa

A Walk-through Helsinki’s Jugendstil districts

When thinking about Baltic Art Nouveau, the grandiose buildings of Riga usually spring to mind. However, Helsinki boasts over 500 ‘National Romantic’ and ‘Jugend’ buildings from the turn of the 20th century. The German term ‘Jugendstil’ or ‘Youth style’ has been adopted, taken from the avant-garde magazine Jugend published from 1896, to designate these buildings.  You will look in vain for the curvi-linear fluid forms associated with the French and Belgian ‘whiplash’ or ‘’coup de fouet’ style. Finnish architects and designers developed their own nationalistic style, one based on native architecture and folk traditions. Finnish traditions were now deemed to be modern, and local individualism reflected international expressions of independence as seen in Barcelona and Glasgow. On a walk through the Jugend districts of Helsinki you will discover a fairyland of castles decorated with all manner of wild beasts, from bears and wolves to frogs and trolls.  One can see where Tove Marika Jansson found her inspiration for the Momintroll books!

‘Swedes we are not, We do not want to become Russians, So let’s be Finns’.

Johan Vilhelm Snellman (1806-1881)

The poems of the Kalevala are truly so sacred to me that, for instance, when singing them it feels as if you were resting your weary head upon some strong steadfast support.’

Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931)

Karelia: ‘ancient Finnishness could still be found, frozen in time-in a state that could be revived.’

Ville Lukkarinen (1957-)

Helsinki:  Jugendstil capital

Replacing the old capital of Turku, Helsinki had become the economic and cultural centre of Finland by the mid-19th century. With an exodus of rural workers to the urban factories, the population grew quickly from around 32,000 in 1870 to 43,000 by 1880. In 1902 the population officially passed 100,000.  New housing was desperately needed for both the affluent middle-classes and the working classes. Housing for the wealthy was built around Kasarmitor Square and Bulevardi. Kallio was traditionally a working-class area. The traditional wooden houses were swept aside by a new type of accommodation, apartment blocks rising five or six storeys. These large apartment blocks were largely bult by housing associations and housing companies spurred on by State loans.  

There were lots of opportunities for ‘home-grown’ architects and master builders who had graduated from the Helsinki Polytechnic Institute. Although studying at home, rather than in Sweden or Germany, they were still aware in international trends especially the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau. However, the move towards a modern architecture, underpinned by the latest technologies, was coupled with a growing desire to create a Finnish style. Finnish nationalism was growing, with demands for independence from Russia.  The Finnish spirit grew stronger after the 1899 February Manifesto, when Russification began in earnest under Czar Nicholas II. Russian became the official language; the press was censored, and notable Finnish leaders were deported. Architects responded by incorporating motifs that drew on the flora, ferns, pines and acorns, and fauna of Finland, notably bears.

Tales from the Kalevala

Artists and architects also looked to the Kalevala, a compilation of epic poetry, ballades, and incantations published by Elias Lönnrot in 1835. Lönnrot drew on Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology to create a national epic. 

The Kalevala captured the imagination of the artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931), who sought to represent the spirit of ‘Finnishness’ in his paintings; the tale of Anio who escapes marriage to Väinämöinen by drowning; Lemminkäinen who is brought back to life by his mother and the ill-fated Kullervo who mistakenly seduces his sister and eventually commits suicide. Characters from the Kalevala will appear on Helsinki’s Jugend buildings. Jean Sibellius (1865-1957) was similarly inspired by the Kalevala. Both painter and composer were involved in the cultural-nationalist group Nuori Suomi or ‘Young Finland’.

Architects also studied Finnish vernacular structures, churches, castles, and domestic buildings, notably the ancient wooden houses of Karelia, an area which straddles Finland and Russia, where it was claimed, true Finnish traditions had survived. The Finnish Antiquarian Society organised field trips for students to discover medieval churches and agricultural buildings.   Karelianism underpinned the National Romanticism that flourished at the turn of the century.  Tradition was now deemed to be modern.

Paris 1900: a watershed

The prize-winning Finnish Pavilion for the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition marks a watershed in the evolution of Jugend Suomessa. It was created by a young threesome:

Herman Gesellius (1874-1916), Armas Lindgren (1872-1929), andGottlieb Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950) They founded their architectural practice in 1896, while all three were still undergraduates. Drawing on Finnish medieval churches, they created a uniquely nationalistic building. The tall spire represented a maypole or ‘midsummer pole’, denoting one of the nation’s most important festivities.  Gallen-Kalela painted the central dome with tales from the Kalevala. It should be remembered Finland was exhibiting as a Grand Duchy of Imperial Russia.

Gallen-Kalela, Ilmarinen ploughing the Viper-field

The Defence of the Sampo: Lemminkäinen joins forces with Väinämoinen and Ilmarinen, two of the other main heroes in the Kalevala, to steal the Sampo from Louhi, metamorphosed into an eagle. 1926-28.

National Romanticism

The district around the railway station became the heart of Helsinki’s cultural and commercial centre. It was here the first “rugged granite” buildings appeared. Ironically the Finnish National Theatre, designed by architect Onni Tarjanne in the National Romantic style, was influenced by the American architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886).  ‘Richardsonian Romanesque’ freely blended 11th and 12th century French, Spanish, and Italian Romanesque characteristics to create an American style!

In addition to round-headed Romanesque arches, often springing from short squat columns, the style incorporated cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling and rich rustication. Lars Sonck’s Headquarters of the Helsinki Telephone Association (1903-07) echoes these features. Rough-hewn granite was seen to embody the tough Finnish character.

You will often find a base course of granite underpinning an apartment block. Above the rendered walls were invariably painted in earthy yellow or reddish tones. Other elements to look for include spires, lancet windows, projecting bay and oriel windows, monumental arches, and steep gables. Decorative elements cluster around doorways, windows and under the eaves, as seen on the apartment block at Bulevardi 24.

Apartment Blocks

The apartment blocks that sprung up across Helsinki certainly took their cue from castles, being massive bastions with sheer walls and monumental corner towers.  Their severity is broken by decorative motifs around doorways and windows or under the eaves. Finnish identity was expressed through motifs adapted from woodcarvings, metalwork, and textiles. The angularity of some motifs, especially the ancient swastika (both facing right and left), stars and lozenges, creates a visual language very different to the curvilinear forms of Belgian and French Art Nouveau. 

The Doctors House/ Lääkäreiden building (1901), now known as the Agronomitalo, Fabianinkatu 17/ Kasarmitori, designed by Gesellius, Lindgren, and Saarinen set a standard. Five storeys high, clad with rough yellow render, its sheer walls were relieved by projecting oriel windows. The main decorative element is quirky frog appearing to support a corner turret. The frog might reference the ‘Little Frog’ dance, ‘Små grodorna’ in Swedish, performed by children around the Maypole. Midsummer festivities are important across all the Nordic countries. Built on Kasarmitori (Barracks Square), a rather impressive area, these apartments were for the upper-middle classes: the spacious accommodation had professional areas, as it was envisaged that doctors would take up residence. Hence, its local name. Some of the interiors were furnished by Louis Sparre with custom furniture and fittings.

Nearby the Torilinna building (1906), Eteläinen Makasiinikatu 5/Fabianinkatu 13, takes its name from the location, meaning Tori (Square) Linna (Castle). It was built by G.W. Nyberg and Edv. Löppönen.

In the KAMPPI district, Yrjonkatu is lined with Jugend apartment blocks. The run starts with Koitto House [Dawning] (1907), Yrjonkatu 31/ Simonkatu 8, by Vilho Penttila, which has been mauled by later editions, and Pietola, Yrjonkatu 38/Simonkatu 10 (1908) by Heikki Kaartinen. Many of the apartments are named. Koitto, meaning ‘dawning’, could be a reference to a new start at the opening of the 20th century. However, it was also the headquarters of a temperance society founded by Doctor Aksel August Granfelt.  As secretary of the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation and advocate of total abstinence, Granfelt was an influential ‘Fennophile’.  The building housed rental apartment, shops, a restaurant, café, gym and even a banquet hall with a stage.  According to the society’s centenary publication, ‘Koitto was simultaneously a temperance society, worker’s institute, study group, club for women and young people, library and sports club, part of the cooperative movement and savings bank institute, and even functioned, in a way, as a trade union and a political party.’

Pietola, Yrjonkatu 38/Simonkatu 10 (1908) by Heikki Kaartinen, can be a personal/surname name, but it is also a small hamlet in western Finland.

Harjula by Heikki Kaartinen, constructed by Asunto Osakeyhtio, housing company, (1905), Yrjonkatu 32/ Eerikinkatu 1, also appears to have been named after a country town in southern Finland. Like Pietola it can also be a surname. This apartment block is distinguished by panels of stylised birds. The same motif is transformed into the entrance gate to the courtyard.

Jukola, Yrjonkatu 25 (1906) by Heikki Kaartinen, stands opposite, named for a literary masterpiece. Aleksis Kivi (1834-72), who died aged only 38, is said to have written the first significant novel in Finnish, Seitsemän veljestä/ Seven Brothers. Translated into 33 languages and still a mandatory text in Finnish schools, it is said to depict ‘ordinary Finns in a realistic way’ or a ‘not-so-virtuous rural life’. As Jukola was the farm where the brothers grew up, they were known as ‘the Jukola brothers’.   The building is decorated with bear heads and acorns.

Adjacent, Yrjönkatu 23 (1907-08) by Gunnar Stenius, a partner in Lindgren & Stenius, is architecturally quite different being clad in patterned brickwork. Stenius may have been influenced by Danish, Swedish, or German buildings of a similar date.  It also had the novelty of a central kitchen. Apparently ‘they made living easier for families, as middle-class mothers began to work outside the home and many households no longer employed domestic help.’ An elaborate doorway leads to a beautiful staircase painted with Mackintosh style roses. The building is crowned by a tall weathervane, which stands out on the skyline.

Facing Jukola, Yrjönkatu28, is the courtyard of the Kyllikki (1904) apartment block; the romantic towers evoke a medieval skyline.

Kyllikki (1904), by Georg Wasastjerna and Karl V. Polon, Kalevankatu 7 and Yrjonkatu 28, is now part of Hotel Torni. Kyllikki is Lemminkainen’s happy wife in the epic Kalevala. It has the prettiest façade you will encounter. Its two round oriel towers are decorated with friezes of children. On the right the children are fighting or more sensibly running away from a bear. On the left they appear to be felling trees. The stylised bird under the eave, apparently a Blue-bill Duck, is quite unique.  Stylised fruit trees surround the windows. A swallow completes the delightful naturalistic ornamentation.

The last interesting building is this sequence is Yksitoista [Eleven] (1908), Kalevankau 11, by Vilho Penttila.  Rather than a sheer face, it has a recessed façade with varied balconies above. Commercial spaces take up the ground floor.


Areas to explore:

In Kaartinkaupunki, you will find the Doctor’s House, Sirius, Torillinna and the Helsinki Telephone Company by Lars Sonck.

The Katajanokka area, the other side of the Market Square, has many impressive apartment blocks, notably Olofsbourg with its monumental tower by Gesellius, Lindgren and Saarinen.

A walk along Bulevardi takes you passed Huvilinna, Sanmark House, and Bulevardi 11.

An example of Nordic- Classicism, the Suomi-Salaman building (1909-11, 1927) an insurance company, can be found at Lönnrotinkatu 5. Designed by Onni Tarjanne and Armas Lindgren with sculptures by Eemil Halonen (1875-1950). Architect Karl Lindahl made additions in 1927.


Architectural Guide Art Nouveau Helsinki, Helsinki: Helsinki City Museum, 2020.

Becker, Ingeborg and Sigrid Melchior, Now the Light Comes from the North-Art Nouveau in Finland. Berlin: Brohan Museum, 2002.

Korvenmaa, Pekka, Innovation Versus Tradition: The Architect Lar Sonck Works and Projects 1900-1910, Helsinki: Finnish Antiquarian Society, 1991.

Moorhouse, Jonathan, Michael Carapetian, and Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse, Helsinki Jugendstil Architecture 1895-1915, Helsinki: Otava, 1987.

Nikula, Riitta, Armas Lingren 1874-1929, Helsinki: Museum of Finnish Architecture, 1988.


Art History with Anne

Lectures for November

Finlandia: Jugendstil to Modernism in the far North

Like many visitors my first glimpse of Helsinki was from the sea, sailing into the port while enjoying a Baltic cruise. Standing out on the horizon are the white silhouette of the Lutheran Cathedral, built as a tribute to the Grand Duke of FinlandTsar Nicholas I of Russia, and the green dome of the Eastern Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral inaugurated in 1868. Both remind us that Finland was a grand duchy of the Russian Empire until December 1917. Once landed, tourists usually head for the market in search of souvenirs or Senate Square to admire a unified ensemble of early 19th century Neoclassical buildings created by Carl Ludvig Engel: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the University of Helsinki, and the National Library of Finland. The centre of Senate Square is dominated by a statue to Alexander II who envisioned a stylish modern capital along the lines of St. Petersburg.

However, as a dedicated seeker of Jugendstil architecture, the German term for Art Nouveau also used in northern climes, I headed for the city centre in search of the Central Railway Station designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1904 and finally inaugurated in 1919. Initially conceived in a National Romantic style, Saarinen modified his plans in 1909, after a European study tour.  The famous Ernst Ludwig Haus, at the centre of Darmstadt’s Jugendstil colony (1901), certainly influenced the final conception dominated by Emil Wikström’s iconic Lantern Carriers.   

However, as I soon discovered, the Central Station represents the tip of an iceberg as Helsinki boasts some 500 National Romantic/ Jugendstil buildings. My favourite remains the fantastic Pohjola Insurance Building, on Aleksanterinkatu, dating to 1901, designed by Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Saarinen. Resembling a gigantic castle, the building is amusingly covered with dangerous beasts- wolves, bears and trolls- that it would be wise to insure against! In the famous Finnish epic, the Kalevala, Pohjola is the evil land of the North. It was Kalevala and Karelianism that shaped the art of Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Finland’s great symbolist painter.

Over a series of three lectures, I will explore the fantastic art and architecture of Helsinki encompassing not only the city’s Jugendstil buildings but also the paintings of Akseli Gallen-Kallela and the furniture and glass designs of Alvar and Anio Aalto.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Karelianism

Finland’s remarkable Jugendstil pavilion took centre stage at the 1900 Paris World Fair. Created by Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen the pavilion was an expression of Finnish nationalism in the face of Russification.

A committed patriot, who changed his name from Swedish to Finnish, Gallen-Kallela decorated the central dome with scenes from the Kalevala, Finland’s national epic published in 1835. Compiled from Finnish and Karelian folk lore, the Kalevala was central to Karelianism. This romantic nationalistic movement saw Karelia, an area which straddles Finland and Russia, as a refuge for ‘Finnishness’, where the true spirit of the people had maintained its authencity across centuries. Many artists, writers and musicians supported Karelianism; Gallen-Kallela was joined by Louis Sparre, sculptor Emil Wikström and Jean Sibelius.  Gallen-Kallela drew on the Kalevala for his themes as seen in the Aino Myth, Triptych (1891), Lemminkäinen’s Mother (1897) and Joukahainen’s Revenge (1897). From 1926-8 Gallen-Kallela recreated his Kalevala frescoes, originally painted for the 1900 Finnish Pavilion, for the entrance of National Museum, Finland, as a telling statement of Finnish identity: The Forging of the Sampo, The Defense of the Sampo, Ilmarinen Plowing the Field of Vipers, and Killing the Great Pike.

Clearly the Kalevala held a deeply personal meaning for the artist, his vision becoming darker after the death of his young daughter Impi Marjatta. Yet alongside these ideologically complex works, Gallen-Kallela also perfectly captures the beauty of the wild Finnish landscape- his evocative images of snow laden trees, as seen in The Lair of the Lynx (1906) are beyond compare.

Finnish Jugendstil: National Romanticism blends with Arts and Crafts

There is no doubt that the campaigns of Russification, instigated from1899–1905 and again from 1908–1917, swelled the desire to create a national Finnish architecture. Onni Tarjanne’s Finnish National Theatre (1902), with its rough granite façade and twin towers, exemplifies the National Romanticism of the era. However, its Romanesque arcade betrays an influence from far beyond Europe, so-called ‘Richardsonian Romanesque’. Architect Henry Hobson Richardson freely blended 11th and 12th century French, Spanish, and Italian Romanesque characteristics to create an American style! In addition to round-headed Romanesque arches, often springing from short squat columns, the style incorporated cylindrical towers with conical caps embedded in the walling and rich rustication. Lars Sonck’s Headquarters of the Helsinki Telephone Association (1903-07) echoes these features.

By 1904 Sonck had fully embraced Jugendstil, as seen in his remarkable Jugend Hall (1904), originally a banking hall which now functions as a café.

Coinciding with a massive expansion of the city’s population, large fortress-like apartment blocks sprang up coming to dominate entire streets: Korkeavuorenkatu, Huvilakatu and Kauppiaankatu, the latterfound in a new neighbourhood just east of the city centre, Katajanokka.  Although they can appear quite brutal, they are softened by decoration notably around the doors, windows and under the eaves. Alongside apartments by the famous architectural triumvirate of Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen, other buildings stand out:

Torilinna building Fabianinkatu 13, 1906 by master builder Gustaf Wilhelm Nyberg and Edv. Löppönen

Sirius building Fabianinkatu 4, 1905, by Knut Wasastjerna and Gustaf Lindberg

Kastén building, Korkeavuorenkatu 31, 1907 by Emil Svensson and Emil Holm.

Now a hotel, Vanha Poli, the former Polytechnic Students’ Union byKarl Lindahl and Valter Thome dating to 1903, makes your stay in Helsinki unique and memorable!

From Jugendstil to Modernism: Saarinen and Aalto

Although Saarinen is best known for the Central Railway Station, many go in search of his rural retreat Hvitträsk, on lake Vitträsk, Kirkkonummi, a few miles outside Helsinki. Originally built as a residence for the three architectural partners and their families, Armas Lindgren soon returned to Helsinki. With the premature death of Herman Gesellius in 1916, Saarinen became sole owner.  Although Saarinen moved to America in 1923, he regularly returned to Hvitträsk during the summer months. Although changes were made to Hvitträsk, the central house retains its original Jugendstil spirit. 

When the property was sold, just before Saarinen’s death in 1950, Hvitträsk was an anomaly. By this time the leading Finnish architect was Alvar Aalto. He was initially influenced by Bauhaus Modernism, as exemplified by his Tuberculosis Sanatorium Paimio, (1928-1933).

Moving away from strictly functional modernist forms, by the 1950s Aalto had developed a personal style based on natural curving lines. The Hall of Culture in Helsinki (1955-58), designed for Finnish Communist cultural organizations, best expresses this phase of his career.

In 1959 work began on a grand new monumental centre for Helsinki around the Töölö Bay area. Aalto’s Finlandia Hall (1962-71) and its Congress wing (1970-75) were the only parts of the plan to be completed. The concert hall’s monolithic tower-like section was intended to create a high empty space that would provide better acoustics. However, cladding the surface in Carrara marble has proved problematic in the harsh Finnish winters.  While Aalto claimed he wanted to bring Mediterranean culture to the north, this great white edifice standing on the edge of the lake resembles an iceberg!

Despite these architectural achievements, beyond Finland Aalto is best remembered for founding the design company Artek with his wife and collaborator Aino Maria Marsio-Aalto. As Artek’s first artistic director, Aino’s creative output spanned textiles, lamps, glassware, and interior design. Rather than following a modernist ideology, Aino favoured comfort and homeliness, her ideas perfectly expressed in the Aalto’s own home at Munkkiniemi.

You can pay by PayPal for a link to these lectures on my YouTube site

Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel

Lecture 1

Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Karelianism


Lecture 2

Finnish Jugendstil: National Romanticism blends with Arts and Crafts


Lecture 3

From Jugendstil to Modernism: Saarinen and Aalto


Three lectures

Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Karelianism Finnish Jugendstil: National Romanticism blends with Arts and Crafts From Jugendstil to Modernism: Saarinen and Aalto


Please join me to discover the unique character of Finnish Jugendstil.

Please check out my AMAZON page for my book on Art Nouveau Architecture, published by Crowood.

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Art History with Anne

The Wilde Years: 1870-1900

A series of three lectures added to the archive library of lectures

Max Beerbohm, “Caricature of Aubrey Beardsley.” The Savoy, vol. 2, April 1896

On 21st August 2022 academics and enthusiasts, including myself, gathered to wish Aubrey Beardsley Happy Birthday.  Celebrating 150 years since his birth, it is sad to recall that Beardsley died aged only twenty-five from tuberculosis.  Yet he seemed to pack a whole lifetime into a career that spanned some six years. Inspired by this event, and eagerly anticipating the re-opening of Lord Leighton’s Studio-House, Kensington, in October, I will be offering a series of three lectures on my favourite topic the Aesthetic Movement. Having studied this era for many years, I often joke that I know more about the 1870s and 1880s than my own epoch. For my perfect dinner party, I would invite Oscar Wilde and Jemmy Whistler and allow them to do all the talking!

That was an awfully good joke you made last night. I wish I had made it. / ‘You will [underlined] my boy. You will [underlined]. 1894. Art Institute of Chicago. Reproduced in Phil May’s Sketch-book, first issued in 1895. 

Given my association with Leighton House, its reopening after being closed for some two years will be my highlight this autumn. In 2009-2010, I worked on Closer to Home: The Restoration of Leighton House, an exhibition marking the ambition to return the studio-house to its former glory.  With Victorian art and culture out of fashion for many decades, Leighton House had been rather neglected. Much of the original contents, paintings by Leighton and his circle of friends, furniture and ceramics, had been sold after Leighton’s death.  While it was impossible to recover all the lost works of art, the auction catalogue provided the basis for a reconstruction. The massive dresser in the dining room, designed by Leighton’s architect George Atchison, has been reconstructed.  The glory of the house remains the Arab Hall a unique blend of Western and Eastern art with genuine Islamic tiles, a mosaic by Walter Crane and carvings by Randolph Caldicott. A visit to Leighton’s ‘Palace of Art’ will transport you back to a time when artists lived like princes.

Leighton House, the Arab Hall

I have been a fan of OW for many years publishing several papers in The Wildean, a Journal of Oscar Wilde Studies. So, my trilogy of lectures will begin with Oscar, the High Priest of the Aestheticism!

Oscar Wilde and the Cult of Beauty

Sheet Music Cover for ‘The High Art Maiden’ c. 1881/82

While still a student at Oxford, Oscar declared ‘Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious.’ How prophetic! As the self-appointed High Priest of Aestheticism, Wilde achieved notoriety early in his career. Oscar made his debut as an art critic with a review of the Grosvenor Gallery, which opened its doors as an alternative exhibition space to the Royal Academy in 1877.  He already preferred Burne-Jones to Millais but did not yet appreciate Whistler’s nocturns and symphonies! Posing as an art critic, Oscar’s pretensions and affectations, especially finding it hard to ‘live up’ to his Old Blue china, brought accusations of being a sham.  Apparently, Wilde had no real love for art, he merely courted fame. Ridiculing the Aesthetes proved easy and lucrative for George Du Maurier, cartoonist for Punch, and Gilbert and Sullivan, whose comic opera Patience popularised Aestheticism; in 1882 Oscar was despatched to America to bolster the success of Patience and pontificate on how to achieve the ‘House Beautiful’.   On his return he made money lecturing on his experiences in America; he married and settled in Tite Street, Chelsea, creating his own ideal home.  He had yet to write anything of real significance; the late 1880s saw him editing The Woman’s World.  But the 1890s witnessed the publication of his only novel, Dorian Gray, and the stage plays that have secured his posthumous fame as a writer. But just as success was in his grasp, nemesis appeared in the form of the Marquis of Queensbury.

The famous cartoon by George Du Maurier published in Punch (1880)
Patience was first staged in April 1881.

Lord Leighton’s Palace of Art: Artist’s Studio-Houses in London

For some 16 years, until his death in 1896, Lord Leighton ruled the roost as President of the Royal Academy.  He headed an elite group of Victorian painters who colonised Holland Park- George Frederick Watts, William Holman Hunt, Luke Fildes, Marcus Stone, William Burges, Hamo Thorneycroft and Valentine Prinsep.  On the fringe of this clique lived Linley Sambourne, the Punch cartoonist, who did his best to keep up with the ‘Burne-Joneses’!  How was all this finery paid for? Leighton and his rivals were working in a boom period for British art.  The newly moneyed wanted contemporary art to hang on their walls- trophies confirming their entrepreneurial and social success. Leighton was ranked among the so-called Olympian painters also numbering G.F. Watts and Alma Tadema. They opted for Classical subjects drawing on both ancient history and mythology.  Leighton and Watts were rather high-minded; Alma Tadema less so, opting instead for ‘Victorians in Togas’. They all established their status as ‘gentlemen of the brush’ by creating prestigious studio-houses, veritable Palaces of Art.

Mosaic by Walter Crane in the Arab Hall, Leighton House

Aubrey Beardsley: Enfant Terrible of the 1890s

The Beardsley style is now synonymous with the so-called decadence of the 1890s, when poets and painters appeared to find beauty in morbid, deviant and degenerate subjects. His first major publication, illustrating Sir Thomas Malory‘s Le Morte d’Arthur appeared in 1893. His early style draws very heavily on the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones. However, for Oscar Wilde’s Salome (1894) he shifted to emulating Japanese wood block prints as well as paying homage to James Whistler’s infamous ‘Peacock Room’ (1877), the archetypal aesthetic movement interior.  The launch of the quarterly magazine the Yellow Book (1894) provided Beardsley with a platform for both his drawings and his literary ambitions. But at the height of this success disaster struck with the conviction of Oscar Wilde for ‘gross indecency’. The decadents were forced ‘underground’, with Leonard Smithers backing the Savoy magazine which ran for only one year, from January to December 1896. The Lysistrata of Aristophanes was also privately printed and issued by Smithers, with Beardsley’s style now aping Greek vase painting. One can only wonder how Beardsley’s style would have evolved had he lived but he was such a child of the Nineties it seems fitting that his flame was extinguished in 1898.

Frontis to Salome, with Oscar the Man in the Moon
‘The Climax’, from Salome

Now available to purchase from the archived library of lectures. You will be sent a direct link to my You Tube Channel Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel.
You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to ‘Anne Anderson’.

Or you can pay by PayPal


One lecture Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde and the Cult of Beauty


One lecture Leighton House

Lord Leighton’s Palace of Art: Artist’s Studio-Houses in London


One lecture Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley: Enfant Terrible of the 1890s.


Three lectures

Oscar Wilde and the Cult of Beauty Lord Leighton’s Palace of Art: Artist’s Studio-Houses in London Aubrey Beardsley: Enfant Terrible of the 1890s


Please join me to discover the mysteries of the Aesthetic Movement!


Art History with Anne

Newsletter August 2022

The Live Lecture for August 

Arte Nova and Art Deco in Porto and Aveiro, Portugal

To be given on Friday 26th August 2022 at 11.00 am and repeated at 7.00 pm 

Looking down on Porto

Like many countries enjoying great prosperity at the end of the 19th century, Portuguese architects and designers developed their own variant of Art Nouveau.  Arte Nova buildings are invariably distinguished by their Azulejos or hand painted tile panels.  Azulejo comes from the Arabic zellige meaning ‘polished stone’ as the original idea was to imitate Roman mosaics. The earliest azulejos dating to the 13th century were alicatados, panels of tile-mosaic. Single colour tin-glazed earthenware tiles were cut into geometric shapes and assembled to form geometric patterns. This technique was introduced into Portugal by Manuel I after a visit to Seville in 1503.  Adopting the Moorish tradition of horror vacui (‘fear of empty spaces’), the Portuguese covered walls entirely with azulejos. They were not merely ornamental; they also kept interiors cool. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of every type of building from churches to railway stations, the most notably example being the 20,000 or so azulejo tiles used to decorate the vestibule of Porto’s São Bento railway station. Built in 1905-16, by the architect Marques da Silva, this is good place to start our Arte Nova tour of Porto.

Porto’s São Bento railway station

Many of the late 19th century apartments around the Mercado do Bolhão, Porto’s central market dating back to the 1850s, are covered with azulejos creating a rainbow of colours: green, pink and yellow.  Another group can be found around the famous Livraria Lello & Irmão bookstore. Thousands visit the bookshop every year, as the quirky staircase, which rather alarmingly hangs in the centre, is said to have inspired the moving staircases of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. The prettiest Arte Nova house in Porto can be found on Rua Cândido dos Rei.

Tiles were also used extensively in Aveiro, where most of the Arte Nova buildings are built in adobe (sun-dried clay bricks).  The Casa Mário Pessoa (1906-09), the most striking building in Averio, is attributed to Francisco Augusto da Silva Rocha, who headed the local Arte Nova school, and the Swiss born, Ernesto Korrodi. Built for the entrepreneur Mário Belmonte Pessoa, the residence is a riot of colour as well as tiles. Behind a wrought-iron grill of sunflowers, the entrance dramatically stretches its curvilinear forms across the width of the façade. The Vila Africa, in nearby Ílhavo (1907-08), is equally eye-catching.

Casa Mário Pessoa
Vila Africa, in nearby Ílhavo

Returning to Porto our virtual tour ends with the Villa Serralves, the finest Art Deco residence in Portugal. Affectionately known as the ‘Pink House’, this ‘Streamline Modern’ villa reflects the sophisticated taste of its owner, Carlos Alberto Cabral, 2nd Count of Vizela. Visiting the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts held in Paris, Cabral became acquainted with the leading architects and designers of the day. His personal vision was realised by architect Charles Siclis, interior designer ÉmileJacques Ruhlmann, and landscape architect Jacques Gréber, who designed the stunning gardens.

Please join me to discover the Arte Nova and Art Deco delights Portugal has to offer!

How to book

To be given on Friday 26th August 2022 at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm 

The cost of the lecture is £10 for this session. You can book this live lecture for either the morning or the evening presentation.

To do so please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com

Please note: Susan will not be in the office until 18th August so please do not expect an immediate reply to your booking. She will deal with all bookings upon her return.

Please ask for ‘Morning Lecture’ or ‘Evening Lecture’ when you book your choice as the sessions have different Zoom entry codes 

You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to Anne Anderson. or you can pay by PayPal

One lecture August

Arte Nova and Art Deco in Porto and Aveiro, Portugal


Once you register and pay, you will be sent a separate email with your link. You will need this link to access the lecture on the day so please do not delete it. 

The lecture will be delivered live by Zoom. It will be uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel for a limited time and you will be provided with a private link to view the lecture again at your leisure.

The lectures last for around an hour. Lecture start times are in BST.
There will be a question-and-answer session at the end.

As the lectures will be delivered live by Zoom, you will be able to ask your questions in person at the end. You can also use the ‘Chat’ function.

Join me in this lecture to enjoy some of the historic culture that Portugal has to offer.


Art History with Anne

July 2022

Summer’s Here !

Time for Tennis

Well, Summer has finally arrived and, in between the showers, tennis.

If you have been watching this year’s games at Wimbledon or perhaps the qualifying tournaments that start the whole season’s sporting jamboree going, then you may have been aware of the great variety of women’s tennis costumes, noticeable in some of the tournaments, particularly at Eastbourne, where the range of dress styles and colours was perhaps sometimes quite eccentric. The simplicity of the dress code for players at Wimbledon may well seem quite sensible if you find the variety at other venues not to your liking.

If you have been watching this year’s games at Wimbledon, or perhaps the qualifying tournaments that start the whole season’s sporting jamboree, then you may be aware of the great variety of women’s tennis costumes. Noticeable in some of the tournaments, particularly Eastbourne, the range of dress styles and colours was perhaps sometimes quite eccentric. The simplicity of the dress code for players at Wimbledon, only white, may well seem quite sensible if you find the variety at other venues rather distracting.

Could you play a game of tennis in this?

Things have certainly changed since 1891 when the design for a woman’s tennis dress (shown here), was designed by the female artist Madame Starr Canziani. Her comment on contemporary dress was that it could be picturesque or even quaint, but that the highest laws of beauty should consider fitness for purpose as well. Somehow, I suspect that the sun hat accompanying her costume would not prove popular with present-day players who, I feel sure, would prefer a peaked cap and  a cut that allowed for greater speed and movement. Imagine playing in gloves!

And now, travelling forward in time to 2022, as we mentioned in the May Newsletter, we are giving just one live lecture each month from June through to August. The live lectures are a good way of keeping in touch with you all in addition to the Newsletter each month.  In September, the normal series lectures will resume as usual. However, if you are feeling starved of art and design culture, please remember that there are numerous free talks on the open-access section of the Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel on YouTube. Just copy and paste the Channel title into Google, or which ever browser you use, and that should take you there. We hope to be adding more material to the Channel over the summer.

The Live Lecture for July

Art Nouveau and Art Deco


To be given on Friday 22nd July 2022 at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm 

Ciril Metod Koch Cuden house

One of the tasks I find most enjoyable is researching new art tours. Back in 2019, following a successful tour looking at Liberty style architecture in Turin and Milan, I began looking further afield for cities that offered a wealth of Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings.  Having a good knowledge of the Vienna Secession I was already familiar with the Slovenia born architects Max Fabiani and Jože Plečnik.  A protégé of Otto Wagner, Fabiani cultivated his interest in town planning. Badly damaged in a devastating earthquake in 1895, Fabiani was appointed the principal planner for the rebuilding of the Slovenian capital.  Ljubljana was transformed from a sleepy provincial town into a modern city. In 1899-1902 Fabiani laid out Miklošicev park (or Miklošic Park) and conceived the surrounding buildings; Bamberger house and the Krisper house are very pretty Art Nouveau houses. Ciril Metod Koch added the Cuden house, making this area a must for the Art Nouveau tourist.

Krisper house

However, it was Giorgio Zaninovich who designed the iconic Dragon Bridge (1901), one of the city’s most famous attractions, offering tourists a perfect photographic opportunity.

After the First World War, it was Plečnik who completed the transformation of the national capital.

Plečnik’s legacy in Vienna includes the Zacherlhaus, one of the first modern buildings erected in the city centre and the remarkable Church of the Holy Spirit constructed from concrete. Following this success, Plečnik left for Prague having been appointed chief architect for the renovation of Prague Castle. When the Ljubljana School of Architecture was established in 1921, Plečnik was called home. He then set about transforming the capital with a series of monumental projects with the famous Tromostvoje (or Triple Bridge) and Central Market at the heart of his urban planning.

Central Market

The National and University Library, considered his masterpiece, was completed after the Second World War.

National and University Library

I was able to take my first Travel Editions tour to Ljubljana in last March.  Hopefully you will be able to join me for this one-hour live lecture which will take you around the best Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings in the Slovenian capital.


How to book

To be given on Friday 22nd July 2022 at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm 

The cost of the lecture is £10 for this session. You can book this live lecture for either the morning or the evening presentation.

To do so, please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com

Please ask for ‘Morning Lecture’ or ‘Evening Lecture’ when you book your choice as the sessions have different Zoom entry codes.

You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to Anne Anderson.

Or you can pay directly through Paypal

One lecture

Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Ljubljana


Once you register and pay, you will be sent a separate email with your link. You will need this link to access the lecture on the day so please do not delete it.

After the lecture you will be sent another private link so you can access the lecture on my YouTube Channel.

The lectures will be delivered live by Zoom. They will be uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel for a limited time and you will be provided with a private link to view them again at your leisure.

The lectures last for around an hour. Lecture start times are in BST.

There will be a question-and-answer session at the end. As the lectures will be delivered live by Zoom, you will be able to ask your questions in person at the end. You can also use the ‘Chat’ function.

I will be repeating the morning lecture in the evening of the same day for those people unable to make the morning slot. Both lectures (morning and evening) will be delivered live and you will be able to ask questions in person at the end.
Join me in this lecture to enjoy some of the historic culture that this city has to offer.

Watch the latest free access video talk on The Channel!

If you would like to see and hear Anne’s reflections on curating the major UK exhibition Beyond the Brotherhood – The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy, staged in 2019-2020, this short video, the latest addition to the Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel might be worth a look. 

Just click on the Watch Now button below to take you to the talk.
Watch Now

Travel Editions Tours

Some news for those of you who are interested in the art and heritage tours, in the UK and/or abroad, that Scott and I undertake through the Travel Editions company. Following a successful run of UK tours in  2021,Travel Editions is running many of its tours this summer. Below are listed some of the tours scheduled for later this year.

In July

From Victoriana to Art Nouveau 29-31 July (based in Northampton)

Featuring a visit to 78 Derngate, Northampton, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s only significant English work, and The Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford to see the outstanding collection of painted furniture by Victorian architect William Burges and the Gallery’s exceptional range of decorative arts objects and prints. For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc.

In August

Monet in Normandy 5-8 August (travel by Coach, based in Normandy)
Hampshire Arts and Crafts 11-13 August (based in Basingstoke)
Gothic Castles to French Impressionism 15-17 August (based in Cardiff)
William Morris 23-25 August (based in Blunsdon)

In September

Arts and Crafts in Sussex 7-9 September (based in Brighton)
Victorian Treasures of Yorkshire 16-18 September (based in Hilton Leeds City Hotel) – a new tour for 2022.

Lotherton Hall

Lotherton Hall

In this exciting new tour as well as visiting Leeds to appreciate some of its Victorian architectural splendour we will also be exploring the wonderful 19th-century art and design collections at Lotherton Hall, where you will find a magnificent Gothic style grand piano designed by Charles Bevan and made for Titus Salt Junior, son of the Victorian industrialist Titus Salt.

Victorian Interior at Lotherton Hall

Burmantofts Pottery at Lotherton Hall

Also on view are numerous fine examples of ceramics made by the Leeds firm of Burmantofts Faience in the late Victorian period. 

Burmantofts pottery is much sought after by collectors in the present day and several rare examples, such as the one shown here, by the previously unidentified artist who signed his work with the initials ‘LK’ are on display in the museum. The identity of this pottery painter was only finally revealed as recently as 2004 in a publication by Scott Anderson.

Burmantoft pottery. Not De Morgan!

Other sites to be visited as part of this tour include Brodsworth Hall and Cannon Hall near Barnsley. For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc. 

Thanks to all of you who have watched films on the Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel and particularly to those who have remembered to press the SUBSCRIBE button beneath the video window. It does not commit you to anything but helps with my stats. Thank you. 

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Anne’s Pocket Guide to…. Oscar Wilde’s London

Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, Chelsea,

an Arts and Crafts masterpiece

Amidst the bustle of Sloane Square and the King’s Road, Holy Trinity offers an oasis of calm. It is also one of the most beautiful churches in England.  One looks up in awe at the magnificent east window, the largest stained-glass window produced by Morris & Co. With magnificent sculptures by Frederick William Pomeroy and Henry Hugh Armstead, the richly decorated interior recalls the splendour of late Medieval-Renaissance churches.  The architect John Dando Sedding was highly principled, believing architecture was a divinely inspired art closely bound to craftsmanship.

Exterior, Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street.

‘The cathedral of the Arts & Crafts Movement’.

 Sir John Betjeman

‘There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist.’

John Dando Sedding

The Architect: John Dando Sedding 1838-1891

 ‘He formed the first bridge between the architects’ camp and that of handicraft proper.’

Hermann Muthesius, German architect, and writer.

Sedding’s outlook was shaped by Ruskin’s ‘The Nature Gothic’, which was published in The Stones of Venice (1853). Following in the footsteps of William Morris and Philip Webb, he joined the offices of the Gothic Revival architect George Edmund Street (1824-1881), best known for the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. Street’s practise was a cradle for the fledgling Arts and Crafts movement. One of Sedding’s first churches was the Anglo-Catholic St Martin’s, Low Marple, Cheshire completed in 1872. The interior was designed by William Morris with contributions from Dante Gabriel RossettiFord Madox BrownEdward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt. When Sedding set up his practise in London, he took offices on the upper floors of 447 Oxford Street, next door to the premises of Morris & Co.

Meeting Ruskin in 1876, Sedding took to heart his injunction to ‘always have pencil or chisel in hand if he were to be more than an employer of men on commission.’  Taking a dedicated interest in the crafts, he gathered a team of masons, carvers, and modellers. His aim was to revive the medieval system of cooperation between architect and craftsman.He exerted a remarkable influence over his workmen, encouraging them to draw from nature.  He was tireless in studying and drawing flowers, leaves and animals from life. These studies provided the basis for his ornamental designs. He also encouraged is craftsmen to study old buildings, focusing on craft techniques. He was always closely involved in building practices, directly supervising his team of craftsmen. Not surprisingly he was a founder member of the Art Workers’ Guild in 1884. He was elected its second Master in 1886.

Favouring the curvaceous forms of late-Perpendicular Gothic, Holy Trinity blends together a heady mix of Byzantine, Italian Renaissance, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts!  The pulpit was designed in the Sienna Renaissance style, being made of different coloured marbles and supported on columns of red marble and alabaster.  The baldachin, supported by four Ionic columns of red porphyry, is also in the Italian Renaissance style. Yet the ironworks gates and their wings, that enclose the chancel, reflect the naturalism of the Arts and Crafts style. In their curvilinear forms they seem to look ahead to French Art Nouveau.    

Ironwork Gates and wings, designed by Sedding and manufactured by Henry Longden

Sedding exerted a profound influence over a younger generation of architect-craftsmen, with Ernest Gimson and Ernest Barnsley both entering his offices.  Charles Rennie Mackintosh adopted Sedding’s caveat:

‘There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist.’
Plaque commemorating Sedding, who died in 1891 by F W Pomeroy.
The gift of the Art Workers’ Guild.

Henry Wilson

Dying prematurely, Sedding’s assistant Henry Wilson, oversaw the decoration of Holy Trinity. Although he followed Sedding’s ideals, his designs were more inventive.  Stylistically Wilson preferred Romanesque and Byzantine forms to Gothic.  He favoured rich materials, especially coloured marbles and mosaic work. He was a gifted craftsman, specialising in metalwork, church plate and furnishings, jewellery, and sculpture. A member of the Art Workers’ Guild from 1892, he was elected Master in 1917. Part of William Lethaby’s circle, he taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts from 1896. He also taught metalwork at the Royal College of Art.

Wilson served as President of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society from 1915 to 1922.  One of his greatest achievements was staging a landmark Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1916. Wilson conceived the inventive layout, transforming the conventional galleries into a series of rooms: civic, ecclesiastical, a ‘house’, with seven ‘delightful interiors’, a weaving room, a treasury for silverwork and jewels and a retrospective room dominated by the works of William Morris and Burne-Jones. Throughout the 19th century the RA had scorned the decorative arts, retorting ‘surely you don’t expect us artists to allow our galleries to be turned into a furniture shop?’

Wilson designed the strapwork screen behind the altar in the Lady chapel, which was carried out by Nelson Dawson (1859-1941). A watercolour painter, potter, jeweller, silversmith, metalworker, etcher, print-maker and writer on artistic subjects, Dawson’s reputation has probably suffered because he spread his talents too thinly. Alongside his wife, Edith Robinson, he was one of the key figures in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Lady chapel


The church is so richly decorated due to the patronage of George, 5th Earl Cadogan (1840-1915) and his wife Beatrix As Lord of the Manor of Chelsea, Cadogan initially funded the entire project.

The lectern breaks with tradition being supported by a magnificent angel with great sweeping wings rather than an eagle. A sketch for the lectern is in the RA collection.

Henry Hugh Armstead (1828-1905) is best known for carving the figures of the poets, painters and musicians on two sides of the Albert Memorial. His association with George Gilbert Scott, overall designer of the Albert Memorial, continued with Armstead working on the external sculptures of the Foreign and Colonial office, Whitehall.   He also carved eighteen oak panels for the Queens’s Robing Room, in the Palace of Westminster, illustrating the legend of King Arthur. They sit below the painted murals by William Dyce.

Lectern by Henry Hugh Armstead  
Lectern by Henry Hugh Armstead, detail  

Frederick William Pomeroy (1856-1924) was a leading artist in the ‘New Sculpture’ movement which flourished c. 1880-1914. The term was coined by the art critic Edmund Gosse, who published a four-part series in the Art Journal (1894) on the impact of naturalism on modern British sculpture. The catalyst for this shift from neoclassicism to naturalism is said to be Frederic Leighton’s An Athlete Wrestling with a Python (1877), It reflected his interest in a more dynamic and vibrant representation of the human body.  The same could be said for Pomeroy’s angels sitting on pillars to either side of the chancel gates. The angels appear to be joyously singing from their long song scrolls.

Singing Angels by F W Pomeroy
Singing Angels by F W Pomeroy

Pomeroy, the son of an artist-craftsman, was articled at a young age to a firm of architectural stone masons.  Later he was taught by Jules Dalou, a leading player in the shift to naturalism.  After studying at the RA schools, Pomeroy won a travel scholarship allowing him to study Paris. He joined the Art Workers’ Guild in 1887 and began exhibiting at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. At this time he met Sedding who would commission sculptural works for the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell, for the tower of St Clements Church, Bournemouth as well as the angels and choir stalls for Holy Trinity. In 1907 Pomeroy was elected Master of the Art Worker’s Guild.

Choir stalls

St Dorothea, by Pomeroy

“Pomeroy’s decoration of the choir stalls [is] one of the most important cycles of sculpture carried out in the late nineteenth century.” — Peyton Skipwith. 

The Lectern

The lectern commemorates Beatrix Jane, Lady Cadogan, who died in 1907 (@NPG Ax27655). 

Countess Cadogan

It was given by the Upper Chelsea Branch of the Girl’s Friendly Society, of which she was President (1907).  The hand wrought iron, steel and brass lectern is said to be designed/made by John Williams of Hornsey.  Committed to her charity work, Countess Cadogan assisted at the Irish Industries Association Bazaar, held at Londonderry House, London, in 1895. In this she was supporting her husband who served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1895-1902).  She clearly took an interest in the crafts revival then taking place in Ireland.  

Lectern by John Williams
Hand wrought iron, steel and brass lectern

Stained glass: Morris & Co. window

A collaboration between William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, this is said to be the largest window ever made by Morris & Co. With forty-eight figures, it also contains the largest number of single subjects. The ‘thousands of bright little figures’, as conceived by Burne-Jones, depict Apostles, Patriarchs, Kings, Prophets, and Saints. The tracery above features Angels; Works of Charity; Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; the Fall; the Annunciation, Nativity, and Crucifixion. The Nativity can be seen at the very top of the tracery. Morris would have designed the scrolling foliate backgrounds. The figure of St Bartholomew has also been attributed to him.

Morris & Co. East Window

Stained Glass, South Aisle: Christopher Whall

Christoper Whall (1849-1924), a leader in the Arts and Crafts movement and a key figure in the history of stained glass, completed eight windows at Holy Trinity. Two windows in the South aisle and six clerestory windows.

Against his parents’ wishes he enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools in 1867. In 1874 he met the architect and designer Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, later a founder of the Century Guild. He would contribute to the Hobby House, the Guild’s publication, also edited by Selwyn Image. During an extensive study tour of Italy, he converted to Roman Catholicism. Back in London by 1879, he struggled to establish himself as an artist. He designed a few stained glass windows for John Hardman & Co. and James Powell & Sons which led to a life-changing decision.  Taking Ada Cottage, Blackbrook, Dorking, Whall transformed a shed into a workshop. Here he set about learning all the processes of the craft: cutting, painting, firing, and glazing, so that, no part of the making of his windows would be out of his control. This challenged the division of labour, then almost universally prevalent among commercial manufacturers, which Whall and others saw as incompatible with the status of stained glass as an art rather than simply a trade.

His designs were shown by the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, at the New Gallery, in 1888/89 , which brought him to the attention of Sedding.  It was Sedding who gave Whall his first independent commission, for the Lady Chapel East window of St Mary’s church, Stamford, which he completed in 1891.

While advocating a return to craft skills, Whall also experimented with new types of glass in his windows, such Edward Prior’s ‘Early English’ glass, a slab glass which was intended to recreate the ‘luminosity and varied colouring of early medieval glass’. Interested in colours and textures, Whall’s use of white glass was unique at the time.

Adoration Window

Three light window designed by Whall and made by him in collaboration with his pupils and assistants, using the workshops of Messrs Lowndes & Drury of 35 Park Walk, Chelsea.

The light from the Star of Bethlehem divides the window in half, with the three Magi on the left and the shepherds on the right accompanied by an angel.

The window was donated by Mrs E Harvey in memory of her husband, Edmund Harvey, who died in 1898.

Adoration Window
Adoration Window, centre panel

The Holy Spirit and the Pentecost, Francis Cook Memorial Window, Christopher Whall, 1907

A four light window designed by Whall and made with the collaboration of his pupils and assistants at his newly established studio-workshop at 1 Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith.

The coming of the Holy Spirit takes place on the Jewish day of the festival of the Pentecost, commemorating the giving of the Law at Sinai.   Pentecost (meaning fifty), signifying the birth of the church, followed fifty days after Easter. John, Chapter 3, verse: ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell where it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit’

The Spirit came with the sound of the wind and fire. The Spirit’s coming empowered the people with tongues of fire which symbolised ‘speech’.

The Holy Spirit and the Pentecost
The Holy Spirit and the Pentecost

Stained Glass, North Isle: William Blake Richmond

William Blake Richmond (1842-1921), named in honour of the painter-poet William Blake, is best known for creating the mosaics in St Paul’s Cathedral, a task which took many years to complete (1891-04). Working with James Powell and Sons, glass makers, brought him into contact with the artist-craftsmen associated with the fledging Art and Crafts Movement. He would be elected Master of the Art Worker’s Guild in 1891.

Critical of the blandness of many English churches, declaring they were ‘caves of white-washed sepulchres, uncoloured, or if coloured at all, only in parts, patchily, and with little general idea of design’, he wanted to revive the vibrant colours of Byzantine and early Christian work he had seen in Italy. He was able to put his ideas into practice when he began work on the quire and apse of St Paul’s, acting as both designer and craftsman for the installation of the mosaics. Richmond abandon the flat surface favoured by previous mosaicists, such as Salviati & Co., in favour of a more daring application. Jagged, irregular glass tesserae were set at angles to the surface, so that they would catch the light. The result was controversial.

Richmond translated his experiments with mosaics into his designs for windows. He collaborated with Harry James Powell of James Powell and Sons, in developing new colours. The new, heavier glass, often with light streaks of colour, was used to good effect at Holy Trinity. Three windows were installed between 1905-1910.

Virtues window

Each Virtue is represented by a Patriarch/Saint with below an important scene from their lives

(a)’Love and Hope’ appears above St Louis of France and the scene below depicts him as a splendid knight and ideal Christian monarch.

(b) ‘Justice’ appears above Alfred King of England and the scene below depicts him as lawmaker.

(c) “Wisdom” appears above Abraham Patriarch and the scene below depicts his receiving the divine message from the Lord.

(d) “Fortitude” appears above St. Paul of Tarsus and the light below depicts his spectacular moment of conversion.

(e) “Patience” appears above St. Francis of Assisi, and below his vision of an angel.

(f) “Faith” appears above St Austin Archbishop and the scene below shows him voyage in a boat to convert the inhabitants of Britain.

William Blake Richmond, Virtues Window

Youth, its Sacrifices and Joys’ is the theme for the central window:

Inscription reads: Panels from left to right: In Thee God I put My Trust; Speak for thy servant heareth; I am the Light of the World; Before Abraham was I am; Children in whom there was no blemish.

(1) top: David soothing Saul with music; bottom: Salome dancing, with the head of John the Baptist presented to Herod (In Thee God I put My Trust).

(2) top: Samuel responding to the divine call in the temple; bottom: Mary in the carpenter’s shop(Speak for thy servant heareth).

(3) Centre: figure of the young Christ rising over all the world. top: Angel; bottom: Nativity (I am the Light of the World). In Betjemen’s words ‘Symbolising hope that this great city may rise to the value of beauty, setting aside money and society as chief aims of life’.

(4) top: Christ with Mary and angel; bottom: Christ in the Temple disputing with the Elders (Before Abraham was I am)

(5) top: Youth serving; bottom: Adam and Eve after the Fall (Children in whom there was no blemish).

Youth, its Sacrifices and Joys
David soothing Saul with music

Charity window, in memory of Lady Beatrix Cadogan, wife of George, 5th Earl of Cadogan.

The six lights depict acts of charity.

Inscription reads: ‘Charity suffereth long, and; is kindlove envieth notlove vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up and now; abideth in Faith, Hope and Charity; these three; but the greatest of these is Charity’, 1 Corinthians 13:4 (King James Version).

Charity window

Other works


In 1873 Sedding designed St Clements, Boscombe, Bournemouth.  The reredos, high altar, candlesticks, church plate, pulpit, lectern, choir stalls, encaustic tiles, statue of St Clement and rood screen were all designed by Sedding.

Wilson created an amazing interior for St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton.  He designed the 45 foot high Baldachin in red and green marble (1899 – 1900), communion rails, pavement candlesticks, frieze in the choir stalls, pulpit using a variety of marbles (1906), Lady Altar in intricate repoussé silver on copper (1902), Octagonal font (1908) and wooden gallery (1906).


Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner. London 3: North WestThe Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, London SW1: A Brief Guide. London: Holy Trinity Church, n.d.

Peyton Skipwith, Holy Trinity Sloane Street. London: Trinity Arts and Crafts Guild, 2002.


Art History with Anne

May 2022

Back in 2017 when I was a red head!

May was a busy month for us! The lectures in the series Modern Art comes to Scotland: From the Glasgow Boys to the Scottish Colourists proved very popular with attendees and the recorded versions of these lectures, available to live-lectures subscribers, attracted a good number of views. When we were not broadcasting, members of the team were busy in France and even Belgium, gathering new material for future productions. 

The summer is usually quite busy for us so we will be giving just one live lecture each month from June through to August. The live lectures are a good way of keeping in touch with you all in addition to the Newsletter each month.  In September, the normal series lectures will resume as usual. However, if you are feeling starved of art and design culture, please remember that there are numerous free talks on the open-access section of the Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel on YouTube. Just copy and paste the Channel title into Google, or which ever browser you use, and that should take you there. We hope to be adding more material to the Channel over the summer.

Watch the latest!

If you are interested in art ceramics this latest addition to the Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel on Bretby Art Pottery might be worth a look. 

The Live Lecture for June
Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Lille, northern France

To be given on Tuesday 21st June 2022 at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm 

The last time I was in Lille, in 2007, my viewpoint was rather unconventional being from a wheelchair!  In dramatic fashion I had busted my ankle.  Taking an unexpected tour this May to Lille and the neighbouring town of Roubaix, in northern France, I rediscovered a wealth of Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture.  In Lille, by the creator of the famous Parisian Metro stations, Hector Guimard’s eccentric Maison Coilliot was conceived as an advert for a ceramics manufacturer. It stands out on an otherwise conventional side street. Although a triumph of Art Nouveau architecture, probably, it would not get planning permission today.

Sadly, the equally eye-catching Art Deco façade of L’ Huîtrière, once Lillie’s best-known restaurant, now fronts Louis Vuitton’s flag-ship boutique.  Although much of the interior décor has survived, you will have to join the queue to get in.

L’ Huîtrière,

 However, at the Villa Cavrois, Croix, an Art Deco masterpiece by Robert Mallet-Stevens, you can enjoy (without pretending to buy a scarf) the beautifully reconstructed interiors. Rescued from dereliction, the villa was opened to the public in 2015.  Over the last few years, the rooms have been fitted with period furniture, rugs and sculptures.  

Villa Cavrois

The Art Deco theme continues in Roubaix.  La Piscine, the municipal swimming pool built in 1932, has been transformed into a stunning art gallery. The main section, originally the pool, is lit by stunning sunburst glass windows.  Cabinets running down one side are filled with Sevres porcelain and pottery from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. But what really catches the eye are the sculptures lining the edges of the pool. One can easily appreciate why this is one of the most visited museums in France.

Join me in this lecture to enjoy some of the historic culture that this area has to offer.

How to book

To be given on Tuesday 21st June 2022 at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm 

The cost of the lecture is £10 for this session. You can book this live lecture for either the morning or the evening presentation.

To do so, please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com
Please ask for ‘Morning Lecture’ or ‘Evening Lecture’ when you book your choice as the sessions have different Zoom entry codes.

You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to Anne Anderson.

Once you register and pay, you will be sent a separate email with your link. You will need this link to access the lecture on the day so please do not delete it.

After the lecture you will be sent another private link so you can access the lecture on my YouTube Channel.

The lectures will be delivered live by Zoom. They will be uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel for a limited time and you will be provided with a private link to view them again at your leisure.

The lectures last for around an hour. Lecture start times are in BST.
There will be a question-and-answer session at the end

I will be repeating the morning lecture in the evening of the same day for those people unable to make the morning slot. Both lectures (morning and evening) will be delivered live and you will be able to ask questions in person at the end.

or you can pay via PAYPAL

One lecture

Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lille


Just Published
and available from good bookshops, Amazon etc. and featuring a Chapter on William Morris by Anne Anderson.

cover of English Rebels
Throughout history brave Englishmen and women have never been afraid to rise up against their unjust rulers and demand their rights. Barely a century has gone by without England being witness to a major uprising against the government of the day, often resulting in a fundamental change to the constitution. This book is a collection of biographies, written by experts in their field, of the lives and deeds of famous English freedom fighters, rebels, and democrats who have had a major impact on history. Featured chapters include the history of Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, when an army of 50,000 people marched to London in 1381 to demand an end to serfdom and the hated poll tax. Alongside Wat Tyler in this pantheon of English revolutionaries is Jack Cade who in 1450 led an angry mob to London to protest against government corruption. There are three chapters on various aspects of the English Civil War, during which the English executed their king. Other rebel heroes featured include Thomas Paine, the great intellectual of the American and French Revolutions; Mary Wollstonecraft, author of The Rights of Woman; Henry Hunt, who, as well as the Chartists after him, campaigned for universal suffrage; William Morris, the visionary designer and socialist thinker; and finally the Suffragettes and Suffragists who fought for women’s voting rights.
Travel Editions Tours

Some news for those of you who are interested in the art and heritage tours, in the UK and/or abroad, that Scott and I undertake through the Travel Editions company. Following a successful run of UK tours in  2021,Travel Editions is running many of its tours this summer. Below are listed some of the tours scheduled for later this year.

In July

Surrey Arts and Crafts 5-7 July (based in Ripley)
Arts and Crafts Houses and Gardens 18-20 July (based in Cheltenham)
From Victoriana to Art Nouveau 29-31 July (based in Northampton)

From Victoriana to Art Nouveau (29-31 July, 2 nights) which includes a visit to 78 Derngate, Northampton, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s only significant English work, and The Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford to see the outstanding collection of painted furniture by Victorian architect William Burges and the Gallery’s exceptional range of decorative arts objects and prints. For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc.

In August

Monet in Normandy 5-8 August (travel by Coach, based in Normandy)
Hampshire Arts and Crafts 11-13 August (based in Basingstoke)
Gothic Castles to French Impressionism 15-17 August (based in Cardiff)
William Morris 23-25 August (based in Blunsdon)

William Morris (23-25 August, 2 nights) which includes Kelmscott Manor, the much loved retreat of William Morris, a place that fitted perfectly with his Arts & Crafts ideals of craftsmanship. Many of Morris’ admirers were to follow in his footsteps by setting up communities in the Cotswolds and have left behind an abundance of fine craftsmanship for us to enjoy. Newly reopened after an absence of more than two years, Kelmscott Manor was Morris’ beloved country home and a great inspiration to him. For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc.

In September
Arts and Crafts in Sussex 7-9 September (based in Brighton)
Victorian Treasures of Yorkshire 16-18 September (based in Hilton Leeds City Hotel)

South Yorkshire was an economic powerhouse that has left a legacy of Victorian art and architecture that thrived when the region basked in its wealth built on its industry and mining. Civic pride as well as personal status inspired a host of wonderful buildings and the establishment of institutions that bear testimony to this vibrant period of the county’s history. This wonderful new tour looks at this legacy in the form of country houses, museums, galleries and civic architecture. For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc

Thanks to all of you who have watched films on the Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel and particularly to those who have remembered to press the SUBSCRIBE button beneath the video window. It does not commit you to anything but helps with my stats. Thank you. 

If you know anyone who would like to receive the Art History with Anne Newsletter, please ask them to email anne.anderson99@talk21.com with the subject line: ‘Please add me to your mailing list’


Art History with Anne

A series of Lectures for April/May 2022

Modern art comes to Scotland:

From the Glasgow Boys and to the Scottish Colourists 1880-1930

George Henry, Playmates, 1884.

In my last series of lectures, I considered the impact of Naturalism and en plein air painting on Scandinavian artists. Now coming closer to home, my next series of three inter-connected lectures concentrates on Scotland. This is not an easy story to tell for while the Glasgow Boys and Scottish Colourists were influenced by progressive French painting, the Glasgow Four, led by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, were not interested in en plein air painting or rural life. Rather they were integral to the emergence of European Symbolism in the 1890s. While the Boys and the Colourists could be deemed ‘followers’, the Four were leaders shaping the development of the Viennese Secession.

Glasgow Boys: Followers of Bastien-Lepage’s Naturalism

Wednesday 27th April at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm

During the 1880s the city of Glasgow emerged as a major cultural centre rivalling the nation’s capital, Edinburgh.  New money and a determination to collect modern art provided great opportunities for a generation of up-and-coming artists.  Now known collectively as the Glasgow Boys this loose confederation of artists numbered James Guthrie, Edward Atkinson Hornel, George Henry, and the Irish Glasgow Boy, John Lavery.  Influenced by Japan, and contemporary French and Dutch painting, notably Jules Bastien-Lepage, these, artists brought a breath of fresh air to Glasgow.  They adopted en plein air painting, working from nature directly out of doors, and escaped to the countryside in search of rural life. They paved the way for the city’s renaissance during the 1890s, laying the foundations for the Glasgow school, led by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Four. 

Jules Bastien-Lepage, October Gathering Potatoes 1878
James Paterson, The Last Turning, Winter, Moniaive, 1885

‘The Spook School’: Mackintosh and the Glasgow Girls

Wednesday 4th May at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm

The Four, who numbered Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s talented wife Margaret Macdonald and her sister, Francis MacDonald McNair, worked across different mediums: watercolours, gesso plaster panels and metalwork.  Nicknamed the Spook school, due to their elongated, ethereal human figures, symbolic meaning lay at the heart of their work. At the cutting edge, their influence in Europe was profound, forging a new design ethos that blended symbolism with decorative pattern.  Absorbing elements from Aubrey Beardsley and 1890s Decadence, their art has been labelled subversive and even, in the case of the girls, categorised as Feminist.   Whereas progressive French painters influenced the Glasgow Boys, the Four inspired their European contemporaries, especially Gustave Klimt.

Frances Macdonald McNair, Tis a Long Path which Wanders to Desire, after 1911
Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, Seven Princesses, 1906

Scottish Colourists: Peploe, Ferguson, Hunter, and Cadell

Wednesday 11th May at 11.00 am and repeated at 7pm

The work of the Four seems but an interlude, when we come to the Scottish Colourists, who once again turned to French painters, notably Matisse, and the bright colours of the Fauve (Wilde Beast) painters. The Scottish Colourists, Samuel Peploe, John Duncan Ferguson, George Leslie Hunter, and Francis Cadell were a loose grouping.   They never issued a manifesto and they rarely painted together.  But when they exhibited as a group their debt to French painting became clear.   Even more than the Glasgow Boys, the Colourists were concerned with the art of painting and the impact of pure colour.  Their paintings are tactile, the paint thick and creamy. The subjects, landscape and still life, are easily understandable- there is no deep, hidden meaning, just a celebration of light and colour that all can appreciate.

Samuel Peploe, Tulips and Fruit, c. 1919.
John Duncan Ferguson, The Blue Hat, (Closerie des Lilas), 1909

The lectures will be delivered live by Zoom. They will be uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel for a limited time and you will be provided with a private link to view them again at your leisure.
The lectures last for around an hour.  Lecture start times are in BST.
There will be a question-and-answer session at the end.
As the lectures will be delivered live by Zoom, you will be able to ask your questions in person at the end. You can also use the ‘Chat’ function.

I will be repeating each morning lecture in the evening of the same day for those people unable to make the morning slot. Both lectures (morning and evening) will be delivered live, and you will be able to ask questions in person at the end. 

The lectures are priced at £10 a session. You can book each lecture separately or all three £25 (one lecture half price!)
Please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com
Please ask for ‘Morning Lecture’ or ‘Evening Lecture’ when you book your choice(s) as the sessions have different Zoom entry codes
You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to Anne Anderson.
Once you register and pay, you will be sent a separate email with your link. You will need this link to access the lecture on the day so please do not delete it. 
After the lecture you will be sent another private link so you can access the lecture on my YouTube Channel.

Or you can pay directly through Paypal

Glasgow Boys

one hour lecture


The Spook School

one hour lecture


Scottish Colourists

one hour lecture


Three one hour lectures

Glasgow Boys, The Spook School Scottish Colourists



Art History with Anne

March 2022

The Spirit of the North:

Modern Painting comes to Scandinavia

A series of lectures for Spring

After many years of planning and construction the new Munchmuseet opened in Oslo last October.  Placed right on the water, near to the magnificent Opera house, clearly the new museum hopes to attract cruise passengers.  Given the demanding character of most of Munch’s art one can imagine a ‘G&T’ will help to lighten the mood upon returning to the ship. Nevertheless, if you wish to understand the Nordic spirit you will have to grapple with both the paintings of Munch and the plays of Henrik Ibsen. I wholehearted embarked on my Nordic learning curve when I was asked to lecture on board Swan Hellenic’s Minerva.  I have now sailed around the Baltic several times discovering the wonderful collections of art in Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.  I have also discovered that there are many more artists, alongside Munch, who revolutionized Scandinavian painting at the turn of the 20th century. With this I mind I will be offering a series of three interconnected lectures on Modern art coming to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

The Scream

Modern Art comes to Sweden: Anders Zorn and his Circle

Anders Zorn’s (1860-1920) bravado portraits in the grand manner have led to comparisons with the American superstar John Singer Sargent. Acclaimed internationally, Zorn was Sweden’s most famous artist at the turn of the century. While he made his name with scenes of modern life, from peasants in the fields to the bustle of city life, he made his fortune painting portraits of the great and the good. He took America by storm in the 1890s painting President William Taft and ‘grand dame’ Isabella Stewart Gardner.  Travelling the world, spending several years in Paris, Zorn finally returned to his native land to create Zorngården, Mora, Dalarna.  Zorn’s studio-house draws on the Arts and Crafts spirit and folk-art traditions of the area.  Fearing the loss of these traditions Zorn created Gammelgården in the southern part of Mora, a collection of around 40 timber houses that he bought and moved to make sure that the old art of building such houses would not be forgotten. Compared to a comet that quickly burnt out, his repute was eclipsed by the rise of Modernism. But like Sorolla and Krøyer his reputation has been revived in the 21st century.

Anders Zorn
Andera Zorn

Modern Art Comes to Denmark: Peder Krøyer and the Skagen group

The calm serenity of Peder Krøyer’s Summer Evening on Skagen’s Southern Beach, reproductions of which are said to hang on many Danish walls, captures the ‘blue hour’ of a midsummer night when the water and sky seem to optically merge.  From 1882 Krøyer (1851-1909) spent most of his summers painting at Skagen, then a remote fishing village on the northern tip of Jutland, Denmark. Artists were drawn to Skagen by the special local light, the vast sandy beaches, and the life of the local fishermen. The international artists’ colony that developed at Skagen has been likened to our Newlyn School.  Members of the group include fellow Danes Anna and Michael Anchor,  Oscar Björck and Johan Krouthen from Sweden and Christian Krogh and Eilif Peterssen from Norway. Gathering  regularly at the Brondums Inn, they often painted scenes of their own social gatherings, playing cards, celebrating a special event or simply eating a meal together. Krøyer finally settled in Skagen after marrying artist Marie Triepcke in 1889. Cushioned by the patronage of tobacco manufacturerHeinrich Hirschsprung, Krøyer was able totravel extensively, visiting art galleries, meeting artists, and developing his skills. In Paris, studying under Leon Bonnat, he was influenced by the French Impressionists and adopted ‘en plein air’, painting directly from nature out of doors.  His naturalism brought a breath of fresh air to Demark.

Peder Kroyer
Peder Kroyer

Modern Art comes to Norway: Munch and his Circle.

No one captured the angst of the era more effectively than Edvard Munch (1863-1944); imitated, copied, and parodied, his iconic Scream (1893) is as famed as Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Munch was profoundly influenced by the playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). In his plays A Doll’s House, Ghosts andHedda Gabler, Ibsen exposed double standards, revealing the truths that lay behind the façade of respectable domesticity. Ibsen deals, like Munch, with complex human relations. Munch wrote in a letter of 1908, “I am reading Ibsen again and I read him as me [myself].” Ghosts became Munch’s own drama. He saw the tragedy of the painter Osvald Alving, lusting for life yet unable to work, standing under the curse of heredity illness and madness, and feeling condemned to ruin, as a self-portrait. Nevertheless, Munch confessed “My fear of life is necessary to me… Without anxiety and illness, I am a ship without a rudder…. My sufferings are part of myself and my art.” Due to censorship and hostility Munch spent much of his life outside Norway. He moved in avant-garde circles in Paris and Berlin with Fritz Thaulow, Christian Krohg and Swedish dramatist August Strindberg among his friends.

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch

How to book

Or you can pay directly through Paypal for each one hour lecture

One lecture

Anders Zorn and his Circle


One lecture

Peder Kroyer and the Skagen Group


One lecture

Edvard Munch and his Circle


All three lectures

Anders Zorn and his Circle

Peder Kroyer and the Skagen Group

Edvard Munch and his Circle

Three lectures

Anders Zorn and his Circle Peder Kroyer and the Skagen Group Edvard Munch and his Circle



Art History with Anne Lectures November and December Reminder

What would you like for Christmas?

Faberge Museum St Petersburg

It’s that time of the year when we start to think about Christmas.  I expect we have all dreamt of the ultimate present, a Tiffany diamond bracelet, a Rene Lalique Art Nouveau jewel, or a Faberge trinket (as above!).  While such baubles are beyond my modest pocket, I have still been able to enjoy seeing such treasures in museums across the world.  Lecturing on a Fred Olsen cruise I visited the awesome Fabergé Museum in St Petersburg.  This private collection is housed in the beautiful Shuvalov Palace, on the Fontanka River Embankment.  I have chased Tiffany across world, from the New York Historical Society, where the glittering Tiffany lamps do indeed resemble baubles, to the National Gallery, Canberra.  On my Travel Editions tour, based in Metz, I have been privileged to visit the Lalique Museum in Wingen-sur-Moder several times. I confess in the gift shop I have marked my visit with yet more books and a commemorative fridge magnet.  Drawing on the extensive collection of images that I have accrued over the years, I hope to take you via Zoom to see these wonderful collections in St Petersburg, New York, and Eastern France.  Hopefully in 2022 it will be easier to travel and this series of three lectures will inspire you!

Carl Fabergé: Imperial Presents

Tiffany & Co: from Diamonds to Art Glass

Rene Lalique: Master of Art Nouveau Jewellery

You can pay directly for each one hour lecture using PayPal

One zoom lecture

Wednesday 17th November 2021 at 11.00 am and 7.00pm Carl Fabergé: Imperial Presents


One zoom lecture

Wednesday 24th November 2021 at 11.00 am and 7.00pm Tiffany & Co: from Diamonds to Art Glass


One zoom lecture

Wednesday 8th December 2021 at 11.00 am and 7.00pm Rene Lalique: Master of Art Nouveau Jewellery


Three zoom lectures

1 Faberge 2 Tiffany 3 Lalique


Some news for those of you who are interested in the art and heritage tours, that Scott and I undertake through the Travel Editions company. Although the threat of Covid-19 remains, movement seems easier and Travel Editions has begun to resume some of its tours abroad.

I hope to be taking a tour to Metz and Luxembourg from 10th to 13th March 2022. This will include a visit to the Lalique Museum at Wingen-sur-Moder.

Travel is by Eurostar to Paris and  onwards to Metz by SNCF TGV (high speed rail).

For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc. Alternatively, give them a phone call on 0207 251 0045.

Success! You're on the list.

Art History with Anne Lectures for November/December

What would you like for Christmas?

Faberge Museum St Petersburg

It’s that time of the year when we start to think about Christmas.  I expect we have all dreamt of the ultimate present, a Tiffany diamond bracelet, a Rene Lalique Art Nouveau jewel, or a Faberge trinket (as above!).  While such baubles are beyond my modest pocket, I have still been able to enjoy seeing such treasures in museums across the world.  Lecturing on a Fred Olsen cruise I visited the awesome Fabergé Museum in St Petersburg.  This private collection is housed in the beautiful Shuvalov Palace, on the Fontanka River Embankment.  I have chased Tiffany across world, from the New York Historical Society, where the glittering Tiffany lamps do indeed resemble baubles, to the National Gallery, Canberra.  On my Travel Editions tour, based in Metz, I have been privileged to visit the Lalique Museum in Wingen-sur-Moder several times. I confess in the gift shop I have marked my visit with yet more books and a commemorative fridge magnet.  Drawing on the extensive collection of images that I have accrued over the years, I hope to take you via Zoom to see these wonderful collections in St Petersburg, New York, and Eastern France.  Hopefully in 2022 it will be easier to travel and this series of three lectures will inspire you!

Carl Fabergé: Imperial Presents

Faberge Easter Egg

Like Tiffany & Co., the House of Fabergé was a family firm founded by Gustav Fabergé. Although born in St Petersburg, Peter Carl Fabergé ancestors were Huguenots who fled from France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. His father ensured his son acquired a liberal education. Carl embarked on a Grand Tour seeking tuition from the leading goldsmiths of the day in Germany, France, and England.  Age 26 he returned to St Petersburg to join the House of Fabergé by now run by his father’s trusted associate Hiskias Pendin, who acted as his mentor and tutor. In 1885 his brother Agathon Fabergé joined the firm. Wining accolades at the Pan-Russian Exhibition held in Moscow in 1882 for their art jewellery, the House of Fabergé caught the attention of Tsar, AllexanderIII. The first so-called Fabergé egg, the ‘Hen Egg’, given as a gift from the Tsar to his wife Maria Fyodorovna in 1885, so delighted her that on 1 May the Emperor assigned Fabergé the title Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown. Many more eggs were to follow. Not even the Tsar knew what form they would take— the only stipulation was that each one should be unique and should contain a surprise. With access to the Hermitage collection, Carl Fabergé was able to develop his personal style by studying the best work of the past. By reviving the lost art of enamelling and focusing on the setting of every single gemstone, Fabergé took the goldsmith’s art to new heights.

Tiffany & Co: from Diamonds to Art Glass

Tiffany Wisteria lamp, New York

Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837, the company’s future was secured during the 1848 Year of Revolution across Europe. Fleeing aristocrats were forced to sell their jewels, which Charles Tiffany had the good sense to stockpile. By acquiring and then selling the French Crown jewels in 1887, Tiffany’s fame was assured. Perhaps his most audacious coup was purchasing the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, one of the largest to be discovered. Still the company’s most prized possession it has only be worn by a handful of women: Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Louis Comfort Tiffany was destined to join the family business, but after developing his skills as an artist he specialised in glass, ceramics, and interior decorating.  His name has become synonymous with stunning Art Nouveau lamps and stained glass windows.  He pioneered new techniques, in effect ‘painting’ with coloured glass, which became known across Europe as American glass.  He was, like many of his generation, inspired by Japan and you will find many of the key Art Nouveau motifs in his work- dragonflies, butterflies, lilies, and poppies.  Expressive of its time, Tiffany’s floral style was eclipsed by the geometric patterns of Art Deco; Tiffany was declared bankrupt in 1932.

Tiffany lamp, New York

Rene Lalique: Master of Art Nouveau Jewellery

Lalique jewel, Lalique Museum Wingen-sur-Moder

Although Lalique is best known for his Art Deco glass of the inter-war years, his career began in the 1890s as the designer of the most innovative Art Nouveau jewellery. After studying in England, from c. 1878-80, Lalique crafted jewels that were works of art rather than just status symbols dependant expensive precious stones. He favoured unusual materials, such as enamelling and semi-precious stones. Influenced by the Symbolist painters of the day, Lalique created jewels that told stories. ‘The Kiss’ was inspired by Rodin’s famous sculpture of two lovers locked in a passionate embrace. Discovered by Sarah Bernhardt, Lalique was charged with creating jewels for her famous theatrical roles.  Inevitably, as his fame spread his style was copied and debased until Lalique felt that he had exhausted the potential of jewellery.  At that very moment, around1907, the perfumer Coty asked Lalique to design labels for his scent bottles, but Lalique surpassed this request, devising the first customised perfume bottle. After the war, Lalique’s name became synonymous with Art Glass.

Lalique brooch

Pay directly using PayPal

One zoom lecture

Carl Fabergé: Imperial Presents


One zoom lecture

Tiffany & Co: from Diamonds to Art Glass


One zoom lecture

Rene Lalique: Master of Art Nouveau Jewellery


Travel Editions Tours

Some news for those of you who are interested in the art and heritage tours, that Scott and I undertake through the Travel Editions company. Although the threat of Covid-19 remains, movement seems easier and Travel Editions has begun to resume some of its tours abroad.

For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc. Alternatively, give them a phone call on 0207 251 0045.

Success! You're on the list.

Art History with Anne Lectures for October: Partners in Art

Partners in Art: l’École de Nancy

Peacock window in the Maison Bergeret, Nancy

At end of October, I would normally be boarding the Eurostar for Paris, my ultimate destination being Nancy, the cultural capital of Lorraine. Scott and I ‘discovered’ this beautiful city in 1983, the year it acquired its UNESCO status.  I instantly fell in love with the Place Stanislas, the spectacular mid-18th century square dubbed the city’s drawing room. This perfect architectural centerpiece, one of three interconnecting squares, was commissioned by Stanislas Leszczyński, the exiled King of Poland and the father-in-law of Louis XV. I can’t imagine a better place to enjoy a cup of coffee or something stronger.  

At the close of the 19th century Nancy enjoyed another ‘Golden Age’, being transformed into France’s premier Art Nouveau city. So, if you can drag yourself away from the ‘Place Stan’, as known to the locals, Nancy has a wealth of Art Nouveau architecture to enjoy.  You can find out more on my blog page, ‘Anne’s Pocket Guide to Nancy’. However, continuing the theme of Partners in Art, this series of three lectures concentrates on the artists of l’École de Nancy, which by successfully allying art and industry, brought wealth and fame to the city.

Partners in Art: l’École de Nancy

L’Ecole de Nancy, a consortium of architects, artists, and designers, was officially launched in 1901 following success at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900.  While ‘the school of Nancy’ is at times relegated to provincial status, it was the powerhouse of Art Nouveau, second only to Paris in terms of initiating new technologies and improving the quality of the decorative arts.   Émile Gallé, the first president of L’Ecole de Nancy, specialised in pottery, glass and furniture; the Daum brothers, Auguste and Antonine concentrated on glass, collaborating with stained glass designer Jacques Gruber, while Louis Majorelle was the premier furniture maker and metalworker. Yet this Golden Age had only come about due to a disastrous war and mass-migration.  The city’s destiny, and that of France, had been determined by the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71).

Émile Gallé: father of l’École de Nancy

Gallé (1846-1904) took over the family firm in 1874, transforming the business into one of the world’s leading art industries.  In addition to glass, Gallé manufactured ceramics and furniture, the latter primarily for his creations to stand on.  He was a brilliant innovator, constantly perfecting new techniques.  Beginning with enamelling on clear glass, inspired by Islamic precursors, he progressed to hand carved, and acid etched cameo glass. His ultimate technique ‘glass marquetry’ was perfected for Paris 1900.  Following his premature death in 1904, the Daum brothers were Galle’s natural successors.  

Galle, enamelled glass influenced by Japonisme and an Islamic  mosque lamp

Galle, marqueterie-sur-verre vase and the Rose of France vase

The famous Dawn and Dusk bed  

Daum Frères Cristalleries: glass and stained glass

Migrating from the territory annexed to Germany, Jean Daum (1825-85) took the risky step of investing in the Sainte-Catherine glassworks in Nancy. It was his sons, Auguste (1853-1909) and Antoine (1864-1930), who turned around the fortunes of the cristalleries by developing art glass.  By collaborating with stained glass artist Jacques Gruber (1870-1936), ‘France’s Tifffany’, and Almeric Walter (1870-1959), who perfected pâtes de verre (glass casting), Daum enhanced its artistic reputation. Thanks to such partnerships, Daum survived the 1930s depression and continues to be a leading manufacturer of Art Glass.

Daum Cameo glass and Daum enamelled glass

Gruber, Roses and Seagulls window in the Maison Bergeret
Almeric Walter pâtes de verre 

Louis Majorelle: Furniture and Metalwork

Louis Majorelle (1859-1926), who collaborated with both Gallé and Daum, secured his reputation with a range of superb Art Nouveau furniture.  Diversifying into metalwork, he fashioned lamp bases (with Daum Frères shades), spectacular glazed canopies and breath-taking staircase railings. Acquiring Samuel Bing’s famous gallery Maison de l’Art Nouveau in 1904, Majorelle secured a Parisian outlet for l’École de Nancy. However, Marjorelle’s legacy is the Villa Jika, named after his wife, the stunning studio-house created for him by the young Parisian architect Henri Sauvage. This exemplary ‘total work of art’, now fully restored, provided a showcase for the creative talents of Majorelle and Gruber.

Marjorelle, Waterlily suite
Honesty theme staircase railings in the Banque Renaud
Villa Majorelle or Villa Jika

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One Zoom Lecture Galle


One zoom lecture Daum


One Zoom lecture Majorelle


Three zoom lectures (all of the series)

Lecture 1 Galle Lecture 2 Daum Lecture 3 Marjorelle


Travel Editions Tours

Some news for those of you who are interested in the art and heritage tours, that Scott and I undertake through the Travel Editions company. Although the threat of Covid-19 remains, movement seems easier and Travel Editions has begun to resume some of its tours abroad.

If you have booked in for any of my October lectures on Art Nouveau artists and manufacturers in Nancy (or even if you have not), you may be interested in seeing first hand some of the cultural delights that Nancy has to offer.

Below is a list of provisional dates for Travel Editions tours to Nancy next Spring. Travel is by Eurostar to Paris and  onwards to Nancy by SNCF TGV (high speed rail).

4-7 March 2022 Nancy Art Nouveau 
25-28 March 2022 Nancy Art Nouveau 
22-25 April 2022 Nancy Art Nouveau 

For further details please visit the Travel Editions website: https://www.traveleditions.co.uk to check booking details etc. Alternatively, give them a phone call on 0207 251 0045.

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Anne’s Pocket Guide to…the Arts and Crafts in the Cotswolds

Chipping Campden: Ashbee’s Guild of Handicrafts

Considering their up-market status today, it’s hard to believe that at the close of the 19th century the Cotswolds were ‘depressed’. The agricultural recession of the 1880s, leading to falling land rents, resulted in a rural decline.  When Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942) was seeking the perfect place to relocate his London based Guild of Handicraft and establish a rural utopia, Chipping Campden appeared ideal. In addition to sixteen cottages apparently standing empty, there were industrial buildings that could be adapted to his needs.  Renamed Essex House, the old silk mill would come to house the printing presses on the ground floor with the metalwork and furniture workshops above.  

The arcaded Market Hall built by Sir Baptist Hicks in 1627 is the focal point on the High Street.
Almshouses, Church Street, built by Sir Baptist Hicks in 1612.
Opposite the wheel wash for cleaning and keeping cartwheels wet.
The Old Silk Mill on Sheep Street

” I am glad to think that the men themselves have decided on the whole it is better to leave Babylon and go home to the land.”

C R Ashbee c. 1902.

The Song of the Builders of the City of the Sun

Chorus of the Builders

Comrades, our city of the sun!
A quest unfound, a joy unwon; 
Ay, here in England shall it rise 
Beneath her grey and solemn skies. 
Far in her golden past, or far 
Ahead where her Utopias are,
For hearts that feel and souls that find 
Their inner life within the mind,
The inner life yet scarce begun, 
Here stands our city of the sun!

C.R. Ashbee, Essex House Press, 1905.

The Cotswolds: An Arts and Crafts Haven

Ashbee was not the first to discover the delights of the area. William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti leased Kelmscott Manor in 1871. After Rossetti withdrew from the tenancy in 1874, Kelmscott became Morris’s beloved rural retreat. It is said his famous Strawberry Thief was inspired while he was waiting to use the outdoor privy. Evidently, he watched the thrushes ‘stealing’ his strawberries. 

Kelmscott Manor, Lechlade, Morris’s summer retreat

Having trained as architects in London, Ernest Gimson and the Barnsley brothers look Pinbury Park, neat Sapperton, on a ‘repairing lease’ in 1893. Following Morris’ lead, they wished to ‘live near to nature’.  Gimson and Ernest Barnsley formed a partnership designing and making furniture, with workshops at the Fleece in Cirencester. When these premises proved inadequate, the Daneway, a beautiful house on the Bathurst estate was leased.  This also offered an ideal period setting for the display of the furniture. When the Gimson/ Barnsley partnership was dissolved in 1903, Gimson ran the workshops on his own, soon establishing his reputation as a leading furniture designer.

Ernest Gimson, Sideboard with plate stand, 1915, made by Ernest Smith and Percy Burchett.  Cost £47.8.0. The Wilson, Cheltenham

Situated to the north, Broadway had been ‘discovered’ in the 1870s.  Crom Price, one of Morris’s Oxford gang, rented Broadway Tower, an iconic landmark on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, as a holiday retreat. ‘I am up at Crom Price’s Tower among the winds and the clouds,’ wrote Morris to a friend in the summer of 1876. With the coming of the railway to Evesham in 1852, the village of Broadway became a sleepy backwater. Artists, writers, and musicians were drawn to its unspoiled beauty and tranquility: composers Edward Elgar and Vaughan Williams; American artists John Singer Sargent, Edwin Austin Abbey; writer J.M. Barrie and actress Mary Anderson.  While some just came for the summer, others like Mary Anderson took up permanent residence. The arrival of the motorcar at the turn of the 20th century, transformed Broadway into a popular tourist destination. Realising Broadway’s potential S.B. Russell acquired the Lygon Arms, an old coaching inn, in 1904. Transformed into an up-market hotel, particularly catering to American tourists, S B Russell appropriately filled his hotel with antique furniture.  Gaining experience in the hotel’s workshops, his son Gordon Russell would become the world-renowned furniture designer and educationalist. Gordon’s destiny was undoubtedly shaped by his upbringing. Attending the Grammar School at Chipping Campden, Gordon witnessed at first hand the Guild of Handicraft’s commitment to craftsmanship.  

Lygon Arms, Broadway, acquired by S B Russell in 1904

Charles Robert Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft

Educated at Cambridge and embarking on a career as an architect, the young Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942) was influenced by poet-philosopher Edward Carpenter who extolled the virtues of ‘the simple life’. Equally committed to improving the working and living conditions of the working class, Ashbee volunteered at Toynbee Hall, the famous university settlement in London’s East End founded by Canon Barnet in 1884. Having established a Ruskin reading class in 1886, Ashbee was moved to put his words into action.  This evolved into the Guild of Handicraft, which was inaugurated in 1888 as a cooperative group of craftsmen.  From four members the Guild grew rapidly moving to new premises, Essex House on the Mile End Road in Bow, in 1890. The Guild produced woodwork, leatherwork, and metalwork, notably beaten copperwork and jewellery.

John Williams, founder member of the Guild, copper 1896. The Wilson.

John Williams resigned his position in 1892 and went on to teach at Hammersmith School of Arts. He was also involved with the Home Arts and Industries Association, being associated with the Fivemiletown Art Metalwork classes in County Tyrone.

Founder member of the Guild, John Pearson (flourished 1885-1910) may have gained experience decorating tiles and pots at William De Morgan’s workshop. A De Morgan ‘Antelope’ charger bears the initials ‘JP’. As his beaten repousse copper chargers illustrate, he was certainly influenced by De Morgan’s style, favouring galleons and fishes.  

Pearson charger with a galleon (the Craft of the Ship motif) and fishes, c. 1890, Standen, East Grinsted

Resigning from the Guild in 1892, Pearson became an instructor at the newly founded Newlyn Industrial Class. Pearson also sold his work independently, supplying the ‘competition’, Liberty of Regent Street. Although keen to offer his clients Arts and Crafts commodities, Arthur Lazenby Liberty, who founded his famous store in 1875, lacked Ashbee’s commitment to the crafts. Launching his own ranges, Cymric silverwares and Tudric pewter, in 1900 and 1902 respectively, Liberty happily relied on commercial manufacturers.

Archibald Knox for Liberty Cymric silver, c. 1900. V&A

Purchasing Morris’s Kelmscott Press Albion printing presses, upon his death in 1896, Ashbee founded the Essex House Press.   He also employed one of the Kelmscott Press compositors Thomas Binning. With its cover of oak boards fitted with hammered iron and leather clasps made by the Guild, Ashbee’s masterpiece was the Prayer Book. This celebrated Edward VII coming to the throne in 1901. Moving to Chipping Campden alongside the Guild of Handicraft, the Essex House Press produced 84 titles.

The Prayer Book of Edward VII: “The Athanasian Creed, prefixed by a mediaeval hell-mouth, Senate House Collection

Running into financial trouble in 1907, the Guild was formally liquidated in 1908.    Craftsmanship and competitive industry were inevitably at odds.   It did not help that Liberty’s Arts and Crafts style jewellery and metalwork, being commercially produced, could be bought more cheaply.

Cockneys in Arcadia: The Guild moves to Chipping Campden.

With the lease for Essex House up for renewal, the time had come to take the bold leap of moving the Guild to a rural location.  In May 1902, after voting on the motion to leave London, the Guildsmen started to arrive in Chipping Campden.  It must have been a shock to the system of both the incoming Londoners and the local townsfolk. Divisions were inevitable, with two camps quickly forming, ‘Campden’ and ‘Guild’.

Guildsmen in 1903: John Cameron, William Mark, Arthur Penny and Arthur Cameron 

Ashbee and his wife Janet set up home in the Woolstaplers’ Hall on the High Street. A few improvements were made to the building, which in part dated back to the 14th century. A new front door was easily installed by replacing a window. Windows were unblocked and partitions and false ceilings removed, creating a fine upper room dubbed the ‘library’. Used for reading and writing, this was also an ideal place for Guild singsongs. 

Ashbee’s residence, Woolstaplers’ Hall on the High Street
Ashbee’s residence, Woolstaplers’ Hall. Ashbee created a new front door.

When the Guild was at its height, Island House, part of Middle Row, was also used as a club, with a billiard room, bar, and a brand-new gramophone. 

Island House, part of Middle Row

Island House and Rosary Cottage, part of Middle Row

Rosary Cottage, Middle Row, housed the book binding workshop (1902-05) under the direction of Annie Power, the first woman to be employed by the Guild. Her presence caused some strife, as jeweller Fred Partridge was captivated by her charms. Apparently engaged to May Hart, Ashbee demanded he give up Annie and leave the Guild.  He opted to leave, and the Guild lost one of its best jewellers because, as Janet Ashbee observed, ‘of the way of a man with maid’.

Rosary Cottage, end of Middle Row

The Guild leased a row of six recently built cottages in Sheep Street.  However, these did not prove popular with the Guildsmen’s families. They had no gardens, and the lavatories were outside. Some of the families allocated this accommodation went back to London as soon as they could. Nevertheless, by the end of 1902, the Guild was employing up to seventy men.

Print Details - 4 Bedroom - Sheep Street, Chipping Campden
Cottages on Sheep Street

The bachelors were accommodated at Braithwaite House on the High Street. In 1904 Frederick Landseer Griggs (1876-1938) lodged with the Guildsmen. Although trained as an architect, Griggs made his living as an illustrator. He came to Campden to work on illustrations for a book, Highways and Byways in Oxford and the Cotswolds.

Braithwaite House, on the left, High Street.

Westcote House, opposite the Lygon Arms was repaired by Norman Jewson (son-in-law of Ernest Barnsley) and Griggs in 1926.  At that time the Kingsley Weavers, run by Leo and Eileen Baker, were in residence.  Eileen Baker had been taught to weave by Ethel Mairet, a pioneer of modern hand-loom weaving, in Ditchling, Sussex, an Arts and Crafts utopia guided by Eric Gill and Hilary Peplar.  The actual looms were in the Long House on Calf Lane, a converted barn on the other side of the High Street, behind Dovers House. 

Kingsley Weavers, Long House on Calf Lane

From 1924, Trinder House was home to Fred Hart, brother of the silversmith George Hart and Will Hart, the carver and guilder known to his mates as ‘The Skipper’.  Fred Hart was an enthusiastic, magpie-like collector. He and Charles Wade, of Snowshill Manor, hunted together and traded finds.  Through nearly all weathers, Hart kept the top half of the stable door of Trinder House open. Passer-by would see him surrounded by his eclectic treasures. When he died in 1971, it took four days to sell his collection.

Trinder House
Trinder House, on the right, with the shallow bay window, was the home of Fred Hart.


Falling in love with the village, Griggs settled permanently in Campden taking Dovers House, a beautiful Georgian house on the High Street. He lived here from 1906 to 1930, when he embarked on designing and building a new home, New Dovers House.  

Dovers House on the High Street

Griggs also repaired and altered several houses in Campden. Fronting Leysbourne, Miles House lies opposite the cast iron pump which has supplied water to the village since 1832.  Two 17th century cottages conjoined to create one house, Miles House was further altered and refaced by Griggs in 1917. The front, with added stone mullioned canted bays, is a perfect example of Art and Crafts sensitivity to neighbouring properties.

Miles House, Leysbourne
Village Pump, 1832

Griggs’ War Memorial was more than a cross; he created a complete scheme comprising a wall, a grassy plot linking the Market Hall and the Town Hall, and steps from the lower street level to the level of the cross.

Griggs’ War Memorial
Griggs’ War Memorial and surrounding green

Griggs converted to the Roman Catholic faith in 1912. He contributed to the enrichment of St Catharine’s Roman Catholic church, which lies on the corner of Lower High Street and Hoo Lane. Dating to 1891, the church was built in a late Gothic style admirably suiting its location. Griggs designed the crucifix in the chancel arch, organ case and pulpit.  The crucifix was carved by another convert Alec Miller, who was offered a job on the eve of the Guild’s move to Campden.  

Coming from smoky Glasgow, Alec Miller (1879-1961) was overcome by Campden’s splendid ‘stone-built houses, so rich, so substantial and of such beautiful stone.’ 

Grevel House on the High Street, said to be the oldest house in Campden, was built around 1380

Combining the practical culture of the workshop with intellectual prowess, Miller was Ashbee’s ideal craftsman. Able to converse on Greek philosophy, Miller understood the larger ideas behind the Guild.  After the failure of the Guild in 1908, Miller continued to work as a wood carver and sculptor. After working in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s, Miller emigrated to California in 1939.  

Alec Miller, The Sphinx, 1927
Alex Miller, Naiad, c. 1918

From a Roman Catholic family Paul Woodroffe (1875-1954) contributed a fine three light window, commemorating Charles, Earl of Gainsborough and his first wife Ida.  In the centre the Virgin and Child, on the left St Charles Borromeo in Cardinal’s robes and on the right St Ida.  

St Ida
Window, commemorating Charles, Earl of Gainsborough and his first wife Ida, by Paul Woodroffe.
St Thomas More, at the west end of the south isle, is also by Woodroffe.

Educated at the Slade School of Art, Woodroffe played a significant role in the flowering of book illustration in the 1890s. He specialised in song books for children, the words and music illuminated with his illustrations.  In the 1890s he took up stained glass work, being trained by the leading master of the Arts and Crafts movement, Christopher Whall.  From then on, he split his time between books and windows. 

Cover of Ivory Apes and Peacocks by Woodroffe, 1899

In 1904 Woodroffe settled in Westington, an outlier of Campden, in a thatched cottage repaired and enlarged by Ashbee.  He ran his workshop, in an outbuilding, with a staff of some eight apprentices and assistants.  His most notable commission came in 1909, fifteen windows for the Lady Chapel at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in New York.

The Harts: The Guild of Handicraft lives on

Located on the second floor of the old silk mill, the silver and jewellery workshop has hardly changed since the days of the Guild. The pieces made today also draw heavily on drawings going back decades. The mark on Hart silver ‘GofH’, registered by the Guild of Handicraft in 1908, is still in use. This continuity is remarkable.

George Hart (1882-1973) joined the Guild in 1901. He took over the running of the workshop when the Guild closed in 1908.  He was joined by his son Henry in 1930.  The Harts’ workshop continues to this day, being run successively by George Harts’ grandson David Hart, his son William Hart, nephew Julian Hart and Derek Elliott, who joined in 1982.

Hart’s workshop at the old silk mill

Catalogues going back decades at the old silk mill
Ashbee, ‘Posset’, Guild of Handicraft, at The Wilson, Cheltenham
Ashbee, Decanter, 1903, Court Barn

Perhaps attracted by Ashbee’s utopian dream and the Harts tradition, silversmith Robert Welch (1929-2000) spent his working life at the old silk mill. Trained at the Royal College of Art, Welch was inspired by post-war Scandinavian design. Attempting to be both a silversmith and an industrial designer, he made his name with his stainless-steel cutlery. His showrooms on the corner of the High Street and Sheep Street opened in 1972. They are now managed by his children, Rupert and Alice Welch. Thus, the tradition of good design and fine craftsmanship lives on in Campden.

Robert Welch showroom, corner of Sheep Street


Travel Editions offers Arts and Crafts guided tours with Anne and Scott Anderson.

Be prepared to do lots of walking around Chipping Campden.   Properties linked to the Guild can be found along the High Street, Lower High Street, and Sheep Street which leads you into Westington.  If you are feeling energetic, you could even walk to Broad Campden to see the Norman Chapel, restored, and enlarged by Ashbee for Ananda and Ethel Coomaraswamy, who was the sister of Guildsman Fred Partridge. They furnished their home with the Guild’s work alongside Morris & Co. and Indian textiles. When the Coomaraswamy’s moved out in 1911, the Ashbee’s were able to rent the Norman Chapel. Three of their four daughters were born there.

Court Barn, near St James, on Church Street, offers an introduction to Ashbee and the Guildsmen.

Nearby, the Parish church of St James has a beautiful east window by Henry Payne, one of the Birmingham Group of Artist-Craftsmen. Dedicated in 1925, the window commemorates the First World War.  St Martin is represented twice; at the base of the window as a Roman soldier dividing his cloak to help a beggar and at the top as a cardinal blessing a beggar.   As much of the fighting took place in France, St Martin was particularly relevant as he became Bishop of Tours. Moreover, his day is the 11th November, Armistice day.

Parish church of St James, east window, memorial commemorating the First World War, by Henry Payne
East window, memorial commemorating the First World War, by Henry Payne. St Martin blessing a poor man, top right.
St Martin dividing his cloak for a beggar, east window commemorating the First World War, by Henry Payne
Boer War plaque, Guild of Handicraft, St James.


Felicity Ashbee, Janet Ashbee, Love, Marriage and the Arts and Crafts Movement, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2002.

Annett Carruthers and Mary Greensted, Good Citizen’s Furniture: The Arts and Crafts Collections at Cheltenham, Cheltenham: Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museums/Lund Humphries, 1994.

Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist, New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1985.

Alan Crawford, Arts and Crafts Walks in Broadway and Chipping Campden, Chipping Campden, Glos: The Guild of Handicraft Trust, 2020.

Mary Greensted, The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds, Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1993.

Mary Greensted, The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain (Shire History), Oxford: Shire, 2010.

Jan Marsh, Back to the Land: The Pastoral Impulse in Victorian England from 1880 to 1914, London: Quartet Books, 1982.

Fiona McCarthy, The Simple Life: C.R. Ashbee in the Cotswolds, (London: Lund Humphries, 1981.

Jerrold Northrop Moore, F.L. Griggs (1876-1938): The architect of dreams, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.

Gillian Naylor, The Arts and Crafts Movement: A study of its sources, ideals and influence on design theory, London: Trefoil, 1990.

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Anne’s London Artistic Walks

I am launching a new venture in September 2021, Artistic Walks that look at London’s artistic and literary connections.  I hope this will be the start of an occasional series of face-to-face events over the coming year. I have guided walks for the Oscar Wilde Society and the Victorian Society previously.  Please contact me, anne.anderson99@talk21.com, if you would like to arrange a guided walk for your group. Minimum number 10 persons. Cost £15 per person.

Other London Walks:

Artistic Chelsea: from Glebe Place to Cheyne Walk.

Artistic Chelsea: the Embankment and Tite Street

Artistic London: from Sloane Square to Harrods

Join me on this walk which will take us from John Dando Sedding’s magnificent Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts’ thanks to its rich fittings by Henry Wilson and stained glass by Morris & Co. and Christopher Whall, to Harrod’s Food Hall, an Art Nouveau masterpiece.

On the way we will pass through the heart of Victorian ‘Queen Anne style’ London, the name given to a new style of architecture devised by Richard Norman Shaw and JJ Stevenson. Cadogan Square and Pont Street boast the finest examples. The area is rich in artistic and literary associations. Mortimer Menpes, the godfather of Wilde’s second child Vyvyen, created an extraordinary studio-house, filled with Japanese objets d’art at 25 Cadogan Gardens.

The Cadogan Hotel, which stands on the corner of Pont Street and Sloane Street, absorbed Lillie Langtry’s townhouse. This was also where Oscar Wilde was arrested, in Room 118. As we near the end of the walk, a slight detour to Hans Street takes us past an early project by the famed Arts and Crafts architect C F A Voysey. The walk ends, in of all places, in Harrod’s Food Hall to view the Doulton tiles devised by William James Neatby, surely the finest Art Nouveau ensemble in England.

File:Harrods Food Hall, Brompton Road, London (16).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Please note the houses can only be viewed from the outside. The walk takes approximately an hour and a half.

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Art History Lectures

Art History Lectures for September

I shall kick off the new autumn season with the theme of art partnerships, collaborations that changed the course of European art. 

Partners in Art

William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, creators of the Pre-Raphaelite Interior

With their friendship established at Oxford, Morris and Burne-Jones collaborated on numerous projects.  After 1875 Burne-Jones designed all the stained glass windows for the firm with commissions going as far afield as the USA. In the 1890s they collaborated on the great tapestry cycle, the Holy Grail.  When Morris predeceased him, Burne-Jones simply declared ‘the king is dead’.

Josef Hoffmann and Kolo Moser, founders of the Wiener Werkstätte

Inspired by Morris’ firm, Hoffmann and Moser founded the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese workshops) in 1903. Working on joint architectural projects, it is often impossible to distinguish their work stylistically.  They developed a radically new design ethos based on strict geometric forms.

Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, the perfect Arts and Crafts House and Garden

Both wedded to the native architecture of Surrey, with its picturesque half- timbering and tile hanging, Lutyens provided the architectural framework which Jekyll filled with a profusion of flowers. Together they worked on numerous projects, both great and small, establishing a pattern, governed by pergolas, rills, and herbaceous borders, that define the Arts and Crafts garden.

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Anne’s Pocket Guide to…

Nancy, the triumph of Art Nouveau

l’École de Nancy, which endeavoured to ally art and industry, transformed the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine into France’s premier Art Nouveau city, second only to Paris. Although Nancy lacks the originality of an architect of the stature Hector Guimard, creator of the Paris Metro style, in the decorative arts Nancy surpassed even the capital. Nancy owes its success to Emile Gallé, who was the catalyst for l’École Nancy, officially formed in 1901, three years before his death.

Joseph Janin, Peacock, Winter Garden, Maison Bergeret, Rue Lionnois, Nancy

Nancy is ‘a city, the refinement of which recalls, on a small scale, that of Athens.’

Henri Frantz

Ma racine est au fond des bois (My root is deep in the woods)

It is necessary to have a pronounced bias in favour of models taken from flora and fauna, while giving them free expression.

Emile Gallé

Emile Gallé, Aube and Crepuscule (Dawn and Dusk), 1904, Musée de Nancy.

Conscious or unconscious, the symbol qualifies, vivifies the work; it is its soul.

Emile Gallé

18th century Ville d’Art: the legacy of Stanislas Leszczyński 

The fortunes of Nancy, capital of the Duchy of Lorraine and Bar, took a dramatic turn when the duchy was ceded to Stanislas Leszczyński, the exiled King of Poland. This privilege was granted to Stanislas, the father-in-law of Louis XV, for the duration of his life. The exiled King devoted his energy to philanthropy and beatifying his capital, creating a grand square that united the medieval ‘Vieux Ville’ with the ‘Ville Neuve’, as conceived by Charles III, Duke of Lorraine.  Balanced on all sides by matching buildings, Place Stanislas, as it is known today, is close to architectural perfection. To the south, l’Hôtel de Ville is flanked by two pavilions to either side of the square, to the east originally the Collège de médecine and the Pavillon Jacquet, a private residence and to the west, the former Bishop’s Palace, now the Opera, and l’Hôtel de la Reine, for the King’s Intendant or administrator. Remarkably this architectural tour de force was completed in four years, between 1752-55, by the court architect Emmanuel Héré de Corny (1705-1763).

East: originally the Pavillon Jacquet, a private residence and the Collège de médecine, now the Fine Arts Museum.

West: originally l’Hôtel de la Reine, for the King’s Intendant or administrator and the former Bishop’s Palace, now the Opera.

However, it is thanks to maître ferronnier Jean Lamour(1698-1771)  that Nancy is known as the Ville aux Portes d’Or or ‘City with Golden Gates’. With their cartouches, swags, and flowers, Lamour’s gilded wrought iron gates perfectly express the Rococo style of the mid-18th century. On the north-east side, the gates frame an elaborate Rococo fountain of Neptune and to the north-west, the fountain of Amphitrite by Barthélémy Guibal. Lamour’s organic, curvilinear, quintessentially French Rococo ironwork would shape Nancy’s distinctive Art Nouveau Style Florale.  

Place Stanislas was conceived as homage to Louis XV.  According to legend the fountains flowed with wine in 1755 when Stanislas inaugurated one of the finest squares in the world. Before the French Revolution, a statue of Louis XV dominated the square, facing the triumphal arch known today as the Arc Héré or Porte Héré. The arch leads into another beautiful square, also unifed by Héré, the Place de la Carrière, its name denoting its use for jousting and other equestrian games. The square is closed to the north by the Palais du Gouvernement. A third square Place d’Alliance, with a magnificent fountain by Paul-Louis Cyfflé, completes Héré’s urban masterpiece.

Arc Héré or Porte Héré, originally paid homage to Louis XV.

19th century Ville d’Art: the triumph of Art Nouveau

Nancy’s second Golden Age only came about due to a disastrous war and mass-migration.  The city’s destiny, and that of France, was determined by the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71).  A humiliating defeat led to the loss of France’s eastern territories.  Most of Alsace and approximately one third of Lorraine, the Moselle department, was annexed by the German Reich following the Treaty of Frankfurt, which was signed on 10 May 1871.  This became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine (Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen). In 1872 French citizens in the annexed areas were given a stark choice; stay and take German nationality or leave.  Many choose to leave; Nancy, now only a few miles from the border, was their obvious destination.  Nancy was transformed into the regional capital, the premier city in the French territories of Alsace-Lorraine.  The flow of refugees more than doubled the city’s population in four decades; 50,000 inhabitants in 1866 grew to 120,000 in 1911.  

This influx of labour and capital transformed the decorative art industries.    Many of the refuges were highly skilled workers, previously employed in the glass and ceramics industries located in the Voges mountains.  Jean Daum (1825-85), a notary who migrated from Bitche in the Voges, bought the Sainte-Catherine glassworks in Nancy. Taking his sons, Auguste (1853-1909) and Antoine (1864-1930), into partnership the fortunes of the company were turned around with the production of art glass. The Daum brothers were Gallé’s natural successors in the field of decorative glass following his premature death in 1904.

Fierce patriotism led to the use of nationalist motifs: the French cockerel and the Double-cross of Lorraine invariably intertwined with a thistle. The thistle refers to Nancy’s motto, Qui J’y frolle J’y pique (Who I brush against I sting), dating back to Prince Rene II’s great victory over Charles the Bold of Burgundy at the Battle of Nancy in 1477. 

Daum, Coupe pour le XIII concours national et international de tir de Nancy, 1906, Daum Collection, Musée des Beaux-Arts.

Daum, Coupe with thistle, enamelled, Daum Collection, Musée des Beaux-Arts 

Emile Gallé

From childhood, Emile Gallé (1846-1904) was schooled to run the family’s glass and ceramics business.   His full and varied education encompassed botany and science.  Sent to the industrialized Saar Valley, he experienced at first hand the technologies required to manufacture glass and ceramics.   In 1866 he arrived at Meisenthal to join the celebrated firm of Burgen, Schwerer and Co. to study glass chemistry.  By 1870 he was back home, in Saint-Clement, designing faience tableware decorated with witty sketches of cats, dogs, cocks, hens, or geese.  These were a joint venture with the young Victor Prouvé, Gallé’s long-term collaborator.   

Gallé, fan, faience ware , enamelled decoration, showing the influence of Japonisme, Musée l’École de Nancy.

Taking over from his father in 1874, Gallé moved away from the production of utilitarian glass to decorative art pieces, which carried a cache both artistically and financially.  He revived and invented many techniques: enamelling, hand-carved cameo, acid etched cameo, marqueterie sur verre (glass marquetry),inclusions, applications and intercalaire (internally decorated).  He was inspired by Roman, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic and Hispano-Moresque traditions, as well as French Rococo. Special pieces, pièces uniques and vase parlents, were made to commission, for exhibitions, and as gifts. Such labour intensive and expensive pieces were made possible thanks to commercial production using hydrofluoric acid-etching. 

Coupe Rose de France or Coupe Simon, 1901. Inscription: Horticultural Society of Nancy, 1877-1901, with affection for the Honorary President Leon Simon, Musée l’École de Nancy.

A range of furniture was introduced c.1889, largely cabinets and stands to display art glass and ceramics, but he was not an interior designer as such. 

During the last four years of his life, Gallé experimented with electric lighting, creating flower-form lamps, cameo shades and the remarkable Les Coprins lamp (Mushrooms) in 1904, composed of three giant, phallic mushrooms expressing the ‘Three Ages of Man’. The years between 1884 and 1904 were the most productive, in terms of expansion, experimentation and above all satisfaction, of reaching his goal of expressing his personality through unique designs and superlative craftsmanship.

l’École de Nancy

A consortium of artists, l’École de Nancy, Alliance Provinciale des Industries d’Art, was officially formed in 1901, in the wake of the Paris 1900 Universalle Exposition. However, Gallé, the first president of l’École de Nancy, had been endeavouring to ally art and industry for more than twenty years.  Key members include:

Victor Prouvé (1858-1943), painter, sculptor, decorator, and educator, was motivated by William Morris’s commitment to craftwork. His motto, ‘Beauty, Truth, Utility’, was underpinned by an art education based on drawing and the study of nature.

The Daum brothers, Auguste (1853-1909) and Antonine (1864-1930) concentrated on decorative glass, collaborating with stained glass designer Jacques Gruber (1870-1936) and pâte de verre (glass paste) specialist Amalric Walter (1870-1959).

Amalric Walter, crab, pâté de verre (glass paste), Daum Collection, Musée des Beaux-Arts 

Louis Majorelle (1859-1926) was the premier furniture maker and metalworker. Majorelle collaborated with both Gallé and Daum.

Louis Majorelle, Nénuphar (Waterlily) table, c. 1901, Musée des Beaux-Arts 

l’École de Nancy’s first national success came in March 1903 with a display in the Pavilion Marsan, Palais des Tuileries, Paris.  In the same year Majorelle purchased Samuel Bing’s Mason l’ Art Nouveau, on rue de Provence, establishing a showcase in the capital for his furniture and decorative ironwork. l’École de Nancy now had access to national and international markets. l’École de Nancy’s contribution to the Saint Louis World Fair in 1904 was well received, with Majorelle and Daum winning medals. At the end of the year l’École achieved its greatest success, with the exhibition held at the Galeries Poriel, Nancy. With Gallé’s death, Victor Prouve became president of l’École. By 1905 there were close to 2000 workers employed in the so called ‘art industries’.  Faced with growing competition from Germany, The Exposition Internationale de L’Est de la France, held from May to November 1909, was a patriotic ‘masterpiece’ that demonstrated ‘taste, invention and luminous French grace’. Attracting 2 million visitors, with temporary pavilions worthy of a World Fair, this marked the triumph of l’École  Nancy.

New Nancy: Style Florale

The only architect of national stature to work in Nancy was the Parisian Henri Sauvage, who designed the Villa Majorelle or Villa Jika (1898-1901).  This building was to have a profound influence on Nancy’s local architects: Lucien Weissenburger (1860-1929); Eugene Vallin (1856-1922); George Biet (1868-1955); Henri Gutton (1851-1933) and Emil Andre (1871-1933) forged their own distinctive florale architectural style. They blended a variety of sources both historic and modern. Gothic elements, towers and turrets, sit alongside Rococo naturalist motifs. Roof lines were enhanced with a fleuron, a flower-shaped finial or pinnacle.  Purely decorative, a fleuron implied the building was organically growing from ‘earth to sky’. With their mansard roofs, some of the large villas recall the splendours of the Chateau of the Loire. Paul Charbonnier’s grandiose house for Paul Jacques (1905-06), avenue Foch, and Léon Cayotte’s Villa Frühinsholz, avenue du Général-Leclerc, exemplify the ambitions of Nancy’s bourgeoise.

Paul Charbonnier’s, Maison Paul Jacques (1905-06), avenue Foch, Nancy

New technologies and new materials, iron, and concrete, were also adopted. Lucien Weissenburger applied rationalist principles for his Jules Royer Printing House (1899), on Rue rue de la Salpêtrière. Constructed from iron, stone, brick and glass, the iron framework is openly exposed. Henri Gutton (1851-1933) and Henry Gutton (1874-1963), uncle and nephew, adopted a similar approach for the Genin-Louis store, on the corner of Rue Saint-Jean and 2 Rue Benit (1900-1901). Built as a seed merchant’s shop, the riveted iron structure becomes both functional and decorative, the framework softened with inter-twinning poppies.  

Gutton and Gutton, Genin-Louis store, on the corner of Rue Saint-Jean and 2 Rue Benit (1900-1901).

These commercial buildings did not provide the model for the villas and apartment blocks that were springing up all over the city.  These were of traditional brick and stone with decorative metalwork and stained glass.  Many were influenced by the Villa Majorelle, especially its picturesque masses and use of polychromatic materials.  Loggias or open galleries were widely used, seamlessly integrating the house with the garden. Internally, winter gardens softened and diffused light through ‘Tiffany style’ leaded glass windows, the finest fabricated by Jacques Gruber.  Signature curves or coup de fouet (whiplash) were fully expressed externally through wrought and cast-iron balconies, doors and canopies, and internally staircases.

Henri Sauvage, Villa Majorelle or Villa Jika (1898-1901). 

Émile Andre’s Huot House (1903), on the Quai Claude Le Lorrain, dominated by its peacock-eye window framed with turquoise tiles, certainly makes a statement.  Seen from an incoming train, the façade was not only an advert for Andre’s style florale, it also proclaimed the city’s commitment to modernity.  This semi-detached house uses a multiplicity of materials: rocky limestone, cut stone, ceramics, wood, metalwork, and stained glass. Yet the overall effect of the picturesque composition is unity. 

Émile Andre, Huot House (1903), on the Quai Claude Le Lorrain.

In 1901 Émile Andre and Henri Gutton were commissioned to layout a ‘garden-suburb’, the Parc de Saurupt, along the lines of London’s Bedford park. Although several remarkable villas were built, the project faltered. By 1906 only six properties had been completed. The plot sizes were reduced to attract more modest clientele, while a section was reserved for terraced housing.  

Parc de Saurupt, Emile André, Villa Les glycines for the négociant Charles Fernbach, 1902-1903.

Parc de Saurupt, Émile Andre, Villa Les Roches, 1902, 6, Rue des Brice.

Parc de Saurupt, Lucien Weissenburger, Villa Henri-Emmanuel Lang, 1906-07, 1, Boulevard Clemenceau.


Be prepared to do lots of walking.  Travel Editions offers guided tours with Anne and Scott Anderson.

The Musée de l’École deNancy displays outstanding examples of glass by Emile Gallé, furniture by Louis Majorelle and leaded glass windows by Jacques Gruber. The massed display of Daum glass in the Musée des BeauxArts is awesome.  As a bonus, enjoy a Kir Lorraine, a local aperitif, in the Place Stanislas.

Émile Andre

Bank Renauld, 1910, corner of Rue Chanzy and Rue Saint-Jean. Interior by Paul Charbonnier.  Metalwork by Majorelle. Glass by Gruber.

Maison Huot, 92-94, Quai Claude-le-Lorrain, 1903

Immeuble, 1902-03, 69, Ave Foch.

Immeuble, 1904, 71, Ave Foch.

Armand Lejeune studio-house, 1903, Rue du Sergent Blandan.

Lucien Weissenburger

Maison and atelier Weissenburger, 1904, 1 Boulevard Charles V, Cours-Leopold.

Maison Bergeret, 1903-04, 24 Rue Lionnois. Metalwork by Majorelle, Glass by Gruber and Janin and furniture by Vallin.

Villa Eugène Corbin and aquarium, 1904-09, Rue du Sergent Blandan.

Maison Chardot, 1905-07, 52, Cours-Leopold.

Villa Henri-Emmanuel Lang, 1906-07, Parc de Saurupt, 1, Boulevard Clemenceau.

Hotel-Brasserie Excelsior, 1910, Rue Mazagran. With Alexandre Mienville.  Interior by Majorelle and Gruber.

Eugène Vallin

Immeuble, 1906, Rue Stanislas.

Georges Biet and Eugène Vallin

Maison Biet, 1901-1902, rebuilt 1922, 22, Rue de la Commanderie. Don’t miss the cat on the roof!

Immeuble Aimé, 1903, 42-44, Rue Saint-Dizier, currently Banque de la Société Générale. Built forDoctor Henri Aimé.

Georges Biet

Maison Gaudin, 1899, 97, Rue Charles III, with glass by Jacques Gruber

Eugène Vallin and Paul Charbonnier
Immeuble Charles Margo, 1906, 86, Rue Stanislas.

Henri Gutton and Joseph Hornecker

Maison Geschwindammer, 1905, 6, Ter Quai de la Bataille.

Villa Marguerite, 1904-05, 3, Rue Colonel-Renard:

Parc de Saurupt

Émile Andre, the Keeper’s Lodge, and entry to Parc de Saurupt, 1902, 2 Rue des Brice: Andre

Émile Andre, Villa Les Glycines, 1902, 5, Rue des Brice, built for Fernbach.

Émile Andre,Villa Les Roches, 1902, 6, Rue des Brice, for himself, to rent.

Henri Gutton and Joseph Hornecker, Villa Marguerite, 1904-05, 3, Rue Colonel-Renard.

Lucien Weissenburger,Villa Henri-Emmanuel Lang, 1906-07, 1, Boulevard Clemenceau.


Anne Anderson, Art Nouveau Architecture, Marlborough: Crowood, 2020.

Christian Debize, Émile Gallé and ‘école de Nancy’, Metz: Editions Serpenoise, 1999.

Christian Debize, Guide l’École de Nancy, Nancy: Presses Universitaries de Nancy, 1999.

Alastair Duncan, Louis Majorelle: Master of Art Nouveau, London: Thames and Hudson, 1991.

Philippe Garner, Emile Gallé, London: Academy Editions, 1990.

Noël Daum, Daum: Mastery of Glass from Art Nouveau to Contemporary Crystal, Lausanne: Edita, 1985.

Claude Petry, Daum dans les Musees de Nancy, Maxeville: Jean-Lamour, 1989.


Anne’s Pocket Guide to…

Art Nouveau, a pan-world architectural style

Distinguished by their lavish sculpture, metalwork, stained glass windows and tile facades, Art Nouveau buildings were designed to stand out.  This short guide introduces you to the leading architects and designers who were determined to create a modern style on the eve of the 20th century.

Hector Guimard, Castel Béranger, 1895-8, Paris

Salvador Dali

The terrifying and edible beauty of Art Nouveau architecture’

Victor Horta, l’ Hôtel Frison, 1894, Brussels (courtesy of Nupur Tron)

Walter Crane

That strange decorative disease

Pietro Fenoglio, Fenoglio-Lafleur house, 1902-03, Turin

Art Nouveau: A Modern Style

By the 1880s Historicism, the revival of past architectural styles from Neo-Norman to Neo-Rococo, was well and truly played out. The application of these styles to new types of buildings, railway stations, department stores, pharmacies, and restaurants, was clearly anachronistic.  A modern style had to reflect and address the needs of contemporary urban life.  The world was changing very quickly with new technologies impacting on daily life; electric light was replacing gas; cars were becoming a common sight on the roads and airships would soon be offering commercial flights.  For architects, moving with the times meant working with iron and steel, concrete and glass. There was a consensus that nature supplied the best forms to express such progress, as organic growth could be equated with human life. The cycle of life and regeneration appealed to the fin-de-siècle mindset, the dying century on the cusp of renewal.  Recognizing ‘the vital impulse in nature’, Belgian architect Victor Horta favoured plant stems. His curving, tensile, line expresses movement, the ebb and flow of human life. His signature coup de fouet, or whiplash, curves back on itself; like a coil waiting to spring, the line is full of energy. Undulating, intertwining lines, which can have a hallucinatory effect, were to express growth and vitality. His buildings flow upwards like plants, seemingly straining towards the sun. Using opposing mirrors, reflected lines stretch into infinity. In his home and studio, now the Musée Horta, landings radiate off the spiral staircase like branches of a tree, leading to different living spaces. Covered by a glass skylight, looking up one sees endless space. Light was central to Horta’s vision; winter gardens and skylights illuminate interiors with warm light diffused through coloured glass.

Victor Horta, l’ Hôtel Frison, 1894, Brussels (courtesy of Nupur Tron)

A New Aesthetic

All forms of Art Nouveau/Jugendstil, the German term for the New Art, owe a debt to Japanese prints. Designers either tried to capture the spirit of Japanese design, its minimalism and linearity, or appropriated indicative motifs. Bamboo, cranes, fans, carp, and patterns derived from silk kimonos popped up on ceramics, metalwork, and textiles. Underpinning the Aesthetic Movement (c.1860-90), by the 1880s Japonisme had become a fashionable craze and households were bedecked with Japanese paper fans and blue and white china. Samuel Bing’s journal Le Japon Artistique (1888-91) covered every aspect of Japanese art, providing a lexicon of designs.

In Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, Japanese and modern objets d’art were displayed side by side. They were shown in room settings with every element, furniture, glass, ceramics, and metalwares, integrated into a harmonious whole.  Through such staged interiors, termed ‘scenography’, the consumer could imagine how an object would look in their own home. Traditional distinctions between the fine and decorative arts were ignored to create living environments. The objective was to craft a gesamtkunstwerk or ‘total artwork’.  This extended to dress and jewellery, with the lady of the house becoming a ‘work of art’ in her own right. Surrounded by beauty in the ‘Palace of Art’, one withdrew from the ugliness of the modern world. Art Nouveau was much more than a style; it was a way of life.

Eugène Vallin and Victor Prouvé, Masson Dining Room, 1903-06,

Musée de l’École de Nancy

Iconic Buildings

Several cities have acquired fame for their Art Nouveau architecture: Brussels, Barcelona, Glasgow, and Riga.  There are plenty more to discover, with over seventy cities in the Art Nouveau European Route. Although architects and designers turned to nature in search of a metaphor for modernity, each developed their own unique idiom: Victor Horta in Brussels, Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow, Hector Guimard in Paris, Ödön Lechner in Budapest, Otto Wagner in Vienna and Antoni Gaudi and Lluís Domènech in Barcelona.  Facades richly adorned with magnificent sculptures, riotous metalwork, and colourful tiles, fulfilled the New Art’s democratic mission, bringing Art to the People. Townscapes were transformed, as novelty made people stop and stare. Some facades were designed to be read like paintings, telling a story, or bearing symbols that were instantly recognisable. In Barcelona you will find St George, the patron saint of the city, guarding many buildings. Gaudi’s Casa Batlló (1906) brings to life the slaying of the dragon, the eternal battle between good and evil. The skeletal base is said to represent the bones of the dragon’s victims, the mask-like balconies, with their empty-eye sockets, could be skulls or masks. The broken fragments of tile, trencadís, that glisten over the façade could be the scales of the dragon or tickertape thrown at a Mardi Gras, celebrating the death of the monster. The tour de force is the roofline, with St George, represented by a four-armed cross, locked in battle with the dragon, the roof tiles making its scaly back. This is decoration transformed into storytelling, the ‘word in the pattern’; a vivid imagination envisions the dragon roaring fire from the top of the building.

Antoni Gaudi, Casa Batlló, 1906, Barcelona

Ornamental delirium

Metalwork, ceramics, and coloured-leaded glass windows give Art Nouveau/Jugendstil buildings their distinctive character. The reputation of the applied arts was raised bringing them closer to the status of the fine arts. Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge revolutionised the technical and stylistic production of stained-glass windows. The new types of glass they perfected, opalescent, iridescent and ‘chenille’, bearing an impressed undulating pattern, were commonly known throughout Europe as American glass. With whorls and abstract lines of colour, the new glass suggested movement when illuminated. The effects and textures meant you could ‘paint’ with glass, leaded windows resembling mosaics of glittering, translucent colours. Drawing on Iberia’s Moorish heritage, Gaudi favoured trencadís, meaning chopped or broken tile, which he used to create mosaics. The undulating bench at the Parc Güell, the chimney stacks of the Güell Palace and the façade of the Casa Batlló demonstrate his inventive use of trencadís.  In Portugal, Arte Nova buildings are distinguished by their azulejos or painted tile panels. Some 20,000 tiles, painted by Jorge Colaço, were used to decorate the vestibule of Porto’s São Bento Railway Station. Alexander Bigot’s ceramic peacocks, double-headed tortoises, and bull’s heads, that all carry a sexual innuendo, ensured the Lavirotte building, Paris (1901) won the city’s façade of the year. Alessandro Mazzucotelli, the ‘magician of iron’, created outsized butterflies and dragonflies that alight on Liberty buildings in Milan. Louis Marjorelle, Nancy’s Maitre Ferronnier, created magnificent glass and metal canopies, as did Hector Guimard, whose Paris Metro entrances exemplify organic, curvilinear Art Nouveau. However, this ‘ornamental delirium’ was Art Nouveau’s undoing, as the post-war Modernists rejected decoration in favour of functionalism.  

 Antoni Gaudi, trencadís, chimney stack, Güell Palace, 1886-88, Barcelona

Jules Lavirotte, Lavirotte Building, 29 Avenue Rapp, 7thArrondisement, Paris, 1901

Alessandro Mazzucoteilli, Casa Ferrario, 1902, Milan

The New Art: national and international styles

Although generally referred to as Art Nouveau, the New Art goes by a bewildering range of labels. Driven by patriotism and economic competition, architects and designers wanted to invent their own, individual, brand of modernism rather than importing foreign styles. In France and Belgium, Art Nouveau takes its name from the Maison de l’Art Nouveau, a commercial gallery opened by art dealer Samuel Bing in Paris (1895). In German speaking areas, including Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, Jugendstil, meaning ‘Youth Style’, comes from the avant-garde magazine launched by Georges Hirth in Munich (1896). Stylistically Jugendstil is quite different to Art Nouveau, its restraint and practicality indicating the influence of the English Arts and Crafts Movement.  Another term, Secession, meaning to secede or ‘break away’, is used to denote open dissent.   In Munich (1892), Vienna (1897), and Berlin (1898) forward-looking artists, designers, and architects, inevitably a disgruntled younger generation, defiantly withdrew from conservative art institutions. 

Secession is also used more broadly; you may come across its use in Prague (Czech Secese); Budapest (Hungarian Szecesszió or Magyar Szecesszió); Kraków (Polish Secesja); Ljubljana (Slovene Secessija); and Bratislava(Slovak Secesia).  These break-away groups are often linked to rising nationalism, as in the case of Młoda Polska (‘Young Poland,’ 1895-1914) or Jaunlatvieši (‘Young Latvians’). In Barcelona Modernisme or Modernista was partly driven by the Renaixença, a renaissance of Catalan culture. Italian Stile Liberty named after Liberty of Regent Street, the leading purveyor of new art wallpapers and fabrics, also alluded to Italy’s recent unification and status as an independent nation. Artistic, literary, and political activism merged as peoples, who considered themselves both culturally and politically oppressed, sought to reassert their ethnicity.

However, for many the New Art was merely the latest fashion, a style which above all expressed modernity.  Portugal’s colourful Arte Nova, seen at its best in the tile clad facades of Aveiro, spoke of wealth and status.  Following the First World War, architects and designers looked for new ways to express modernity. The natural forms of Art Nouveau were replaced with geometric and mechanical motifs.  Art Deco sought to express the speed of change, in a technologically driven world.


Be prepared to do lots of walking.  Travel Editions offers guided tours with Anne or Scott Anderson to Turin, Milan, Brussels, Nancy, Metz, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg. In 2022 Travel Editions will be offering a new tour to Trieste and Ljubljana.

In Brussels, the Musée Horta, Rue Américaine, Saint-Gilles, home and studio of Victor Horta is a perfect expression of the gesamtkuntswerk. Musée Fin-de-Siècle, located within the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, houses a breath-taking collection of furniture, glass, and metalwork.  The Hôtel Frison in the Sablon area and the Hôtel Solvay on Avenue Louise are private houses that have opened their doors to the public.

In Nancy, the undisputed epicentre of French Art Nouveau, the Musée de l’École de Nancy displays outstanding examples of glass by Emile Gallé, furniture by Louis Majorelle and leaded glass windows by Jacques Gruber. The massed display of Daum glass in the Musée des Beaux-Arts is awesome.  As a bonus, enjoy a Kir Lorraine, a local aperitif, in the Place Stanislas, the finest ensemble of mid-18thcentury architecture in France. 

Jacques Grüber, ‘Roses and Seagulls’, Maison Bergeret, Nancy, 1904.

In Budapest there are two museums devoted to the new art, the quirky House of Hungarian Art Nouveau, housed in Emil Vidor’s iconic residence for the Bedő family and the György Ráth Villa, which displays Zsolnay ceramics, Tiffany and Gallé glass and jewellery by Lalique from the Applied Arts Museum collections. A hidden gem is the Villa Schiffer, which has found a new purpose as the Customs and Tax History Museum! Don’t be put off, many of the building’s original features have survived including a magnificent leaded glass window in the entrance hall.

In Turin there is a feast of Liberty buildings in the Cit Turin, Crocetta, and San Salvarino neighbourhoods. Don’t miss architect Pietro Fenoglio’s masterpiece, the Casa Fenoglio-La Fleur on corso Francia in Cit Turin.  However, if you have the energy to walk there, the Villa Scott, which lies across the river in the Borgo Po, is even more sumptuous. The finest collection of decorative arts, however, is to be found outside Genoa, in the Musei di Nervi Wolfsoniana, the private collection of Miami native and long-time Genoa resident Micky Wolfson, Jr.

Giovanni Battista Alloati, sculptural relief, Casa Maffei, Turin (1904-06).

Good Reads

Art Nouveau 1890-1914, edited by Paul Greenhalgh, catalogue for the international exhibition held at the V&A in 2000.

Art Nouveau; Utopia: Reconciling the Irreconcilable by Klaus Jurgen Sembach (published by Taschen)

Art Nouveau: Art and Ideas by Stephen Escritt (published by Phaidon)

Art Nouveau International and National Styles in Europe by Jeremy Howard (published by Manchester Press)

Brussels Art Nouveau: Architecture & Design by Alec Forshaw (published by Unicorn Publishing Group)

My own publications include Art Nouveau Architecture, published by Crowood Press (2020).

My Story

Anne Anderson BA, PhD, FSA, Hon. Associate Professor, University of Exeter, was a senior lecturer in Art and Design History at Southampton Solent University for 14 years.  She has curated four national exhibitions, most recently Beyond the Brotherhood: the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy (2019/20). She has held several prestigious American fellowships, at the Huntington Library, California and the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Library and Museum, Delaware. Her career as an international speaker has taken her all over the world including four lecture tours of Australia. Her recent books include Edward Burne-Jones The Perseus Series (2018) and Beyond the Brotherhood: the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy (2019).  She offers many lectures on Art Nouveau including Rene Lalique; Emile Galle and l’Ecole de Nancy; Louis Comfort Tiffany; Mackintosh and the Glasgow Four; Klimt and the Vienna Secession; Brussels: Art Nouveau and Budapest: Magyar Secession.

Please check out Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel where you will find some of my lectures are open access:

Art Nouveau Cities

Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Four



Art History with Anne

Lectures for March-April 2021

Victorian Artists: From Realists to Symbolists

Victorian Artists: From Realists to Symbolists

Wednesday at 11.00

17th March   James Tissot: Fashionable London

24th March   James McNeill Whistler: An American Abroad

31st March   Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity

7th April        Gustav Klimt: ‘All Art is Erotic’

The lectures will be delivered live by Zoom.   They will be uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel for a limited time and you will be provided a private link to view them again at your leisure.

The lectures last for around an hour.  There will be a question-and-answer session at the end.

As the lectures will be delivered live by Zoom, you will be able to ask your questions in person at the end. You can also use the ‘Chat’ function.

How to book

The lectures are priced at £10 a session. You can book each lecture separately. If you book all four lectures the cost will be £30 (one lecture for free!)

Please email Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com.

You can pay by cheque or BACS (details will be supplied). Cheques should be made payable to Anne Anderson.

Once you register and pay, you will be sent an email with your link. Keep it safe!

After the lecture you will be sent a private link so you can access the lecture on my YouTube Channel. Each lecture is accessible for four weeks.

James Tissot: Fashionable London

A French émigré in 1870s London, Tissot captured the nuances of fashionable society. At first glance his paintings appear rather shallow, being all surface and no substance. But there is more to Tissot than just gorgeous frocks. His gloss covers a world of double standards and class snobbery. It took an outsider to reveal the social anxieties of the day.

James McNeill Whistler: An American Abroad

The eponymous enfant terrible, nobody wanted to be on the wrong side of Whistler. His bark was as good as his bite.  The champion of ‘Art for Art’s Sake, which scorned the concept of pictorial story-telling or moralizing, Whistler ruffled many feathers, especially those of John Ruskin. When Whistler accused Ruskin of libel, for ‘flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face’, the artist and critic founding themselves arguing in court over the purpose of art in Society.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Lord Frederic Leighton and G.F. Watts have been classed as ‘Olympian’s. However, while Leighton and Watts opted for high-minded subjects drawn from mythology and ancient history, Alma-Tadema recreated the life of Ancient Greece and Rome.  He revelled in archaeological accuracy, painstakingly drawing, and photographing Pompeii and Herculaneum. Yet despite their fidelity, his ‘Victorians in Togas’ are also a reflection of the era.

Gustav Klimt: ‘All art is erotic’

During his lifetime, Gustav Klimt’s paintings were frequently vilified as lewd and even pornographic as he explicitly explored female sexuality. His works are deceivingly beautiful, the surface of the canvas richly ornamented  with complex patterns that carry symbolic meaning. They can be esoteric and hard to decipher. As Oscar Wilde warned you go below the surface at you peril.  Klimt epitomizes the luxury and decadence of an era destroyed by the First World War.


Italian Stile Floreale or Stile Liberty

Notes to accompany my talk which you can find on my YouTube channel @ Anne Anderson Art and Design History Channel

Impressionism/ Divisionism


Fraquelli, Simonetta, Giovanna Ginex, Vivien Greene and Aurora Scotti Tosini, Radical Light, Italy’s Divisionist painters 1891-1910, exhibition catalogue, London: National Gallery/YUP, 2008

Gaetano Previati, 1852-1920, exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 1999

Greene, Vivien (ed), Divisionism/Neo-Impressionism: Arcadia and Anarchy, exhibition catalogue, New York: Guggenheim, 2007

Stutzer, Beat, Giovanni Segantini, Zürich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2016

The Macchiaioli Masters of Realism in Tuscany, exhibition catalogue, Rome: De Luca Publisher, 1982

Divisionism emerged in Northern Italy around the end of the 1880s. The first generation included Vittore Grubicy De Dragon (1851–1920) who as an art critic and dealer also promoted their work; Emilio Longoni (1859–1932) who combined divisionism with hard hitting social realism;  Angelo Morbelli (1853–1919) who also depicted scenes of contemporary rural life; Plinio Nomellini (1866–1943) who focused on landscapes; Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo (1868–1907), whose powerful Human Flood or The Fourth Estate has become a socialist icon; Gaetano Previati (1852–1920) opted for symbolism and gentle Madonnas; and  Giovanni Segantini (1858–1899) who achieved international fame with his symbolist The Punishment of Lust (1891) and The Evil Mothers (1894). Their painting method was based on the juxtaposition of strokes of pigment, rather than French pointillist dots, to create the visual effect of intense single colours. Its roots were in the optical and chromatic ideas developed by scientists, particularly those published in De la loi ducontraste simultané des couleurs (1839) by French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul and Modern Chromatics (1879) by American physicist Ogden Rood.

Liberty Style


Bossaglia, Rossana and Valerio Terraroli, IL Liberty A Milano, Milano: Skira, 2003

Bugatti: Carlo/Rembrandt/Ettore: I Mobili/I Soprammobili/Le Automobili, exh. cat., Galleria dell’Emporio Floreale, Rome, 1976

Dejean, Philippe, Bugatti: Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore, Jean, New York: Rizzoli, 1982.
Guttry, Irene, Maria Paola Maino, and Gabriella Tarquini, Italian Liberty Style, 20th Century Decorative Arts, Pero: 24 Ore Cultura, 2012

Howard, Jeremy, Art Nouveau International and National Styles in Europe, Manchester: MUP, 1996

Lopez, Guide and Elisabetta Susani, The Liberty in Milan and Lombardy, Milan: Celip Italy, 1999

Massé, Marie-Madeleine, Carlo Bugatti au Musée d’Orsay: catalogue sommaire illustré du fonds d’archives et des collections, exhibition catalogue, Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 2001

Roiter, Fulvio and Guido Lopez, Milano Liberty/Art Nouveau in Milan, Milano: Edizioni CELIP Milano, 1993

Speziali, Andrea (ed) Italian liberty. Una nuova stagione dell’ Art Nouveau, Flori: CartaCanta editore, 2015

Speziali, Andrea (ed), Italian Liberty. Il sogno europeo della grande bellezza, Flori: CartaCanta editore, 2016

Speziali, Andrea, Giuseppe Sommaruga (1867-1917). Un protagonista del Liberty, Flori: CartaCanta editore 2017

Speziali, Andrea (ed.) The World of Art Nouveau, Flori: CartaCanta, editore 2017

Squarotti, Silvia Barberi, Il Liberty nei quartieri torinesi, Torino: Daniela Piazza Editore, 2012

Stile floreale or Stile Liberty, initially named after Liberty’s of Regent Street, offers a wonderfully eclectic mix, with quintessential floral decoration cascading over buildings that often still reference the Baroque or Neoclassicism.  Stile Liberty quickly acquired a new sense, creative freedom transformed into an expression of Italian unification.  In Italy individualism prevailed over regulation, apparently leading to ‘aesthetic anarchism’. Gabriele Fahr-Becker considers the ‘floral sumptuousness…waxed into a wedding-cake building style of totalitarian pomp’ (Art Nouveau, 2015). Perhaps she had in mind Giovanni Brega’s seaside villa in Pesaro for Oreste Ruggeri, a pharmaceutical industrialist. Its four facades are covered with the most amazing abstract-floral decorations that swirl in all directions. The Villino Ruggeri (1902-1907) was designed to be a complete work of art; on the first floor are four themed rooms, the horse chestnut, the wisteria, the narcissus and the sunflower room, the ultimate expressions of Stile floreale. 

The obvious historical sources for such extremes can be found in Italian Mannerism, in the paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-93), who constructed faces out of vegetables and flowers, and the spectacular Boboli Gardens, created by the Medici family in Florence.  Here the notion of the ornamental grotto is taken to its limits (c.1550-1600); fantastical figures appear to grow out of the walls.   Flourishing between the High Renaissance and the Baroque, Italian Mannerism tends to get overlooked. Mannerist artists still relied on classical models, but they took liberties with the rules, deliberately distorting the established architectural vocabulary in bizarre and entertaining ways.  The ability to surprise, even shock clearly attracted Giuseppe Sommaruga (1867-1917) whose Milanese buildings certainly defy architectural conventions.

Giuseppe Sommaruga (1867-1917, Palazzo Romeo- Faccanoni 1911-13  Via Michelangelo Buonarroti 48 

Liberty in Turin

Although Liberty style can be found all over Italy, the style is concentrated in Turin, Milan, and the Regione Lombardia around Lake Como. Turin was briefly the first capital of the kingdom following the unification of Italy (Risorgimento) in 1861. The opening of the Fréjus Tunnel in 1871 transformed Turin into an important communication node between Italy and France. The Triple Alliance (1882),  an agreement between  Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy against France, Russia and Great Britain, resulted in an influx of capital that boosted the Italian economy.

Turin holds a particularly important place within the history of Liberty Style because of the groundbreaking exhibition of decorative arts held in 1902, the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna.  The guidelines stated ‘Only original products that show a decisive tendency toward aesthetic renewal of form will be admitted. Neither mere imitations of past styles nor industrial products not inspired by an artistic sense will be accepted’. The city was chosen to host the exhibition because it was at the forefront of modernisation and industrialization; its first car companies date to the turn of the 20th century (Fiat 1899, Lancia 1906).

Central Pavilion. Raimondo D’Aronco architect, Giovanni Battista Alloati sculptor, Leonardo Bistolfi painter

With the Scottish entry showcasing works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Four, entire room settings presented by the Belgian master Victor Horta   and the German section dominated by an entrance conceived by Peter Behrens, this event marks the apogee of the new art.  

The exhibition was held in Valentino Park, overlooking the Po river. Its layout and principal buildings were conceived by Raimondo D’Aronco (1857-1932).  Trained in Graz, Austria, D’Aronco followed Austrian Secession models more closely than most of his Italian compatriots. In 1893, he was invited to Istanbul to prepare designs for the Istanbul Exhibition of Agriculture and Industry to be held in 1896. He remained the chief palace architect to the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhami II in Istanbul for 16 years. A handful of his buildings have survived:

Turbe (tomb) of Sheikh Zafir Effendi, in Yıldız, Beşiktaş district in Istanbul

Fountain, Karaköy, Şair Ziya Paşa Caddesi.

Former Imperial Stables (c.1903), Palanga Cd. 64, Istanbul.

Casa Botter (Botter Apartment, 1900–1901) on İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. Built for Jean Botter, a Dutchman who worked as the Sultan’s tailor.

In Turin, the best example of his work is Villa Javelli, (Casa D’Aronco), Via Francesco Petrarca 44. Built 1904, the broad sloping roof line echoes a swiss chalet. Although the detailing is simple, a classic female face mask peers out from under the eave.

Important figures

Pietro Fenoglio (1865-1927)studied civil engineering under Carlo Cepp.  Fenoglio was one of the organizers of the 1902 and 1911 International Expositions in Turin. He was also a founder and contributor to the magazine L’architettura italiana moderna.  

In 1902-1903 he built his most indicative work, a visually arresting apartment block known as Casa Fenoglio-Lafleur on the corner of Corso Francia and Via Principe d’Acaja, Cit Turin. Other works that should be highlighted include the Villino Raby (1901 with Gottardo Gussoni),Corso Francia 8, with a wealth of sculptural details, Palazzina Rossi-Galateri, Via Giuseppe Luigi Passalacqua (1903) and Villa Scott (1902 with Gottardo Gussoni), hugging the hill side on the other side of the Po river.

Palazzina Ostorero   Via Claudio Beaumont 7 Built 1900 Pietro Fenoglio. This chalet style private residence only hints at Fenoglio’s mature Liberty style.

Villino Raby  Corso Francia 8  Built 1901 Pietro Fenoglio and Gottardo Gussoni. The sculptural detailing, notably the ornamentation around the projecting oriel window,  and the painted frieze, show Fenoglio’s progression.    

Villa Scott Corso Giovanni Lanza 57 Built 1902 Pietro Fenoglio and Gottardo Gussoni. Fengolio achieves his mature Liberty style.  The bay window, with its sequence of coloured-leaded glass windows, is especially impressive.  The corner tower provides another focal point. With the grotto-like fountain, at the foot of the steps rising to the entrance,  Fenoglio created a perfect ensemble.

Casa Fenoglio-Lafleur Via Principi d’Acaja 11 Built 1903 Pietro Fenoglio. His masterpiece. The corner, which rises to four storeys, is dominated by a projecting oriel window filled with coloured-leaded glass windows. The corner is surmounted by a glass canopy. The compass inscribed circles in the plasterwork and the painted frieze under the cornice are signature motifs.

Palazzina Rossi-Galateri Via Giuseppe Luigi Passalacqua 14 Built 1903 Pietro Fenoglio. On this symmetrical facade, note the highly ornamented projecting oriel windows as well as the deep decorative frieze, both painted and sculptural, running under the cornice.     

Coloured-leaded glass doors leading to the interior courtyard. These bold abstract patterns owe a debt to Victor Horta and Hector Guimard’s stylized curvilinear forms.

Casa Guelpa, Via Luigi Leonardo Colli 2, Built 1903 Pietro Fenoglio. One of a series of large apartment blocks. The detailing around the windows and the frieze of compass drawn lines are indicative.

Casa Macciotta, Corso Francia 32, Built 1904, Pietro Fenoglio

Casa Boffa-Costa-Magnani Via Ettore De Sonnaz 16  built 1904 Pietro Fenoglio

Casa Rey Corso Galileo Ferraris 16-18 Built  1904-06 Pietro Fenoglio. This dramatic oriel window extends through three storeys.

Gottardo Gussoni (1869-1951) stands alongside Fenoglio as the two architects often collaborated.  He created the last Liberty style building in Turin, the Palazzo della Vittoria, Corso Francia,  (House of the Dragons, 1918-20).  This massive apartment block masquerading as a medieval castle is covered with sculptural details, with dragons supporting the balconies and greeting you at the elabourate entrance.

Casa della Vittoria Corso Francia 23, built 1918-20 Gottardo Gussoni 

Alessandro Mazzucoteilli (1865-1938) was known as the ‘magician of iron’. His distinctive forms can be seen on the Villa Faccanoni-Romeo, via Buonarroti and Casa Ferrario, 1902 (Ernesto Pirovano, 1866-1934), in Milan. He created gigantic butterflies and dragonflies that perch on gate posts or hang from lamps.

Casa Maffei, Corso Rodolfo Montevecchio, Antonio Vandone di Cortemiglia. Built 1904-06 has iron balconies by Alessandro Mazzucotelli and relief sculptures by Giovanni Battista Alloati, whose work also featured at Turin 1902.

Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940) was born in Milan, studying at the Brera Academy before finishing his education in Paris at the Academie des Beaux Arts, where he may have acquired his taste for Japonisme.  He opened his workshop in Milan in 1880.  His fantastic furniture combines a heady blend of Moorish, Japanese, African, and Medieval elements. Bugatti stole the limelight at Turin 1902 with his ‘Salon escargot’. Father of sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti and automobile manufacturer Ettore Bugatti.

Eugenio Quarti (1867-1926) was a leading decorator and cabinet maker who favoured unusual materials and lavish ornamentation.  His use of inlays of silver, copper, bronze, pewter and nacre resulted in his nickname ‘goldsmith of furniture makers’. He designed furniture for the Palazzo Castiglioni, Milan and Villa Carosio, Baveno, Stresa, on Lake Maggiore for Giuseppe Sommaruga; for the Grand Hotel and Casino, San Pellegrino Terme (1904-06 architect Romolo Squadrelli) and the Ausonia and Hungaria Palace Hotel, Venice Lido (1907 architect Nicolo Piamonte) famed for its polychrome majolica mosaic facade, the largest in Italy, by Luigi Fabris (1913).


Anne’s Pocket Guide to Jugend Stila/ Jauniešu stils Riga

Riga, the capital of Latvia, is renowned for its fantastic Art Nouveau/Jugendstil buildings built at the beginning of the 20th century.

Riga developed rapidly once the city walls were demolished in the mid-19th century (1857-63). The rapid expansion of the population, which almost doubled in the 20 years before the First World war, reaching over half a million, prompted a building boom. Many apartment blocks were constructed along the straight boulevards, laid in a grid pattern, of the ‘new town’.    By the 1930s, Riga was known as ‘The Little Paris of the North’. However, in addition to responding to modernity, with industrialisation and urbanisation signalling a new urban lifestyle, the emergence of Art Nouveau/Jugendstil in Riga also addressed Latvian identity. This helps to explain the variants of the style in the national capital, which reflect both a cosmopolitan internationalism and a desire to forge a distinctly Latvian architectural language based on native vernacular architecture and folk-art forms.  

Academics have broken the different stylistic forms into four categories:

Eclectic or Decorative

Architects simply adopted forms of Art Nouveau/Jugendstil decoration in lieu of earlier styles. The apartments along Alberta iela (Albert Street), many designed by Mikhail Eisenstein, who studied in St Peterburg, are typical. This approach embraced a cosmopolitan internationalism, particularly drawing on French decorative forms (female mascaron/face masks, stylized floral forms and peacocks).

Indicative buildings in the Old Town include:

Alfred Aschenkampf & Max Scherwinsky, Audēju iela 7 (1899), one of the first Jugend Stila buildings in Riga.

Heinrich Scheel et Friedrich Scheffe, Skunu 10/12, for a store for Henrich Dettmann (1903)

Pauls Mandelštams (1872-1941), Kalēju 23/ Meistaru iela 10 (1909).


Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1859-1926), 2 rue Smilsu (1902)

Perpendicular or Vertical

About a third of the Art Nouveau/Jugendstil buildings of Riga were built according to these ideals which became popular after c. 1905. The influence of the Vienna Secession and German Jugendstil is clear. Many examples can be found in Brīvības iela, Ģertrūdes iela and, Aleksandrqa Čaka iela. Architects associated with this style include Rūdolfs Filips Donbergs (1864-1918) and later works by Konstantīns Pēkšēns.

National Romantic 

Between 1905 and 1911 architects also tried to create a specific Latvian style of modern architecture, National Romanticism. With many stylistic aspects particular to Latvia, alongside the use of natural building materials, architects drew on vernacular architecture and folk art. There is a notable influence of Finnish National Romantic forms. Eižens Laube, Alberta iela 11, built in 1908, is typical, with its towers and tapered windows.


A late variant, a reaction to highly decorated earlier forms. Often used for banks. Fundamentally a return to historicism.

Given this localized diversity it would be useful to devise a Latvian term unique to Riga, such as Riga Jugend Stila, Jauniešu stils or Atdalīšanās (Secession).

Many architects were able to train locally, rather than in St Petersburg or Berlin. The Technical Society was founded in 1864, with some half of its members architects. The Polytechnicum (Riga Polytechnic Institute) opened a department for architecture in 1869. In 1872 the Crafts School of the Riga Trades Association was founded. These new institutions lay outside the immediate control of the Academy in St Petersburg. Graduates of the Riga Polytechnic Institute designed many Jauniešu stils buildings. Most notable were Konstantīns Pēkšēns, J. Alksnis, O. Bārs, R. Donbergs, E. Laube, A.Vanags, P. Mandelštams, E.Pole, B. Bīlenšteins and M. Nukša.

‘First Latvian National Awakening’

With the native Latvian population ‘oppressed’ in turn by the Germans, Swedes, and Russians, by the mid-19th century there was a conscious desire to reassert Latvian identity. Tsar Aleksandr III’s Russification policies stimulated the ‘First Latvian National Awakening’ (1850s-1880s). Krišjānis Valdemārs (1825-91), was the most prominent member of Young Latvia ( Jaunlatvieši). The Latvian language newspaper Mājas Viesis was launched. The Riga Latvian Society, which brought together Latvian intellectuals and radicals, was founded in 1868. The Society reclaimed Latvian history and folklore. Scholars and writers sought to prove that Baltic cultural traditions were as deep as those of other nations.  The ‘First Latvian National Awakening’ was followed by the New Current (Socialist) which led up to the 1905 First Russian Revolution.

In 1891, August Bielenstein was the first scholar to support the establishment of a folklore material archives. Fricis  Brīvzemnieks has been justifiably identified as the founder of Latvian folklore studies. The first collections of folk tales and legends assembled by Brīvzemnieks appeared in 1887. Stories often revolve around pre-Christian deities like the sun goddess Saule and the moon god Mēness. Another major theme is the human life cycle, especially the three major events: birth, wedding, and death (including burial). Ensuring a good harvest was the primary function of Jumis. Many stories revolve around the devil and warding off evil spirits.

Lacking a national hero, Andrejs Pumpurs gathered materials to create a national epic poem Lāčplēsis (Bear Slayer).  Composed between 1872–1887, the saga is set in the Livonian Crusades and the struggle against the German invaders. The Bear Slayer is commemorated on the Latvian Freedom Monument, which marks the brief period of Latvian independence following the First World War.

“I was Born and Raised Singing”

Collecting and publishing folk songs underpinned the ‘national awakening’. The first Latvian Song Festival was held in 1873. ‘Father of Folk Songs’, Krišjānis Barons (1835-1923) collected Latvju Dainas (folk songs). Dainas are lit­tle qua­trains of an­cient Lat­vian wis­dom cap­tured in song. Dating back some thou­sand years, Dainas were sung at cel­e­bra­tions and while at daily work. Songs commemorate Latvian mythology and traditional festivals rather than legendary heroes. They are re­flec­tions on life pre­served in oral form. There are more than 1.2 mil­lion Dainas.  German geographer and traveller J.G. Khol noted in his memoirs (1841): “[..]Every Latvian is a born poet, they all compose verses and songs, and they can all sing these songs [..] They deserve to be called the nation of poets.”

Barons formed the most complete anthology of Latvian folk songs. Between 1894 and 1915 he published seven volumes containing 217, 996 folk song texts. Baron’s Cabinet of Folksongs, containing around 150,000 texts, on slips of paper survives in the National Library of Latvia.

Barons is commemorated at the ‘Song Garden’, Sculpture Park, Sigulda, created by Indulis Ranka in 1985. 25 sculptures by Ranka convey the spirt of the Dainas.  One sculpture depicts Barons as a wise old man, while on the other side are singers from three generations (mother, daughter, granddaughter).  Beside them is a defender – a powerful young man.  The figures protect the dowry chest which symbolizes the dowry of songs. 

The unique character of Latvian culture was celebrated with the publication of Latvju dainas, by Krišjānis Barons, Latvju tautas mūzikas materiāli (Latvian Folk Music Materials) by Jurjāns Andrejs (1856-1922), and the seven-part publication by Ansis Lerhis-Puškaitis, Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas. (Latvian Folk Tales and Fairy Tales)

The original building of the Riga Latvian Society was designed by J.Baumanis, the first professional Latvian architect, in 1869. It was conceived as a centre for Latvian culture accommodating a theatre as well as the Society’s archives.  Latvian theatre originated within the society. The building was rebuilt in 1909 by Eižens Laube and E.Pole. The decorative panels were designed by Janis Rozentals, Latvia’s leading Symbolist artist. 

Power, Sketch for the fresco for the Riga Latvian Society, 1910Janis Rozentāls.

The leading Latvian artists:

Janis Rozentāls 1866-1916. Trained at the St Petersburg Academy (1888-96). Vilhelms Purvītis was a fellow student. Both joined Rūķis (Elf) a Latvian artists’ society founded in St Petersburg. In 1903 married Elli Forssell (1871–1943), a Finnish singer. 1915 Rozentāls and his family fled to Helsinki. Lived here until his death in 1916.

Vilhelms Purvītis (1872, Zaube, Latvia- 1945 Bad Nauheim, Germany) known as the ‘philosopher of snow’ and ‘father’ of Latvian landscape painting. From 1890 to 1897, he studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg. In 1899, Purvītis returned to Rīga. After Latvia gained independence, Purvītis became the rector of the Latvian Academy of Art (1919–1934).

Johann Walter-Kurau, also known as Jānis Valters (Latvian) (1869-1932). Studied art at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg with Janis Rozentāls and Vilhelms Purvītis. Left Latvia in 1906 to work in Dresden, then based Berlin from 1916/17.

They were influenced by the Peredvizhniki  (The Wanderers or The Itinerants), a group of Russian Realists who rebelled against the Imperial Academy in 1863. Fourteen students. They founded the Obshchestvo peredvizhnykh vystavok or Society for Travelling Art Exhibitions in 1870. Many of the Peredvizhniki gained fame for their depictions of the Russian land:

Iwan Iwanowitsch Schishkin (1832-96), known as ‘Singer of forest’.

Ilja Jefimowitsch Repin (1844-1930). Some Peredvizhniki canvases were overtly political, such as Ilia Repin’s monumental, Volga Barge Haulers (1870-73), which portrayed the inhumane conditions under which these men worked. Repin, Demonstration on October 17, 1905 (1907) commemorated the First Russian Revolution.  

Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi (c.1842-1910) renowned for his atmospheric landscapes.

Jūlijs Madernieks (1870-1955), founder of Latvian decorative arts and design. Studied at Stiglitz The Central School of Technical Drawing, St Petersburg. Joined Rūķis (Elf) Latvian artists’ society founded in St Petersburg. Won a Travel scholarship to Paris in the late 1890s, where he was introduced to Art Nouveau. Illustrated the magazines Zalktis (1906-10, The Grass Snake) and Vērotājs. 1904 Madernieks established J.Madernieka Drawing and Painting workshop. Published Ornaments (1913) folk art; Patterns (1930)

Eclectic/Decorative Jugend Stila: Alberta iela 

Alberta Street carries the name of the man who founded Riga, Bishop Albert. Now it is one of the most beautiful and splendid streets in the city largely in the Eclectic/Decorative style. The construction of this street took place in a rather short period of time – from 1901 till 1908. The authors of these magnificent buildings are Mihail Eizenšteins (father of the film director Sergei) and Konstantīns Pēkšēns.

These buildings are rich in picturesque sculptural details. You will find astonishing facemasks (laughing, screaming, melancholy or thoughtful) a large bestiary of animals and references to Classical art. These motifs symbolized the spirit of the age, its intense mood, sense of urgency and the rapid pace of development.

Alberta iela 13, a residential building designed by Eisenstein, was built in 1904 for State Counsellor A. Lebedinsky.

Alberta  iela 13, 1904,  Mihail Eizenšteins

Lebedinsky also commissioned apartment houses designed by Eisenstein at Alberta iela 4 (in 1904) and Alberta iela 6 (in 1903) and at Elizabetes iela 10b (in 1903) distinguished by its blue tiled façade. The facades of all these apartment blocks provide a spectacular display of ornamental sculpture. It seems the creative imagination of this architect knew no bounds.

4 Alberta Street (M. Eisenstein 1904). The Lyebedinskiy apartment building

The Secession Building, Vienna, Joseph Maria Olbrich, 1898. The Gorgons: Painting, Architecture, Sculpture.

Black Cats House

In Old City, this National Romantic style building designed by F.Shefel is decorated with two black cats on the roof line (1909). An urban myth maintains that the owner of the building was angry with the City Council leading him to place the cats on top of the roof with their tails up in the direction of the City Council.


Grosa, Silvija, Art Nouveau in Riga, Riga: Jumava, 2003.

Hämäläinen, Pirjo, Jugend Suomessa, Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2010

Howard, Jeremy, Art Nouveau International and National Styles in Europe, Manchester: MUP, 1996.

Krastiņs̆, Jānis (ed), Art Nouveau Architecture of Riga, exhibition catalogue, Riga: Riga 800, 1998.

Krastiņs̆, Jānis, Art Nouveau Buildings in Riga, A Guide to Architecture of Art Nouveau Metropolis, Riga: ADD Projekts, 2012.

L’Age Du Symbolisme en Lettonie/The Age of Symbolism in Latvia, exhibition catalogue, Luxembourg: Musee national histoire et d’art Luxembourg, 2010.

Rush, Solveiga, Mikhail Eisenstein. Themes and Symbols in Art Nouveau Architecture of Riga, 1901-06, Riga: Neptns, 2003.


Magyar Szecesszio: Art Nouveau in Budapest

Reading List

Art Nouveau A Hungarian Perspective, Gyorgy Rath Villa, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2018.

Art Nouveau A Hungarian Perspective, List of Exhibits, Gyorgy Rath Villa, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2018.

Bela Bede, 225 Highlights Hungarian Art Nouveau Architecture, Budapest: Corvina, 2012

Eri, Gyongyi and Zsuzsa Jobbagyi (ed) A Golden Age, Art and Society in Hungary 1896-1914, exhibition catalogue, London: Barbican Art gallery, 1989.

Fenyi, Tibor, The Glass Painting of Miksa Roth, from Historicism to Art Nouveau, Budapest: Roth Miska Memorial House, 2016.

Gerle, Janos, Art Nouveau in Hungarian Architecture, Budapest: 6Bt.Kiado, 2013.

Kieselbach, Tamás, Modern Hungarian Painting: 1892-1919, Volume 1, Budapest: Kieselbach, 2002.

Kovacs Daniel and Zsolt Batar, Budapest Art Nouveau, Budapest: Laszlo Kedves, 2018.

Taylor, Jeffrey, In Search of the Budapest Secession: The Artist Proletariat and  Modernism’s rise in the Hungarian Art Market, 1800-1914, Helena History Press, 2014.

Szabadi, Judit, Art Nouveau in Hungary: painting, sculpture, and the graphic arts, Budapest: Corvina, 1989.


There are two noticeably different architectural styles in Hungary at the fin-de-siècle:  Magyar Szecesszio and Historicism both of which incorporated traditional Hungarian styles.  Comparing Budapest to the Secession in Vienna, what distinguishes Hungarian Szecesszio is the use of medieval or earlier vernacular architecture forms and folk-art motifs.  Hungarian architects were responding to the nationalistic fervour created by the millennial celebrations; in 1896 the country celebrated 1000 years of the Hungarian nation.  This nationalism also led to different responses in the search for a distinctly modern Hungarian style.

Searching for the mythic origins of the Hungarian nation in the East, Ödön Lechner turned to what he claimed were native architectural forms based on Indian and Persian architecture combined with Hungarian folk-art motifs.  Training many of the next generation, he created his own highly idiosyncratic Szecesszio school.  

The Fiatlok or ‘Youngs’, Károly Kós, Dezső Zrumeczky, Ede Toroczkai Wigand, and Dénes Györgyi went in further back, to Attila the Hun (c. 406-53) and the vernacular architecture of Transylvania and the Carpathians, the traditional Hungarian homelands, creating a Hun-Hungarian or Folk-art Szecesszio.

In search of a modern, progressive, pan-European style, others looked West, to the Vienna Secession and German Jugendstil. The Gresham Palace (1905-06,József Vágó and Zsigmond Quittner) exemplifies this internationalism.

Szecesszio Architecture

Architect Ödön Lechner (1845–1914) is often referred to as the ‘Hungarian Gaudi’. Inspired by Indian and Persian architecture, which Lechner combined with traditional Hungarian motifs, his buildings are a unique and original synthesis of several architectural styles. Lechner’s version of Szecesszio is very specific to Hungary, an expression of National Romanticism. His buildings are richly decorated with terracotta tiles made by the famous Zsolnay factory. These tile patterns were inspired by old Magyar and Turkic folk art. Lechner’ s weird exotic shapes may have been inspired by carpet patterns. An important source was József Huszka’s Magyarische Ornamentik (1898).

Much that is odd about Lechner is explained by his background and training. After the Hungarian revolution of 1848 had been crushed by the Austrians and Russians, his father confined his activities to running the family brickworks. This also produced ceramics, which inspired Lechner’s love of coloured ceramic materials. His architectural training was undertaken in Berlin, at the Bauakademie. There he absorbed the theories of Karl Bötticher and Gottfried Semper, especially the latter’s ‘cladding theory’ that architecture had evolved from structures hung with decorated fabrics. He also worked in France for three years and, like many of his contemporaries, became interested in the English Arts and Crafts movement.

But more significant was what he saw on his second trip to England in 1889, when he visited the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) to study Indian and Persian art. For in that, he believed, lay the roots of Hungarian visual culture. Lechner was not the only one to subscribe to this engaging nationalist fantasy, but what is extraordinary is that he became interested in contemporary British colonial architecture designed in the so-called Indo-Saracenic style. As he later wrote, ‘The English, a highly cultured people, were not ashamed of researching into the relatively lower culture of a colony, adopting part of it and blending it with their own. Was it not at least as much the duty of us Hungarians to study the culture of our own people and weld it together with our general culture?’   

Lechner was criticised by the conservative Hungarian establishment, which tended to favour neo-baroque. In 1902, the minister of culture announced that ‘I do not like the secessionist style, and…it is not uncommon to meet the secessionist style under the name of the Hungarian style’ and made sure that Lechner received no more public commissions in the capital. Buildings in Budapest designed by Lechner include the Museum of Applied Arts (completed 1896), the Geological Museum (1896-99) and the Postal Savings Bank building (Postatakarékpénztár, 1900–01; with Sándor Baumgarten).

Béla Lajta and Aladár Árkay were initially inspired by Lechner’s secession style.

The other prominent architect was Károly Kós (1883-1977), a leading member of the‘Youngs’.  He was inspired by Hungarian folk culture, especially the Székelys, a Hungarian ethnic group in Transylvania. Buildings in Budapest designed by Kós include the Budapest Zoo and Wekerle Telep, a garden suburb based on the ideas of Ebenezer Howard.

Besides the two ‘homeland’ styles there are several buildings that reflect European trends, notably the Vienna Secession, German Jugendstil and French/Belgium Art Nouveau. Bedö-Ház (House of Hungarian Art Nouveau) houses a museum dedicated to the Hungarian Szecesszio movement. Built in 1903 by Emil Vidor in 1903 for the Bedő family, the house itself shows the influence of French Art Nouveau forms.


József Rippl-Rónai: the Hungarian Nabi

One of the most famous artists of the era was József Rippl-Rónai (1861-1927).  A painter and designer, he was a Secession artist to the core, from the clothes he wore to his art. He designed entire interiors, such as the dining room of the Andrássy palace and a stained-glass window for the Ernst Museum. In 1884 he travelled to Munich to study painting at the Academy. Two years later he obtained a grant which enabled him to move to Paris and study with Mihály Munkácsy (1844 – 1900) the most important Hungarian realist painter. In 1888 he met the members of Les Nabis (meaning prophet), a group of French painters associated with the Académie Julian: Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Ranson, Jean-Édouard Vuillard and Félix Edouard Vallotton. Under their influence he painted his first important work, The Inn at Pont-Aven.  Through Les Nabi he became interested in the decorative arts, which led to designs for tapestries and ceramics.

Aladár Körösföi-Kriesch (1863-1920) and Sándor Nagy (1869-1950) founded the Gödöllő Art Colony, a centre for the visual and applied arts. Many talented young artists attended this arts and crafts school inspired by Ruskin, Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites.

The Gödöllő Artists Colony attempted to realise the artistic and social ideals put forward by Ruskin & Morris. Aladar Körösföi-Kriesch a leading member of the colony published On Ruskin and the English Pre-Raphaelites in which he outlined a reforming role for artists in society and the belief that by making and using handcrafted folk objects people’s lives could be transformed. By training local young people in weaving, pottery, woodwork, and leatherwork they hoped to give them the means to live the ‘good life’ in a rural community rather than emigrating to the cities or to America. They won international acclaim for their craft/design work based on traditional Hungarian and Transylvanian designs. The community played a key role in the development of indigenous Hungarian design and in fostering the myths and legends that would help forge a national identity for Hungary. They were responsible for an influential five-volume study –The Art of the Hungarian People– on vernacular furnishings and architecture.

The Hungarian Tiffany: Miksa Róth

Miksa Róth (1865-1944) is considered the finest stained glass artist of the Szecesszio. His work was repeatedly awarded at international exhibitions. Born in 1865, Miksa Róth was 19 years old when he took over his father Zsigmond’s workshop.   In Budapest, you can see examples of his beautiful work in the Gresham Palace (now the Four Seasons Hotel), Parliament, the Liszt Music Academy, and at his own house-museum. The plans for the stained glass windows of the Parliament building were prepared in 1890. Róth took into account both the light sources, especially on the grand entrance staircase and the building’s interior decoration. He decided to use the Grotesque style associated with the Renaissance era. 

Visiting the 1893 Chicago World Trade Fair, Róth was inspired by the opalescent and “favril” glass made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The displays featured shimmering, iridescent colours and a marbling effect within the glass. Róth was also influenced by the work of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, particularly partnership between Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. In 1897, Miksa Róth purchased opalescent glass from the Hamburg glass painter Karl Engelbrecht, and began to regularly order glass from his factory. Róth won the silver medal at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900 with the Pax and Rising Sun mosaics made with opalescent glass. One of Róth’s most significant creations using opalescent glass was for the cupola of the Teatro Nacional in Mexico City, which he carried out according to designs by Géza Maróti.

By the opening years of the 20th century, Róth’s geometric designs show the influence of Jugendstil and the Viennese Secession, as seen in the windows for the Gresham Palace (1907 Zsigmond Quittner and József Vágó) and the Lizst Music Academy (1907 Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl). Róth worked with many of the best architects, builders, and designers of the time. Reflecting the varied character of Hungarian architecture at the turn of the century, Róth created windows in many styles: Historic, Hungarian Szecesszio, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Viennese Secession and even Mackintosh/Glasgow style.

Róth collaborated with artists from the Gödöllô artists settlement, Sándor Nagy, Ede Toroczkai Wigand and Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch. Together they created the Hungarian Szecesszio style windows and mosaics for the Palace of Culture, Marosvásárhely/ Târgu Mureș, present day Romania.

Zsolnay: architectural ceramics

Located in Pécs, SW Hungary,  Zsolnay, the famous manufacturer of fine porcelain, stoneware, and pottery, especially tiles, was founded in 1853. It was established by Miklós Zsolnay (1800–1880).  In 1863, his son Vilmos Zsolnay (1828–1900) became its director. He led the factory to worldwide recognition by displaying its innovative products at international exhibitions, including the 1873 World Fair in Vienna and the 1878 Universalle Exposition in Paris, where Zsolnay received a Grand Prix. By 1914, Zsolnay was the largest ceramics company in Austro-Hungary.

Early Zsolnay was not marked, but by 1878 the five towers trademark was used. It shows five towers, for the five medieval churches in Pécs. The German name for the city of Pécs is Fünfkirchen, meaning “five churches.” There are three main periods of Zsolnay porcelain production:
(FIRST) 1868 to 1897 – Folklorism, Historicism & Victorian Eclecticism
(SECOND) 1897 to 1920-Art Nouveau/ Szecesszio and Art Deco
(THIRD) 1920 to the present-Modernism.

Pyrogranite, which was practical and ornamental, was in production by 1886. Fired at high temperature, this durable material remains acid and frost-resistant making it suitable for use as roof tiles, indoor and outdoor decorative ceramics, and fireplaces.

Influenced by the iridescent glazes of Clement Massier, Zsolnay produced its own lustre glazes. The factory is noted for developing the eosin process, introduced in 1893. The process results in a light iridescence, hence the term eosin (Greek eos, “flush of dawn”). Different eosin colours and processes were developed over time. Typical colours include shades of green, red, blue, and purple. The eosin-based iridescence became a favourite with the Szecesszio artists, among them Sándor Apáti AbtLajos MackGéza Nikelszky, and József Rippl-Rónai.


Joaquín Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

I am presenting a study course on the Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) for Greater London Arts Society.  The traditional study day with three one-hour sessions will be replaced with three following days, one hour each morning.

The dates are:

Monday 9, 16, 23 November (FULL)

Tuesday 10, 17, 24 November

Due to popular demand Monday is already at full capacity.

But there are still places left for Tuesday.

Start time each morning is 11.00 am.  The session will last until around 12.30/1.00, allowing time for questions and discussions.

The fee for each individual one-hour session is £10, with a bargain rate of £25 for all three.

If you are interested, please contact Susan Branfield….


Happy to offer this to all Art Societies, as a study day or short course.

Joaquín Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

This series of three interconnected lectures follows on from the highly acclaimed exhibition held at the National Gallery, London in 2019.  For many this will have been their first experience of ‘Spain’s John Singer Sargent’.  In his day Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923) was acclaimed for his dexterous representation of people and landscapes under the bright sunlight of his native land.  Sorolla’s work is often exhibited together with that of his contemporaries and friends, Sargent, Anders Zorn and S. Peder Kroyer. The Spanish painter Velazquez influenced their painterly style, all three artists known for their bravura technique. Born in Valencia, Sorolla and his sister were orphaned at an early age. His talent recognised, Sorolla was awarded a grant which enabled a four-year term studying in Rome.  A long sojourn in Paris in 1885 provided his first exposure to modern painting. He created a high-chrome version of impressionism, with many paintings lit and composed like snapshots. His art looks fast; Sorolla was known to be quick, not least because he normally worked outdoors, even when painting on vast canvases.

Sorolla’s breakthrough was but one aspect of Valencia’s fin de siècle culture. Modernisme Valencià was comparable to developments taking place in Barcelona in literature, art and architecture.   Sorolla’s Valencia had opened its eyes to modernity, aided and abetted by both prosperity and a desire to assert Catalan identity. The city was transformed by the architects Demetrio Ribes Marco (1875-1921) and Francisco Mora Berenguer (1875-1961), who was appointed the municipal architect.   Typically, Modernisme Valencià used modern materials, iron, glass and ceramics.  As in Barcelona, mosaics played their part in decorating exteriors and interiors, most notably the famous railway station, Valencia North. Local motifs include oranges, fishermen and the fallera, girls dressed in traditional costumes and jewellery, that parade during Las Fallas, Valencia’s spectacular festival of fire on the 19th March.   Sorolla tried to capture this spirit of Spain in his monument series The Provinces of Spain, depicting all the regions of the Iberian Peninsula, painted for the millionaire Archer Huntington. Famous in his day, Sorolla’s reputation was eclipsed by Cubism and Abstraction.  But like his contemporaries, Sorolla has been recuperated, his art seen to embody the modernity of the fin de siècle.

Three sessions:

Modernisme Valencià: architecture and design

Sorolla: painting quickly out of doors

Visions of Spain


Pre-Raphaelite Circles: De Morgans and Lovelaces

In her reminiscences, The Lilac and the Rose (1952), Susan Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir, the daughter of Caroline and Norman Grosvenor, recalled:

We did not know many artists when we were children. But William de Morgan and his wife were friends of the Lovelaces and I saw them for time to time, though they were hard working artists with little time for social life.  They lived at The Vale, King’s Road and I recall that it was heavy with Virginia Creeper, whose strands had to be parted to allow passage to the house, where a pleasant shabbiness reigned. There was a gentle charm and philosophy about Willian De Morgan and he was a delightful talker. I remember we once went to see them in Florence one evening- in their little apartment. Conversation turned to life after death, and William De Morgan said ‘I should like to be a speck somewhere in the sky when I die, a speck with intense perception’ (1952, p. 56)

This Blog relates to a Zoom presentation I gave on the De Morgans and the Lovelaces for the De Morgan Foundation. Ralph Gordon King Noel Milbanke (1839-1906), Viscount Ockham and Baron Wentworth from 1862 and 2nd Earl of Lovelace from 1893, was William De Morgan’s friend since childhood. He married Mary Caroline Stuart-Wortley (1848-1941) in 1880; Mary attended the Slade School of Art alongside Evelyn Pickering, William De Morgan’s future wife. I first came across Mary Stuart-Wortley while researching Edward Burne-Jones’s painting The Golden Stairs (1880, Tate Britain). Several sources placed Mary on the stairs alongside her contemporaries: Francis Graham, May Morris, Laura Lyttelton and Burne-Jones’ daughter Margaret.

Penelope Fitzgerald, Edward Burne-Jones: A Biography, 1975.

Having never come across her before, I set out to recover Mary Stuart-Wortley’s story. Over the following twenty years this endeavour has taken me down some strange paths. Lady Mary became a prominent activist in the Royal Amateur Art Society, Octavia and Miranda Hill’s Kyrle Society and the Home Arts and Industries Association founded in 1884. It is worth tracing Mary’s trajectory from aspiring artist to committed philanthropist. Her story also offers insight into the complexities of Victorian society. Family ties and friendships formed during childhood and schooling forged alliances later in life. 

As the interconnections through family ties and marital alliances are so complex, I have broken my account of the Stuart-Wortleys into sections on individual family members. I am rapidly concluding everybody in this story is a ‘cousin’.  In addition, we are dancing on the edges the coterie known as The Souls, who dominated intellectual life at the close of the century.

Physical proximity also played its part: Mary’s neighbours in Chelsea included her two brothers, portrait painter Archie Stuart-Wortley and Charles, 1st Baron Stuart of Wortley. The famous tea merchant and anthropologist Elmslie Horniman, George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon and Sir Robert Collier, 1st Lord Monkswell, lived close by on the Chelsea embankment, while novelist Henry James resided at Carlyle Mansions on Cheyne Walk.

Marital home of the Wentworths from 1880.

Wentworth House, 12, Chelsea Embankment. Designed by John Hungerford Pollen for Ralph, Lord Wentworth in 1877.

File:George Frederick Samuel - 9 Chelsea Embankment Chelsea London SW3  4LE.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Turners Reach House, 9, Chelsea Embankment, London

Home of George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon. Block designed by Richard Norman Shaw.

No.7 Chelsea Embankment, ‘Monkswell House’.

Designed for the judge and amateur painter Sir Robert Collier, later 1st Baron Monkswell, by R. Phené Spiers, architectural master at the Royal Academy. This large residence also included a flat with a studio for Collier’s son, the Hon. John Collier and his wife Marion Huxley, both professional painters.

Chelsea Lodge built in 1878 for the Hon. Archibald Stuart-Wortley to the design of E.W. Godwin. Archie shared this studio-house with Carlo Pellegrini (1839 – 1889), nicknamed Ape, Italian for Bee.

A Circle of Siblings

Although Oscar Wilde keenly observed Society was ruled by women, Victorian social networks were centred on birth: ancestral, familial and marital ties.  Marriages resulted in complicated interconnecting family genealogies. A web of relationships, family allegiances and alliances, could ensure the progression of one’s career.

Mary or ‘Mamie’, as she was known by her family, was the eldest of nine children.  Her father the Rt Hon. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley, Q.C., M.P., Privy Councillor (1805-81), was the third son of James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe.  In 1846 Stuart-Wortley married the Hon. Jane Lawley (1820-1900), who was the daughter of Paul Beilby Lawley Thompson, 1st Baron Wenlock. 

See the source image

Rt Hon. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley, Q.C., M.P.

Mary spent much of her early childhood in a handsome London town house, 3 Carlton Gardens (Tweedsmuir, 1952, p.26). 

Inside London's £95 million mansion - MyLondon

Stuart-Wortley was Solicitor General from 1856 to 1857.  He was expected to become the Speaker of the House of Commons until a crippling stroke (or riding accident) left him a permanent invalid and her mother had to cope with increasingly reduced means (Moore, p. 2).  This necessitated moving out of London, to East Sheen Lodge (which was renamed Wortley Lodge) near Mortlake. With his condition worsening, the family moved back into central London to 16, St. James’s Place. Despite this burden, and the loss of two siblings, William aged 10 and James aged four, who died in 1863, the household was described as ‘a rookery, densely crowded by active talkative young birds.’ (Hayles, p.120). As the eldest daughter, Mary had the greatest family responsibilities, particularly nursing her father.  This may account for her younger sister Margaret marrying before her and her own marriage coming relatively late in life: ‘They were an exceptionally devoted family, and their interests were wide and varied’ (Moore, p.1).

Despite financial difficulties, the Stuart-Wortley boys were well educated. Mary’s eldest brother Archibald, ‘Archie’, Stuart-Wortley (1849-1905) attended Eton from 1862 to 1865 before going up to Merton College, Oxford, where he roomed with Lord Randolph Churchill. However, he did not shine academically, failing to graduate. Forsaking a legal or political vocation, he was apparently encouraged by John Everett Millais to pursue a career as an artist. Deemed Millais’s ‘only pupil’, Archie would become a well-known portrait and sporting painter (Hayles, p121).

His portrait of the great cricketer W.C. Grace, the original at Lords Cricket Museum, in his best known work.

Mary’s younger brother Charles Beilby (1851-1926) went to Rugby and then Balliol College, Oxford before being called to the bar in 1876.  Following a distinguished political career, he was raised to the House of Lords being created the 1st Baron Stuart of Wortley in 1917.  His second marriage in 1886 was to Alice Sophia Caroline Millais, the artist’s third daughter, a romantic attachment surely fostered by his brother’s friendship with the famous painter. Carrie, as she was known in the family and Charles shared an interest in music, playing Grieg and Schumann concertos on two grand pianos at their home, 7, Cheyne Walk, on the Chelsea Embankment. Among their friends were the art critic Claude Phillips, the arts patron Frank Schuster, and the composer Edward Elgar to whom Carrie was known as ‘Windflower’ (Moore, p.2).

Circles within Circles

From left to right

Blanche, Mrs Frederick Firebrace,

Caroline, the Hon. Mrs Norman Grosvenor, married 1881,

Margaret, the Hon Lady Talbot, married 1877 (playing the piano),

Katharine, the Hon Lady Lyttelton, married 1883 (leaning on the piano),

and finally, with her back turned, Mary, Countess of Lovelace.

From Alice Buchan, A Scrap Screen, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1979.

Alice was the daughter of Susan Buchan, Lady Tweedsmuir, who in turn was the daughter of Caroline Grosvenor (nee Stuart-Wortley).

It could be argued that marriage was the making of the Stuart-Wortley girls; in 1877 Margaret (1855- 1937), became the first of the sisters to marry.  Her husband, Major General Hon. Sir Reginald Chetwynd-Talbot (1841-1929), was the third son of Henry, Viscount Ingestre, later 3rd Earl Talbot and 18th Earl of Shrewsbury. From 1869 to 1874, Talbot represented Stafford as a conservative MP. He returned to active duty, serving in the Zulu War (1879), Egypt (1882) and the Nile expedition which did not rescue General Gordon (1884-85). He became General Officer Commanding the British Troops in Egypt in 1899. Talbot was appointed Governor of Victoria, Australia, in 1904. As the Governor’s wife, Margaret, Lady Talbot, ‘far from being… the woman behind the man behind the times’, actively promoted social welfare projects. 

The Talbot match established a pattern, with the Stuart-Wortley girls marrying younger sons from illustrious families.  In 1881 Caroline Susan Theodora (1858-1940) married Captain the Hon. Norman de L’Aigle Grosvenor (1845-98), a younger son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Baron Edbury, third son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster.

Katherine (1860-1943), the youngest sibling, became the Hon. Mrs Neville Lyttelton in 1883. After a distinguished military career, General Sir Neville Lyttelton (1845-1931) eventually became the Governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

These liaisons were largely determined by family ties; their mother Hon. Jane Lawley was connected to the Grosvenor family. Jane’s brother, Beilby Richard Lawley, 2nd Baron Wenlock(1818-80)married Lady Elizabeth Grosvenor (1824-99), daughter of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster. Their son Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock (1849-1912), who came into the title in 1880,  married Lady Constance Mary Lascelles (1852-1932), daughter of the 4th Earl of Harewood. Lady Constance Wenlock was a prominent member of The Souls.

Stuart-Wortley cousins therefore include Lady Constance Wenlock and Lady Emmeline ‘Nina’ Welby-Gregory (1867-1955), who married  the notorious ‘rake’  Henry John Cockayne-Cust (1861-1917); all were prominent members of The Souls.

Confused by all the titles and marriages? Don’t worry, the important point is to realize that Victorian society was highly ‘incestuous’.

However, it was Mary Caroline Stuart-Wortley (1848-1941), the eldest sister, who made the most striking match, marrying at the ‘advanced age of thirty-two’, Ralph, Lord Wentworth, afterwards 2nd Earl of Lovelace (1839-1906), the grandson of Lord Byron. Mary’s marriage must have come as a surprise to her family; she had spent much of her life caring for her invalid father and pursuing a career as an artist.  Marriage did not curtail her ambitions, as she continued to exhibit at the Grosvenor Gallery; it was only when her husband inherited the Lovelace title and estates in 1893 that Mary’s life took a different turn. Determined to revive the family’s extensive properties in Leicestershire, Surrey and Somerset, Mary sought instruction from architects C.R. Ashbee and C.F.A. Voysey; she has even been described as Voysey’s pupil.

My next Blog will cover Mary’s career as an artist….


Some authorities do not hyphenate Stuart Wortley.

Many of the records relating to the Lovelace estates in Leicestershire, Somerset and Surrey were lost after the last world war.  The Blunt Papers are held by the British Museum, the Lovelace Papers are in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.  The latter contains approximately 130 letters relating to Lady Lovelace.


Hayles, Sally. 2014. ‘Archibald Stuart Wortley (1849-1905) Sport and Art in Union’, pp.119-32, Barnsley Art On Your Doorstep.

Archibald John Stuart Wortley – Barnsley Art On Your Doorstep barnsleyartonyourdoorstep.org.uk › uploads › 2015/04

Lee, Vernon. 1884. Miss Brown A Novel. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood & Sons.

Moore, Jerrold Northrop. 1989. Edward Elgar: The Windflower Letters.  Correspondence with Alice Caroline Stuart Wortley and her family. London: Clarendon Press.

Tweedsmuir, Susan, 1952.  The Lilac and the Rose, London: Duckworth.

Art History with Anne

Aubrey Beardsley 150: The Artist Resurgent,

a conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Aubrey Beardsley’s birth.

Saturday 21st August 2022 from 10am

I will be giving a paper as this conference:

Beardsley’s Punch Line: the collected works of ‘Weirdsley Daubery’ 

At first glance the reader can be taken in by Punch’s Beardsley parodic cartoons, as they plagiarise his style so perfectly. Mr Punch also had much fun with his name: ‘Weirdsley Daubery’, ’Danby Weirdsley’ and ‘Mortarthurio Whiskerley’, the latter a pun on Beardsley’s Morte d’Arthur illustrations. Throughout 1894 and early 1895 Punch was peppered with Beardsley and Yellow Book parodies, with Edward Tennyson Reed most often responsible. These images are well known, being published in many volumes on Beardsley’s life and work. However, the meaning of some appears obscure, for example ‘Le Yellow Book’ (1895) or ‘Quid Est Pictura’ – Veritas Falsa’ (1895).Reproduced without the accompanying text has weakened the cartoon’s message. As was typical of the editorial policy, Mr Punch followed his own agenda using the Beardsley style to comment more broadly on current issues particularly the inexplicability of contemporary art and the so-called New Woman novel.  By uniting image and text, I hope to explain the ‘Punch-line’, thereby gaining greater insight into the Beardsley Years.

‘She-Notes’, Edward Tennyson Reed after Aubrey Beardsley

The event is organised by the Decadence Research Centre at Goldsmiths in association with the Aubrey Beardsley Society and Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.

Go to the website to find out about the other speakers.

the conference will be hosted by the St Bride Foundation, London.

St Bride Foundation: Home

Registration is free but you must go to the website to register through Eventbrite

Aubrey Beardsley 150: The Artist Resurgent – Eventbrite

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk › aubrey-beardsley-150-th…

21 Aug 2022 —

Hope you can join me!