Archive for December 18th, 2012

December 18, 2012

Thomas Pope 3rd Earl of Downe

Painted by an unknown artist of the English school, this portrait hangs in the Tate collection. Thomas Pope was nephew of the 2nd Earl and seems to have trodden a middle path, for although his uncle was prominent in the royalist cause, he was imprisoned by the Royalists for six weeks during the war and later in the 1650s, held by the other side for complicity in a “Cavalier Plot”. The portrait is rather old fashioned in style with a turkey carpet and silk drapes, but his clothes are smart and understated. Black doublet and breeches and an off the shoulder cloak, though the details are tricky to see in a photograph. He’s also wearing a needle lace edged falling band. There are some nice details however of his shoes and cuffs.

Portrait of Sir Thomas Pope, Later 3rd Earl of Downe circa 1635 by British School 17th century 1600-1699

His silk hose are very slightly wrinkled, but his shoe rosettes are top notch and if you look closely, you can see the seams of his hose that show the triangular inset to make them fit around the foot. Also notice the inkle braid garters that match his hat band and the height of his shoe heels.

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This detail of his right hand shows nicely his soft leather gloves, the lace on his cuffs that matches his falling band and the turn back on his doublet revealing the lining of the sleeves.


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December 18, 2012

Cookmaid with Still Life of Vegetables

Painted by Nathaniel Bacon in the 1620s. It hangs in the Tate gallery in London. I make no apology for this early picture as it is such a great painting and shows what is thought to be common clothing still current in the 1640s. ¬†The cookmaid is dressed in a smock, edged with simple lace around the neck, with what looks like a petticoat in the style that has a low cut upper body section either sewn or laced in to the skirts below. She also has some fabric sleeves seemingly pinned over the sleeves of her linen smock, and very smartly dressed hair, which would normally be the preserve of a higher status woman. I wonder if this is a real cook maid smartened up, or someone playing a role. Note that if she was going out, rather than sitting coquettishly by the window, she would wear a waistcoat to hide her “modesty”.

The vegetables that appear in the picture, although they would never be all in season at the same time, (making this still life somewhat of a fantasy picture) are also worth a look.¬†Amongst the selection (Bacon was also a keen gardener, or maybe more properly horticulturalist) are some rather modern looking cabbages, (or coleworts as they were also known), artichokes,, some nice purple carrots (the orange variety is a modern cultivar), parsnips, turnips, onions, marrows, pumpkins, apples, pears, plums and figs. I’m sure I’ve missed some, there are so many different types.

Sir Nathaniel Bacon, Cookmaid with Still Life of Vegetables and Fruit c.1620-5

Shame on me, I almost forgot the melons. MATRON!

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