1. Historia (1892). Nikolaos Gyzis (Greek, 1842-1901). Oil on panel.

    History (from Greek ἱστορία - historia, meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”) is the study of the human past. It is a field of research which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it sometimes attempts to investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determine events.

  2. Book of the Marquise. Illustration 8 (1918). Konstantin Somov (Russian, 1869-1939). Lithography.

    Somov also illustrated books, including the cheeky Book of Marquise, and had a flair for capturing women. Whimsy and merrymaking pervade his earliest work, and his admiration of Watteau and Fragonard is manifest. 

  3. Bessie. George Henry Boughton (English-born American, 1833-1905). Oil on canvas. Tyne & Wear Museums.

    Boughton’s “rapid success since his return to his native land has been owing undoubtedly in part to the fact that not only are his subjects of a popular character, but the treatment also suggests the simplicity, and consequently the consummate art, of the French school, while his color is generally quiet, and, if it does not impress at first, has the quality of growing in favor.” — S. G. W. Benjamin (1877).

  4. Model juggling books for Gant Royal Eccentric, FW 2011. Photograph by Oscar Falk.

    Gant follows a somewhat eccentric but lovely family on a weekend trip to their country house in a beautiful New England winter landscape.

  5. The Rev. Amos Barton and his Family (c.1863). Peter Paul Marshall (Scottish, 1830-1900). Oil on panel. 

    Inspired by George Eliot’s Scenes of Clerical Life, the three stories with which she made her debut as novelist. The work clearly illustrates The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton. Amos himself is seen with his long-suffering wife Milly and two of their six children, while outside the vicarage garden is covered with snow as it is described in the early chapters.

  6. Stories of my Childhood. Francis Channing Woodworth. Gall & Inglis, London, Edinburgh, 1883[?].

    "My parents were farmers, and they kept cattle and horses, sheep and swine, geese, turkeys, hens, dogs and cats. When I was a very little boy, one of our hens sat on fourteen eggs, and only hatched one chicken."

  7. Suonatore di liuto (Lute Player) (c.1595). Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610). Oil on canvas. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.

    A boy with soft facial features and thick brown hair accompanies himself on the lute as he sings a madrigal about love. The Hermitage version shows madrigals by Jacques Arcadelt (1515–1568), and the visible text reads in part: “Vous savez que je vous aime et vous adore…Je fus vôtre.” (“You know I love you and adore you…I was yours”).

  8. Alison McWhinney in A Million Kisses to my Skin. English National Ballet, Emerging Dancer Competition, 2014. © Dave Morgan.

    McWhinney took on a complex extract from David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin, which required delicacy and accuracy in its delivery. McWhinney was as jazzy and sparky as you could wish but the solo ends abruptly and was the shortest contribution.

  9. Portrait of the young Oskar von Fraenkel, holding a book (1898). Ignace Spiridon (Italian, 1860-1900). Oil on canvas.

    "[Ignace Spiridon] wanted to paint one of me, and said he would make short work of it and not tucker me out; so I sat, and he made the best portrait that ever was — and did it in eight hours. I never saw such a man to handle oils and skirmish with a brush. He is terribly accurate.” -- Mark Twain letter to Henry H. Rogers, 26 September 1898.

  10. British Butterflies (King Penguin Books Series No. 41). Edmund Brisco Ford. Illustrated by Paxton Chadwick. Penguin Books, 1951. First edition.

    Ford (1901-1988) was a British ecological geneticist. He was a leader among those British biologists who investigated the role of natural selection in nature. As a schoolboy Ford became interested in lepidoptera, the group of insects which includes butterflies and moths. 

  11. Sylphide (Vera Savina) (1927). Sir Herbert James Gunn, R.A. (Scottish, 1893-1964). Oil on canvas.

    Vera Clark was an English dancer who joined the Ballets Russes in 1924 under the direction of Serge Diaghilev. Vera’s name was Russianized to Vera Savina. She married the Principal and choreographer Léonide Massine in 1926 and became Principal herself in 1927. This work shows Vera dressed as the sylph from one of the oldest surviving romantic ballets, La Sylphide.

  12. Alma Rosé (1906-1944) was an Austrian violinist of Jewish descent. Her uncle was the composer Gustav Mahler.

    Rosé was deported by the Nazis to the concentration camp at Auschwitz and moved to Birkenau. There she directed an orchestra of prisoners who played to their captors in order that they should stay alive. Rosé is said to have molded the orchestra into an excellent ensemble; she conducted, orchestrated and sometimes played violin solos during its concerts. She was evidently held in high esteem by the Nazis - highly unusual for Jewish prisoners.

  13. Lesendes Mädchen (before 1937). Emil Rau (German, 1858-1937). Oil on canvas.

    Rau studied at the Dresden Academy of Art. He was a genre painter, working to preserve a colorful and rich Bavarian heritage, often portraying subjects in their traditional costumes and placing them in traditional German landscapes.

  14. Ex libris Marcellus Moeder. Artist: Ed. Moeder.

    "Dominus est huius libri Marcellus Moeder V.I.D. argentinensis. MCMVII." Hasse W. Tullberg, 1907. Depiction of a medieval library environment.

  15. Self-Portrait (1914). Margaret Lesley Bush-Brown (American, 1857-1944). Oil on canvas. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

    In sharp contrast to her professed views on maternal duty, there is nothing to identify herself as a wife and mother; yet the combination of painting robe and lace collar, intense gaze and slight smile, meld the identities of woman and artist in ways that Bush-Brown’s writing never conveyed.