1. Self-portrait (1885). Sabine Lepsius (German, 1864-1942). Oil on canvas. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie.

    Lepsius showed herself as a painter at the age of 21. Here the portrait marks her coming of age, the girl become woman artist. Her father, also a painter, hung the portrait in his studio, giving her the stamp of professional recognition.

  2. Over the Teacups. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894). Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1891. First edition.

    The poem “To the eleven ladies who presented me with a loving cup” was reprinted in Over the Teacups, Holmes’ late collection of essays and poems following in the vein of The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table.

  3. Princess Marie von Preußen in romantic garden scenery (1838). Julius Schoppe (German, 1795-1868).

    Princess Marie was the eldest daughter of Prince and later Grand Duke Charles Frederick of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his wife, Maria Pavlovna Romanova, who was the sister of Czar Alexander I of Russia. In 1827 Princess Marie married Prince Charles of Prussia. Their son Frederich Charles was born 10 months later.

  4. Chinese sweetheart model Xiao Wen Ju reads in i-D’s Wise Up Issue, shining bright in a shoot by Scott Trindle and Erika Kurihara.

    With her black hair and black eyes she looks like a super cute, 21st-century Audrey Hepburn from China, in colourful futuristic looks from pheasant-embroidered Proenza Schouler to purple-rosy Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière tiger stripes to a mandarin corset in jaguar polka dots by Ryan Lo.

  5. Dancer with a Hoop (1881). Jean-Louis Forain (French, 1852-1931). Oil on canvas.

    Forain studied for a year with J. de la Chevreuse and briefly under Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He copied drawings and etchings in the Louvre and the Bibliothèque Nationale; also studied modelling for a year under Carpeaux. He first began to paint in the studio of André Gill in 1870. 

  6. A Double Barrelled Detective Story. Mark Twain. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1902. First edition.

    Twain’s tale of Sherlock Holmes as an arrogant but incompetent idiot whose cousin, Fretlock Jones, explains that the only way Holmes ever solves a crime is to arrange it in advance.

  7. A Lady Reading a Newspaper (1886). Carl Larsson (Swedish, 1853-1919). Watercolor on paper.

    Larsson’s turning point came in 1882 when he moved to Grez, a Scandinavian artists’ colony outside Paris. It was there he met his future wife Karin Bergöö and underwent an artistic transformation after abandoning his oil painting in favour of watercolours. It was in Grez that he painted some of his most significant pictures.

  8. Model Agnete Hegelund reading. Anthropologie July 2011 Look Book.

    Agnete Hegelund (born 10 March 1988) signed with Ford Models after being discovered by her mother agency while shopping at Flying A in Copenhagen. Two weeks later, she appeared on her first cover for German Elle.

  9. Portrait of Madame van Westrenen of Tremaat (1802). Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, 1725-1805). Oil on panel.

    Greuze’s sitter was the wife of Jan van Westrenen of Tremaat and of Houdringe, a resident of Utrecht who served as Ambassador from the Batavian Republic to the court of Sweden and later, during the reign of Napoleon I, as Holland’s representative to the Corps Législatif in Paris.

  10. The Letter. Illustrated by Anna and Elena Balbusso. From Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen. Folio Society, 2013.

    "Be not alarmed, madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of those sentiments or renewal of those offers which were last night so disgusting to you. I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten…"

  11. The Letter (c.1924). Harold Knight (English, 1874-1961). Oil on canvas. Leeds Museums and Galleries.

    After spending time in Paris, studying art under Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin-Constant, then at Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast, Harold Knight moved in 1907, with Laura, to Newlyn, a fishing port in Cornwall, where they became part of the famous Newlyn School.

  12. Alison McWhinney with the secret book in Against Time. English National Ballet. Photograph by John Ross. 

    The street choreography was at the top of its game with tight, slick harmonies peppered by explosive acrobatic tricks. But the ballet choreography was predictable and dull. The best moments came in the mixed genre pas de deux between Alison McWhinney and Leroy Dias dos Santos.

  13. The Music Party (1626). Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Oil on wood. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

    The young woman is reading the music from the sheet, singing and beating time. The two men are accompanying her on their instruments - the young man on the harp and the older man on a viola da gamba. An older woman is reading over the girl’s shoulder, listening attentively with her hand on her chin. In the foreground is a violin, a lute and a pile of books.

  14. The English Flower Garden. William Robinson. Sagapress, 1933 (first published 1883).

     "The gardener must follow the true artist, however modestly, in his respect for things as they are, in delight in natural form and beauty of flower and tree, if we are to be free from barren geometry, and if our gardens are ever to be true pictures…"

  15. A Young Scholar (c.1765-1775). Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806). Oil on canvas. The Wallace Collection.

    Reminiscent of Rembrandt in its palette and handling, and of Ter Borch and Metsu in its subject, A Young Scholar is comparable to similar works by Greuze and others. Fragonard, however, invests his subject with none of the moral overtones common in the depiction of children at the period, but rather concentrates on capturing an illusion of childlike spontaneity using vigorous brushstrokes and freedom of execution.