Showing posts from September, 2018

Notes on the Nude : A Year of Debate

This year has seen a number of arts institutions embroiled in heated debate over the exhibition ( or removal) of art featuring nude or naked bodies. We take a look at some of the issues that have come to the fore, and muse on the surprisingly precarious position of 'the Nude' in contemporary discourse... The 'Nude Police' turn gallery-goers away from a Rubens Painting, in a spoof video for Flanders Tourism Board The first sign that 2018 might be a troubling year for the posed and partially clothed was the furore that greeted Manchester Art Gallery in January. The Gallery decided to remove the popular Pre-Raphaelite painting ' Hylas and the Nymphs ', (depicting several sensual, partially clothed female bodies) from it's walls. The galleries action was not a permanent curatorial move, but rather a deliberate provocation and invitation to debate. The temporary removal was part of a participatory exhibition in which visitors were invited to

London Fashion Week Special: Bring on the Bows !

Models walk the catwalk at London Fashion Week 2018 for Emilia Wickstead (Left) and Erdem (Right) Last week at London Fashion Week we saw various re- inventions of the classic bow. We saw rebellious edged feminine designs in jewellery and big couture houses like Chanel, Garrard, Gucci and Tiffany’s providing their own twist on the trend. The bow motif is associated with the Rococo period : a lady clad in bows and lace epitomises traditional feminine elegance. The Rococo bow was a faithful and enduring adornment of women’s dress as fashion moved from stiff and formal, to loose and playful. It's ubiquity disappeared somewhat following the French Revolution, possibly because of it's association with the frivolity and excesses of the Ancien Regime. The bow made something of a fashion comeback in the Victorian era as a representation of romantic feeling, and as part of growing sentimental yearnings for a vanished past. A past of chivalry and courtly romance seemed a lon

Headbands, Tiaras & Hair Jewellery : The Grays Way

Designers and stylists have declared 2018 the year of  head and hair’s time to shake off any shyness and invest in dazzling hair jewellery:  diadems, tiaras, and yes- crowns! A Model at the Dolce & Gabbana Ready-to-Wear Fall 2018 Catwalk Show  Contemporary crowns and tiaras have a different significance to the traditional royal adornment. Queens, empresses, and princesses of course regularly wear tiaras at formal evening occasions but the symbolism of the crown itself is more complex than you might think. As symbols of betrothal, crowns can be thought of similarly to a wedding band in that their circular structure is a visual reminder of eternity and everlasting love. Historically, headbands and hair jewellery offered a no-holds-barred approach to show of wealth and power. A lavish display is no more noticeable than when draped around the wearers head and hair, so the medium has historically been a splendid opportunity for the aristocracy to show off.

Travellers and Toddy Trees: A Vision of Colonial India

Guest & Gray are one of our most eclectic purveyors of fine antiques. Known primarily for their expertise in Chinese and European ceramics, their fascinating collection also holds a wealth of incredible works of art from around the world. This week we're shining a spotlight on 14 Indian paintings on Mica (a transparent mineral resembling papyrus) dating from 19th century ... 'A Naatch, Girls Dancing before a Native of Rank', with seated figures at leisure, attendants, musicians and dancing girls all beneath a canopy in a palace courtyard The Mica Paintings were originally part of a leather-bound volume produced by Indian artists for Europeans living and working in the sub-continent, particularly employees of the British East India Company.  During the 19th Century The British Raj was at it's height of colonial power and influence, with historians estimating that up to 800,000 Britons resided during it's peak period.  The paintings were

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