Stowe House has been described as "the largest and most completely realised private neo-classical building in the world". The extraordinary family who built and re-built Stowe played a crucial role in the arts and politics of the Georgian age. Four prime ministers came from this or the closely related Pitt family, and with them and their house were associated a roll-call of artistic figures - to mention only Pope and Horace Walpole, Vanbrugh and Kent, Adam and Soane. More
A Dance to the Music of Time by Nicolas Poussin
78 pages, paperback, 276 x 238 mm
ISBN: 978 0 900785 46 7
A Dance to the Music of Time was painted by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) in c. 1634–36 for Giulio Rospigliosi, later Pope Clement IX. One of Poussin's most famous masterpieces, the picture's complex iconography was probably dictated by its patron. Its first meaning is derived from Boitet de Frauville's Les Dionysiaques, which describes how, following the complaints of Time and the Seasons, Jupiter gave Bacchus his gift of wine to the world to alleviate the harsh conditions of human life. The dancing figures represent the Seasons: Autumn, normally shown as a woman, it here represented by the god of wine himself. It is probable that the scene was reinterpreted by Rospigliosi during the process of composition, for the dancing figures came to be more generally identified with the perpetual cycle of the human condition itself: from Poverty, Labour leads to Riches and then to Pleasure, which, if indulged in to excess, reverts to Poverty.
This analysis of the picture contains information on the meaning of the painting, the evolution of its composition, its visual sources and its critical content. There is also an examination of the nature of Giulio Rospigliosi's patronage and Poussin's importance in the eyes of British art collectors.
The painting has often ben taken as a statement of Poussin's own philosophy, but this text argues that his contribution was rather that of a painter, giving pictorial expression to the poetic and philosophical ideas of his patron.
John Soane died in 1837 but his legacy lives on in his architecture. Today architects across the world are inspired by his magical interiors. Four outstanding contemporary architects explore Sir John Soane's house and museum and identify works and motifs of his that have insired them or that they have specificaly referenced. More
This exhibition and catalogue celebrates the most gifted, inventive and eccentric amateurs of the 18th and early 19th centuries with a selection of drawings, engravings and portraits gathered from Soane's collection and other museums, archives and private houses around the country. More
In the library of Sir John Soane’s remarkable house at 13, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, several volumes of Italian architectural drawings of the 16th and 17th centuries have remained until today one of London’s hidden treasures. They have never been catalogued before in detail. More
The castle-style designs and picturesque landscape fantasies of Robert Adam are a much negelected aspect of his work. These paintings and sketches give a vivid scense of the beauty and allure of the landscapes and architecturally by which Adam was romantically fascinated, and which he recreated in some of his most significant commissions - or else on paper. More
Wotton has been dealt many blows and survived them all. Today it is a blossoming country house with the mark of Sir John Soane's essential reconstructions. Wotton's hardships and reconstructions are described and illustrated in a variety of ways. More