Bloomsbury in Berwick

Following on from our visit to Charleston, K took us to Berwick Church nearby, a Grade 1 listed building. It is built on what may be a pre-Christian sacred site from which there are beautiful views of the South Downs. Inside, the decorative scheme of paintings by the Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell was commissioned by the Bishop of Chichester in 1941 at the height of World War II. The Victorian plain leaded windows were damaged by bombs on Oct 17th 1944. Uncertain of whether there would be further damage and because of the cost, plate … Continue reading Bloomsbury in Berwick

A flood of realism…

A visit to the BP Portrait Awards in the beautiful National Portrait Gallery. “The BP Portrait Award is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world and represents the very best in contemporary portrait painting.” These are my favourites… My absolute favourite was ‘Tim and the dog’ by Jack Freeman, but all were fantastic to see and wonder at. Almost all were realistic, and some hyper. You can see all the exhibitors here. A cup of beautiful Golden Assam tea and back in again and ready for another look at the 20th Century portraits floor – oh so good.  Will have to go back … Continue reading A flood of realism…

Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey, the weekend party house of Edwardian socialite Maggie Greville, was designed to impress and entertain. From the décor in the gold saloon to state-of-the-art conveniences such as Maggie’s personal lift, no expense was spared when Ritz architects Mewès and Davies renovated the house ready for Maggie’s first house party in 1909. A great day out at this house in the Surrey countryside. As K and I arrived, a house tour was just starting so we tagged along, and then had a good look on our own as well. Then we were invited on a behind the scenes tour … Continue reading Polesden Lacey

The Watts Cemetery Chapel

The Watts Cemetery Chapel is a working village parish chapel in the village cemetery of Compton in Surrey. A Grade I listed building. When Compton Parish Council created a new cemetery, local resident artist Mary Watts, the wife of Victorian era painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts, offered to design and build a new mortuary chapel. A group of local amateurs and enthusiasts constructed the chapel from 1896 to 1898; virtually every village resident was involved. The ground plan is essentially circular. Local villagers were invited to decorate the chapel under Mary’s guidance, resulting in an interior that fuses art nouveau and Celtic influences, combined with Mary’s own original style. In 1895, Mary … Continue reading The Watts Cemetery Chapel