Clare Bucknell is a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

Barbara Palmer (née Villiers), Duchess of Cleveland with her son, probably Charles Fitzroy, as the Virgin and Child (c. 1664), Peter Lely. National Portrait Gallery, London

Mischief-making mistresses at the court of Charles II

How the women at the heart of the Restoration court ‘weaponised’ portraits that flaunted their influence over the king

4 Apr 2020
The Humours of an Election, 4: Chairing the Member (detail; 1754–55), William Hogarth.

Works in progress – the turbulent tales of William Hogarth

Things rarely turn out well for the characters in the satirist’s so-called ‘progress’ pieces – rather, they capture the chaos of 18th-century life

23 Oct 2019
The Gleaners (1857), Jean-François Millet. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Peasant company – Jean-François Millet among the moderns

How the Barbizon painter’s subversive rural scenes inspired artists from Van Gogh to Salvador Dalí

21 Oct 2019

Tureen dreams – an extraordinary collection of delftware comes to light

A collection of Dutch delftware on long-term loan to the Gemeentemuseum den Haag is a feast for the eyes

4 Sep 2019
Mary and Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist’s Daughters (c. 1774), Thomas Gainsborough

The freedom Gainsborough found in painting his family

The artist’s portraits of his household are more spontaneous than his commercial work

15 Jan 2019