Kirsten Tambling is Postdoctoral Research Associate on ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’ at King’s College London.

How Britain’s first prime minister became a sitting target for satirists

Robert Walpole was a supreme political operator – but his power and personal wealth made him a splendid butt of satire, too

2 Apr 2021

By royal arrangement: Queen Mary’s compulsive collecting

Many British royals have been keen on acquiring works of art, but few have been as diligent about looking after them as Queen Mary

27 Mar 2021
Nurses dance around the Bethnal Green mulberry in 1944, three years after it was bombed.

The battle to save London’s mulberry trees

Mulberry trees are rare in the city, yet more than one is currently under threat – including the oldest tree in the East End

22 Feb 2021
David Garrick as Richard III (detail; c. 1745), William Hogarth. Walker Art Gallery.

Bard boy – David Garrick and the cult of Shakespeare

The actor did more than anyone to revive Shakespeare’s reputation in the 18th century – and a plethora of curious wooden relics also played their part

2 Jan 2021
Detail showing the ‘second cabinet’ on page 50 of the Catalogue des Tableaux de Mr Julienne (c. 1756), compiled by Jean-Baptiste-François de Montullé. Morgan Library and Museum, New York

Getting the hang of it – a look inside the home of an 18th-century collector in Paris

An illustrated inventory made for Jean de Jullienne shows us how his paintings were displayed

29 Apr 2020
Pilgrimage to the Island of Cythera (1717), Antoine Watteau. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Photo: © Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN-Grand Palais

Fashion forward – the dashing designs of Antoine Watteau

The artist’s fashion etchings hint at the delight in transient pleasures that is so evident in his paintings

11 Apr 2020
The Poor Cat, (1832), Louis-Léopold Boilly. The Ramsbury Manor Foundation, photo: © The trustees of the Ramsbury Manor Foundation

The painter who took a prudent approach to the French Revolution

Louis-Léopold Boilly was a peculiarly adaptable painter in turbulent times

6 Mar 2019
Pamela and Mr B. in the Summer House, by Joseph Highmore, Joseph Higmore, The Fitzwilliam Museum.

The Foundling Museum brings Joseph Highmore out of the shadows

Joseph Highmore’s morality tales are just as engaging as those of his contemporary William Hogarth

10 Oct 2017