Curiosity: 2 miniature portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte
Artist: Maestro di Pavia
Measurements: Full-length portrait: 183×118 mm
Head portrait: 74×62 mm
These two miniature portraits have come to the University museum’s collection through the bequest of George Powell of Nanteos. As with so many of his objects, we have unfortunately no idea how, when and where he bought them. Holland and Meyrick explain that “Powell was very taken with Romantic struggles for liberty and nationhood. Like many other collectors in the 19th century he collected material associated with Napoleon Bonaparte.” This and the exquisite execution of the portraits might have been his reasons for acquiring them. Continue reading →
The phrase ‘alternative facts’ is a recent addition to our vocabulary. It has come to prominence in a political climate in which views and actions are shaped more by emotions than by reliable intelligence. Reflecting this shift, Oxford Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ to be Word of the Year 2016. And yet, alternative facts are as old as language itself. Continue reading →
In November 2015, Dr. Anna-Claudia Guimbous, daughter of the photographer Erich Retzlaff (1899-1993), donated to Dr. Christopher Webster van Tonder and the School of Art Collection, over 1000 negatives and around 160 black and white vintage prints that she recently discovered stored securely in her basement. Dr. Guimbous has, along with her sister Bettina Retzlaff-Cumming, already generously donated a large number of vintage photographs by Erich Retzlaff to the School of Art Collection in recent years making our collection of Retzlaff’s work the largest outside of Germany and the second largest in the world. This new and important addition to the Collection includes portraits and landscapes from the 1930s and 1940s, examples of his innovative colour work, and an extensive number of Retzlaff’s post-war architecture, travel and landscape work.