Portraits in the Wren, part 2

An earlier blog described the portraits which hang in the Wren Library, some of which have been there since the completion of the building in 1695. Several later portraits hang on the staircase to the Wren. Below is a brief description of each of the subjects of the portraits: Henry Jackson graduated from Trinity prior …

Continue reading Portraits in the Wren, part 2

Pittoni’s ‘Allegorical Monument to Sir Isaac Newton’

Giovanni Battista Pittoni’s imposing oil painting ‘An Allegorical Monument to Sir Isaac Newton’ returned to the Wren Library last week following an absence of over a year during which time it was displayed in the exhibitions Eblouissante Venise at the Grand Palais, Paris and Canaletto e Venezia in the Doge’s Palace, Venice. The painting, which …

Continue reading Pittoni’s ‘Allegorical Monument to Sir Isaac Newton’

Portraits in the Wren Library (1)

Ten portraits hang in the Wren Library. They form part of a collection largely put together after the completion of the building in 1695. Portraits including sculpture were a recognised part of Library furnishing at that time and these paintings joined the sculptures described in an earlier blog. Most are an imposing size (over 2 …

Continue reading Portraits in the Wren Library (1)

Italian Books in the Crewe Collection

The Crewe Collection comprises books in several different languages. The works in Italian, amounting to just 121 volumes, represent a tiny fraction of the total, but are nevertheless of great interest, and provide a reliable insight in the collecting habits of Richard Monckton Milnes (1809-1885). Although several books bear the bookplate of Richard’s son, Robert …

Continue reading Italian Books in the Crewe Collection

Decorative Papers in the Dryden Album

The Dryden Album (R.14.23) is known for its beautiful images of Greek and Turkish costume but Susanne Krause, a paper decorator and researcher based in Hamburg, has recently drawn our attention to the fact that the interleaved papers in the album are also of special significance. When the album was catalogued in 1902, the interleaved …

Continue reading Decorative Papers in the Dryden Album

Thorvaldsen’s Statue of Byron

The Wren Library contains an exceptional collection of sculpture. One of the highlights is the magnificent statue of George Gordon, Lord Byron by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Byron, one of the greatest of English Romantic poets, was admitted to Trinity College Cambridge in 1805. He was at first “miserable and untoward to a degree …. wretched at …

Continue reading Thorvaldsen’s Statue of Byron