Monday, 14 May 2012

The Queen's treasures

There's no denying the Queen has some nice things and a selection of them are on display in the Queen's Gallery just outside Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. A few weeks ago we were wandering past and decided to pop in to see what she had put out for us to see.

This rather impressive chap is the Venetian merchant Andrea Odoni. He built a large collection if paintings, sculpture and historic pieces which is why he had Lorenzo Lotti paint him amongst his sculptures in 1527.

We're a bit round to the side on this Rembrandt of Agatha Bas - there was quite a crowd (that being 4 or 5 people) in front of her.

I like the way he's painted Ms. Bas holding onto the picture frame.

This impressive cup and cover from around 1700 caught the eye of George IV who bought it in 1823. It is lavishly carved with hunting scenes which makes me think that the lady on top will be Diana the Huntress.

Another little wonder picked up by George IV. It's a nautilus shell decorated in silver gilt, garnets, diamonds, emeralds, pink quartz, turquoises and water sapphires sometime in about 1670.

This chair is made from wood salvaged from the Auld Kirk in Alloway where much of the action in Tam O'Shanter takes place. Though I couldn't persuade my camera to focus on it, the back of the chair is engraved with the entire poem on the brass panels.

Prince Albert commissioned Sir Edwin Landseer to paint this picture in 1841. It's his favourite dog, Eos. The quality of the painting is such, that spotting this first from across the room, I thought for a minute that it might have been a real greyhound mounted in a case.

A self portrait by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. He's far better known for his sculptures.

This is thought to be a self portrait by Annibale Carracci sometime in the late 1580s

The drawing and this painting also by him, to me, seem to have faces that could go down a modern street and hardly gather a second glance.

This diamond encrusted easter egg was made by Faberge in 1914. It is one of 50 that were made for the Russian Imperial Family.

This miniature portrait of Tsar Nicholas II's five children was made to fit inside it.

These eggs are a symbol of the extravagance of the Tsar while there was much poverty in the country, which was contributory to the Russian revolution. And, of course, poignant as the children above perished as a result of it.


The Glebe Blog said...

Some lovely stuff there Sandy.
The portrait of Andrea Odoni reminds me of a certain blogger before a shave and haircut.
The only item that would blend in my semi detached ex local authority two bedroomed would be the chair. I'd like that.
Wouldn't it be great to come across one of the missing Imperial Faberge eggs. I'd auction it on my blog. Wouldn't that be fun.

Shundo said...

Undoubtedly the Queen has more nice things than you shake a stick at, so it's nice that we can get to peek at a few of them. I respectfully disagree with the previous comment - I think the merchant looks rather more glum than I imagine our correspondent to be. The greyhound and the Carraccis are really wonderful - of course so is the Rembrandt, that kind of goes without saying.

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you Jim, A certain blogger does have his beard back though he does still have short hair. I don't think I've ever owned such a voluminous coat either - he must be roasted inside that thing even in the coldest of Venetian winters.

Shundo, I do try to be less glum than our merchant friend - I mostly succeed I think. Perhaps he's a bit put out at finding some of his no doubt expensive. sculptures broken.

Crafty Green Poet said...

a lovely collection indeed!

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you Juliet. It's not the cheapest exhibition in the world. We bought a ticket to the palace at the same time and the two came to £15.10 (I think the exhibition is around a tenner) but for a local person there is the great advantage that if you get it stamped and sign it while you're there, you have entrance for the entire year. I'm not sure how often they change their exhibitions though.

Ellie said...

When we were in Edinburgh a few weeks ago we did think about visiting this exhibition but decided against it. Definately some lovely things there. That painting of the dog is awesome!!

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

I like the portrait of the guy with his sculptures...and the huntress, who looks as though she's the decoration on a fancy cupcake!

CameraCruise said...

Lovely collection.
The shell is awesome.
Thanks for sharing.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Well I am impressed with the painting of Ms. Bas and the very idea of her hand holding the edge of the frame. A novel idea for that time period wouldn't you say?

Sandy's witterings said...

Ellie, there's too much in Edinburgh for one day trip - if you'd have gone in here you'd have missed something else.
I just noticed earlier that in the picture of Prince Albert's dog, the little stool is made up of a deer - even the feet.

Janet, There seems to have been quite a rise in the cupcake in recent years and many of them look almost too good to eat. Diana would look a treat on a cupcake but it would be straight into the cabinet rather than eaten.

You're very welcome and thanke you Mette

Mr Rembrandt was a clever chap and a little quirk like that does seem like a very up to date idea. Tromp l'oeil effects have been around for centuries mind, though this is a really subtle piece.

Dominic Rivron said...

I think its a shame Faberge eggs don't have construction projects tucked inside them the way Kinder eggs do.

Sandy's witterings said...

I think Faberge have missed a trick here Dominic. A little aeroplane in clip together parts (all in gold of course) would just about meet the bill.

Poppy said...

Wow, I love that Faberge Egg!! All the items you have shown are gorgeous, you would most definitely love the Wallace Collection which I blogged about a while ago! I took photos of lots of the exhibits there, but I am unable to share them, luckily I checked with the collection before I unwittingly posted them on my blog!! Hope you are having a good weekend :)

Sandy's witterings said...

I saw your blog on the Wallace collection - it looks rather cracking.