Gandolfi, Gaetano, 1734-1802; Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery

‘Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery’ 1775 by Gaetano Gandolfi (1734-1802) is at Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries. Forgiveness is the key at the moment. The atmosphere on the streets of London today will be (desperately) alert but calm and the mantra of the moment must be ‘Father, forgive them, for they not not what they do.’


In tribute to the great city of Manchester, a portrait of Elizabeth Gaskell. She wrote Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life in part to escape the grief of losing her only son: as if one could ever escape the grief of losing a child. We are all in mourning today.

Poynter, Edward John, 1836-1919; Mrs Langtry (1853-1929)

The website has a new category: Adultery (go to Books at the top left and Categories is the second item down here), it consists of Fidelity, Patience, To Bed with Grand Music and Effi Briest. This is Mrs Langtry by Edward Poynter at Jersey Musem and Art Gallery. Four more paintings we could have used will follow on the Post this week. Please send suggestions for more titles to be added in, eg. should Someone at a Distance?


Jane Jacobs saved the world from some of this – of course there have been thousands and thousands of motorways. But not as many as there would have been without her.


So the reason we discovered Gerald Moira was because we found the bas-relief murals at Picturehouse Central. And the reason for being there there was to see Citizen Jane: Battle for the City. The trailer for the film is already on the Persephone Letter, as well as a photograph of Jane Jacobs, so today and tomorrow – two more photographs of her. This photo is in a good piece – ‘Remembering Mrs Jacobs’ here; it’s iconic – so characteristic of her, and it shows in the background exactly the kind of community/street scene she was trying to save from demolition (there is a block of flats in the background, perhaps as a deliberate contrast).

Washing Day exhibited 1938 by Gerald Moira 1867-1959

Washing Day 1938 is at the Tate. It’s a pencil and watercolour and emphasises again how odd it is that Moira’s work is so little known.

Moira, Gerald, 1867-1959; War Workers, 1914-1918

The War Workers 1916 by Gerald Moira (1867-1959) is a large (60 inches across) oil painting which is at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, it was in the artist’s own collection and then presented to the museum in 1942. It’s romanticised of course, with the flowing uniforms and a background that could be straight out of The Pilgrim’s Progress; but a superb painting, particularly poignant in today’s political climate when we have to wake up to the fact that the UK’s Foreign Secretary is allowed to use terminology like ‘Brussels bleeding the UK white’. That is disgraceful –  yet perhaps typical of ‘the bully boys throwing buns’ (Central Hall, Westminster Convention last week). Apologies for bringing politics onto the Persephone Post yet again – but pictures of the First World War are something completely different from pictures of flowers or women reading books – they engender completely different emotions.

hawking scene

A trip to Picturehouse Central at Piccadilly (the former Trocadero) was an unexpected delight last week: an excellent tavola calda (and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere)a good film, and extraordinary bas relief art nouveau murals (above the escalators); these were completed in 1896 by Gerald Moira and depict scenes from the Arthurian legends, this is ‘Hawking Scene’. More Gerald Moira this week and also something about the film – Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.


‘In twenty late paintings Tirzah Garwood created an imaginary world peopled by toys, plants, animals and children, enthralling in its skilfully rendered detail, arresting in its juxtaposition of scales. The Springtime of Flight is one such work in which, from the perspective of small child or an animal close to the ground, a flying machine of the type that used to appear above her and Eric’s childhood homes is seen climbing into the air’ (the penultimate sentence of Andy Friend’s book).


Thursday copy

Eleven Parachutes 1943: a watercolour from the months when Tirzah Garwood was writing (or in fact by then typing up) Long Live Great Bardfield, just after Eric Ravilious had been killed.

Back to top

59 Lamb's Conduit Street, London WC1N 3NB