Esther Chadwick

Esther Chadwick teaches art history at the Courtauld Institute.


Unfair to Reynolds

7 January 2021

James Hall points out Joshua Reynolds’s close engagement with abolitionism in the 1780s (Letters, 21 January). One might also add that in the final year of his life he subscribed to the second edition of Ottobah Cugoano’s Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (1791), the most searing anti-slavery tract of the period, written by a man who had first-hand experience of the subject. What...

In​ 1636, Diogo Antioine and Catharina Antonis appeared at a notary’s office in Amsterdam, the city where they lived. They were engaged and had already registered their marriage at city hall. Now they proceeded to draw up a will. In the presence of a Spanish interpreter, Josias Doria, they appointed three men – Christoffel Capitano, Anthony and Francisco – as their heirs....

At Tate Modern: Anni Albers

Esther Chadwick, 6 December 2018

Anni Albers​ joined the Bauhaus in 1922, four years after the end of the First World War. ‘Outside was the world I came from, a tangle of hopelessness, of undirected energy, of cross-purposes. Inside, here, at the Bauhaus after some two years of its existence, was confusion, too, I thought, but certainly no hopelessness or aimlessness, rather exuberance with its own kind of...

From The Blog
16 November 2017

A perfect farm animal, according to the 18th-century agronomist Robert Bakewell, would be shaped like a hogshead cask, ‘truly circular, with as small and as short legs as possible’. Bakewell’s ideal was founded ‘upon the plain principle that the value lies in the barrel’. There was no need for long limbs or lean necks: ‘all is useless that is not beef.’ This applied not only to cattle, but to pigs and sheep too, which after 1750 came to be reared as ‘production line animals’.

At the V&A: Opus Anglicanum

Esther Chadwick, 5 January 2017

‘English​ Work’, opus anglicanum, was a luxurious kind of embroidery made in England in the 13th and 14th centuries, used to decorate ecclesiastical vestments – copes, chasubles, dalmatics – as well as banners, book bags, seal covers, cushions and other objects. Fabric grounds of linen, wool and silk were covered in figural scenes and rhythmic or sinuous ornament...

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