About

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I’m an art historian and picture dealer, with a love of everything up to 1830 and much afterwards. This site will be a place to discuss my paintings that I’m working on at the moment, and to think out-loud about random bits of history and art history that have grabbed me.

I originally read classics and then ancient and modern history at Christ Church, Oxford. Studying the Early Renaissance in Florence led me to Art History, and I took a Master’s in the Italian Baroque at the Courtauld Institute. My first practical experience of the art market was portering at Bonhams. I then joined the publishing department of the National Gallery, London. This was a fascinating exposure to work behind the scenes at a great museum. I had the privilege of working with Philip Mould at Historical Portraits for six extremely enjoyable years before leaving in 2005 as Associate Director of Research to set up on my own as a dealer and researcher.

My publications include The Shannon Portrait of The Hon. Robert Boyle in On the Boyle No.4 January 2001, catalogue entries for The Stuart Portrait Status and Legacy (ed. Prof. Edward Chaney and Godfrey Worsdale, Southampton City Museum and Art Gallery 2001) and contributions on British portraiture to The Affordable Face the annual catalogue of Steigrad Fine Art, New York.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello James,
    We are two members of the Plymouth University of the Third Age (U3A) Looking at Art Group and are putting together A lunchtime talk and PowerPoint Presentation on Women Artists of the 16th- 19th centuries.
    We were delighted to discover your web site when were made aware the Sir Joshua Reynolds sister Frances with whom he lived in Devonport after leaving London and Thomas Hudson was also a painter, poet and writer in her own right. This was something unknown to us!. The talk will take place in front of the newly acquired Sir Joshua Reynolds self Portrait c.1746 that he painted to display in his Devonport shop window at that time and we will pass on just what he thought about her efforts!
    Thank you for giving us a greater insight to this much maligned woman!

    Also I am running a tour, for our group in May to Cheltenham and Bristol Art Galleries and we shall ask to see if possible Frances’s painting of Hannah More, ‘her masterpiece’ it certainly looks on your website.
    with many thanks,
    Viv Andrews and Anna Walker

    • Thank you both very much. It is my pleasure. I’m so glad you liked the post – Frances Reynolds was a remarkable woman. It was fascinating to explore her life, which was new ground to me too. I hope that your talk goes well, and that you are able to see the portrait of Hannah More. I’m glad you’ll be able to introduce Frances and her work to a wider audience. Thank you so much again for your comment. Very best wishes, James

  2. Hi Jame
    I have 2 large copies of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, Imperial Edition edited by Charles Knight. My Mum got them from a jumble sake in Buckinghamshire in 1970’s for £2!! Inside we found an old pic of a man reading 2 large books with Gainsborough written on the back in pencil. Can I send them to you? Would love to find out who it is.
    Sara

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