THE SMALL STATUE of a king (Fig.21), now to be seen in a large niche on the south side of Bishop Alcock's chantry chapel at Ely Cathedral, has been neglected by scholars of English medieval sculpture, although it possesses many qualities which ought to have drawn attention to it. First, the statue, carved from a local limestone known as clunch, is intact: with only minor abrasions and slight damage to the hair and hands, it is a fortunate survivor of the extensive Reformation iconoclasm at Ely. It can be securely dated between 1488, the date on the foundation stone of the chapel, and 1500 when Bishop Alcock was buried there, and it is of the very highest quality, testifying to the discerning patronage of the bishop who was comptroller of the Royal Works under Henry VII.2 The image is also of consider-able interest as the only undamaged figure left in a chapel which once contained 262 statues, and whose lavish decoration placed it in the first rank of late medieval chantry chapels.
IN HIS study of the life and times of William Hogarth, Ronald Paulson mentions a letter written on 4th April 1761 by Hogarth to the Reverend Herbert Mayo and published in 1923 in The Living Age with a brief commentary by an anonymous contributor. Paulson was able to trace the letter only to a 1922 catalogue advertisement, in which it was being offered for sale by a book-seller named Edwards. As a result of this or some other sale, the letter passed into the collection of autograph letters belonging to the English painter William Westley Manning. After Manning's death in 1954, the contents of his collection were catalogued for auction by Sotheby's, and on 12th October 1954 the Hogarth letter was acquired by the University of Kansas, where it remains today as part of the rich collection of eighteenth-century English manuscripts housed in the Department of Special Collections of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library.
THE YOUNG Paul Nash wrote in a letter of 1912 to his friend and mentor Gordon Bottomley:'.. . I have tried ... to paint trees as tho they were human beings not that I realised myself in the same boat with any one, or that the Chinese masters had succeeded where me in the boat had failed; but because I sincerely love & worship trees & know they are people'. These words offer a major clue to the meaning of Nash's picture Event on the Downs, painted twenty-two years later, which is the subject of this article (Fig. 1).
A LONDON MERCHANT of the seventeenth century described 'Foreign Trade, or the Noble Profession of the Merchant', as 'the great Revenue of the King; the Honour of the Kingdom; the School of our Arts; the supply of our Wants; the employment of our Poor ... the Means of our Treasure; the Sinews of our Wars and the Terror of our Enemies'. Many similar eulogies occur throughout the eighteenth century, from Addison and Defoe onwards.' London was becoming the foremost trading and financial centre of Europe, and Defoe believed that many of its merchant princes had greater spending power than the landed gentry and nobility. Apologists for the merchants were well aware that wealth alone could not secure respect, and that labouring for gain carried a traditional stigma; but, they insisted, merchants created their country's greatness, as well as their own fortunes. They were, moreover, men of liberal principles, seasoned by experience of 'the Great World' and, like Addison's Sir Andrew Freeport, 'noble and generous'. As British goods gained ascendancy in the international markets, it was widely remarked that growing prosperity brought in its train more cosmopolitan manners, and a more polished taste for the arts. 'Commerce has discovered these improvements, and has borrowed from them new and a new enthused the Rev. R.A. wings expansion', Bromley. 'Hence Britain is become a new emporium to the whole earth, the emporium of taste and elegance'.
A BEAUTIFUL kit-cat portrait by George Romney in the collection of Sir Philip Antrobus (Fig.32) has been wrongly identified since the mid-nineteenth century: it has been variously exhibited as 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire', 'Jane, Duchess of Gordon', and even published as 'Lady Antrobus'.* However, as will be shown, the sitter can be identified as Lady Elizabeth Foster, whom Romney is known to have painted in 1791.
BETWEEN 1685 and 1690 the 'Line of Kings' was set up at the Tower of London Armouries (now the Royal Armouries) in the recently constructed Horse Armoury now known as the New Armouries. In this display, a selection of the Kings of England from William the Conqueror onwards were mounted on wooden figures and horses commissioned from some of the finest sculptors of the day, including Grinling Gibbons, John Nost, William Emmett, Marmaduke Townson, William Morgan and Thomas Quillans. The display remained in the Horse Armoury until it was reorganised by Dr (later Sir) Samuel Rush Meyrick in 1826-27, and moved to the New Horse Armoury, a Gothick building constructed on the south side of the White Tower. This building was demolished in 1883, when the displays were transferred inside the White Tower.