Art history - portrait of John Russell
“Portrait of Colonel The Hon. John Russell,” by John Michael Wright © National Trust Images

To celebrate the recent publication of art dealer, art historian, and independent curator Angus Haldane’s The Face of War: Portraits of the English Civil Wars, Haldane Fine Art has organized a US book and lecture tour in collaboration with the Royal Oak Foundation.

Secrets, Spies, and Subterfuge: Civil War Portraits Revealed
From the Royal Oak Foundation:

Roundhead against Cavalier, Royalist against Parliamentarian, Dandy against Puritan. The English Civil Wars not only divided the country’s religious beliefs, it compromised family loyalties and often exposed weaknesses between husbands and wives.

Fine art historian and curator Angus Haldane, author of the recently published book The Face of War: Portraits of the English Civil Wars, will explore these nuances of British politics, religion and fashion and show the profound effect the civil conflict had on English society, as depicted in portraits which still hang at National Trust properties.

“Portrait of John Byron, 1st Lord Byron,” by William Dobson © Tabley House Collection, Manchester University

A series of monumental paintings by Isaac Fuller depicting King Charles II’s escape from England includes a representation of Jane Lane, later Lady Fisher, who helped the king escape by dressing him as her servant. A portrait of Lady Jane also hangs at Moseley Old Hall.

Oliver Cromwell commanded on the battlefield and dominated in the Parliamentary chamber, but was weakened by superstition of ghostly presences at Dunster Castle, where his portrait now hangs.

Prince Rupert slashed and seduced his way throughout Europe, always accompanied by his poodle Boye, depicted with the prince in his Ashdown House portrait.

Women played an important part and the gathering of intelligence between London, and Oxford was often the work of women who could and did infiltrate the beds of those with influence. A portrait of Jane Whorwood depicts the beautiful, red-haired Royalist spy who concealed gold in barrels of soap, used aqua fortis to corrode the bars of Charles II’s prison cell, and shared the king’s bed.

Mr. Haldane will illustrate the lives of those who took part on both sides and will discuss the stories, vanities, gossip, and political allegiances behind the portraits.

Tour Dates:
New York City – Monday, April 30
Philadelphia – Tuesday, May 1
Boston – Wednesday, May 2
Washington DC – Monday, May 7
Visit www.royal-oak.org for more information.


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