I had a lovely morning with Caroline at The Wallace Collection yesterday
Our favourite painting was of a Dutch woman in a stylish cap who was making lace, by Caspar Netscher. On the floor in the painting were two discarded mussel shells, symbolising the fact that she had not been allowed to come out of her shell and was making lace as a means to control her. The gallery assistant, Zeta, told us that the painting had been presented at auction twice and nobody had wanted to buy it.
There were other paintings by the same artist- some of women playing musical instruments.
Dutch interiors are fascinating glimpses into the history of homes, a history that is all too often hidden or forgotten.
The Wallace Collection is fabulous; just a glimpse of those rococo frames makes me really happy before I've even looked at the paintings, and they even have special clock-winding events!
Oh yes- and The Laughing Cavalier lives there, too.