Thursday, December 04, 2008

Regency research at the National Portrait Gallery

I should have done it ages ago, but I've only just visited the Regency rooms at the National Portrait Gallery and found them well worthwhile.
They are up on the second floor, logically following on from the 18thc rooms and include Royalty, Celebrity and Scandal, Art, Invention and Thought and The Romantics.
But best of all for research is the Regency Portrait Explorer located at the far end of Room 20. This is a touch screen giving access to the behind the scenes resources of paintings, prints and sculptures arranged by topic or group. So if you want to look at fireplaces or fans, military men or explorers, here they all are, along with an interesting timeline with key portraits for each year.
Armed with the name of your favourite sitter or artist you can go to the touch screen terminal in the shop and order a print of the picture in a variety of sizes from £5 for A4 on high quality photo paper.
I came away with this picture of Sir John Fox Burgoyne by Thomas Heaphy, one of his preliminary sketches for a panoramic picture of Wellington and his Waterloo officers. Sir John is a perfect model for Hal Carlow, the hero of the next book I will be writing, so I was thrilled to find him.
Louise Allen


Jan Jones said...

Fabulous, Louise. I've been to the NPG, but didn't know about the portrait finder. I know where I'll be next time I have a couple of hours to while away in London.

And I do like your Hal.

Jane Odiwe said...

I always have to go and have a look at the lovely portrait that Cassandra Austen painted of her sister Jane. It is very small but beautifully painted and seeing the real thing is so much better than looking at reproductions in books.

annie burrows said...

Now I know what Hal looks like when in uniform!
I'm definitely going to go to the national portrait gallery for inspiration for my heroes when I get a chance!
Annie B