The Celeb Cult


There are those who love to dance.

They cant stop thinking of dancing.

There are those who want to sing.

They cant stop thinking of singing.

There are those who love to act.

They cant stop thinking of acting.

There are those who want to paint.

They cant stop thinking of painting.

And there are those who want to be famous.

They cant stop thinking about people thinking about them.

Pompeo Batoni – Colonel the Hon. William Gordon, 1765


Pompeo Batoni – Colonel the Hon. William Gordon, 1765

It’s XVIII century fashion plus Scottish pride. Oh, yeah.

A Gordon,a Gordon, a Gordon BYDAND!

(Ps.Bydand = Scots for “Abide”, motto / warcry of Clan Gordon)

Artist Batoni, Pompeo (Italian painter and draftsman, 1708-1787)
Title Colonel the Hon. William Gordon of Fyvie
Alternative/previous titles Colonel the Hon. William Gordon; Colonel William Gordon; Gen. the Hon. John William Gordon.
Date 1766 (dated)
Material oil on canvas
Measurements 258.2 x 186.1 cm
Inscription front ll ‘POMPEJUS BATONI PINXIT/ ROMAE ANNO 1766’, front lr ‘Gen.l The Hon.ble John William Gordon’.
Description William Gordon (1736-1816) is depicted in Rome during his Grand Tour. Although he wears the uniform of the Queen’s Own Royal Highlanders, his tartan has been arranged to look like a stylised Roman toga.While typical of Batoni’s portraits in its general confidence and swagger, this image particularly captures the ideals of the grand tourist abroad. Gordon stands in front of the Colosseum and next to a statue depicting the personification of Rome. During his visit to Rome, James Boswell saw Batoni working on the portrait on 17 April 1765, writing, ‘Yesterday morning saw Batoni draw Gord. Drapery’.
Subject portrait (Gordon, Colonel the Hon. William); townscape; military and war; place (Rome)
Collection National Trust for Scotland (Fyvie Castle)

Victorian / Edwardian Paintings


Horace Castelli – Opium smokers dreaming, illustration from ‘Journal des Voyages’, 27th January 1878

Scalpels, quills and no pain relief: Gruesome procedures outlined in 19th century surgical guide to nose jobs


One of the earliest books in English detailing the science of cosmetic surgery for noses has been unearthed at a house clearance. The book is called Surgical Observations On The Restoration Of The Nose; And On The removal Of Polypi And Other Tumours From The Nostrils. It was written by a surgeon for surgeons and is a guide on how to carry out the procedures. The author, John Stevenson, published the work in 1833 and translated the first part from a German text by a Dr Dieffenbach.

Thomas Faed – The end of a happy day

Lawrence Alma-Tadema – The Inundation, 1856

Lawrence Alma-Tadema – The Death of Hippolyte, 1860

Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Dealer in Statues