Just back from a short last-of-the-summer break in glorious Derbyshire. The sun shone every day and it was just fabulous. Visited Chatsworth and discovered they had 3000+ Old Masters and other works of art. I saw a Raphael cartoon, numerous Van Dykes, Gainsboroughs and Reynolds; two spectacular pieces by Franz Hals and, joy of joys, a real live John Singer Sargent, the very painting I have looked at so many times on the internet for help with painting white: Portrait of the Acheson Sisters (1902)
What I hadn't appreciated from studying this painting on the internet, is how absolutely enormous it is. Then rounding the corner, I found this fabulous Landseer:
painted about 1840, "Trial by Jury" it was bought by the then Duke on condition that his own dog, Bony, was added into the picture. Bony's little face can just be seen peeking out from behind the red chair on the right hand side of the painting. This painting is a satirical take on the pomposity of the judiciary and was inspired by a chance remark from a judge, overheard by Landseer at dinner, to the effect that the Count d'Orsay's French poodle would make a "capital Lord Chancellor".
Lots of images of the paintings at Chatsworth can be found on their site here.