Conveying Cures


Wellcome Western Ms. 213, Liber Comitissae Arundeliae, London, Wellcome Collection

Lady Arundel’s collection of recipes consists primarily of remedies for a wide variety of diseases. The collection goes back to a handwritten book that Aletheia Talbot received as a wedding gift in 1606 from her mother-in-law Anne Dacre Howard, Countess of Arundel, now named Wellcome Western Ms. 213. Continue reading “Conveying Cures”

Joining Junius

Franciscus Junius, Dedication of The Painting of the Ancients, London 1638.

Lord Arundel’s collection and commitment to the arts is the subject of numerous studies. The research of ancient art, through the patronage of studies such as John Selden’s Marmora Arundelliana and De Pictura Veterum by Franciscus Junius, is counted among the most outstanding achievements of Lady Arundel’s husband. In 1638, Junius dedicated the English edition of his studies of the ancient theory of painting, The Painting of the Ancients, to Lady Arundel. Continue reading “Joining Junius”

Netherlandish Networks

Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Daniel Nijs, c. 1612-15, Oil on Oak, Dayton OH, Art Institute

Another contact of Lady Arundel in Venice was the merchant and agent Daniel Nijs. Nijs was friends with Fialetti, who years before had introduced him to the author Giulio Cesare Gigli. Continue reading “Netherlandish Networks”

Tizianello’s Life of Titian


Odoardo Fialetti after Agostino Carracci after Titian, Portrait of Titian, c. 1622, Etching, 150 x 120 mm , Hamburg, Kunsthalle

As generous as she was towards Fialetti, Lady Arundel was also towards Tiziano Vecellio, known as Tizianello, the great-nephew of the great master of the same name. Lady Arundel’s agenda in Venice becomes particularly clear in this peculiar case of attraction and betrayal. Continue reading “Tizianello’s Life of Titian”

Attracting Anthony

Anthony van Dyck, The Continence of Scipio, 1620–1621, Oil on Canvas,
183 x 232 cm, Oxford, Christchurch Picture Gallery

The Countess was a passionate admirer of Italy and of Italian art. Lady Arundel’s father, Gilbert Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, had already visited Venice around 1570 when he, like Lady Arundel’s sons, had studied at the University of Padua. He shared his admiration for the arts with his wife Mary Cavendish. On her first trip to Italy, Lady Arundel was in regular contact with artists and art agents. During her visit to Rubens’ workshop, Lady Arundel also met his already famed colleague, Anthony van Dyck. Continue reading “Attracting Anthony”

Following Vorsterman

Lucas Vorsterman after Agnolo Bronzino (prev. Andrea del Sarto), Holy Kinship, Copperplate Etching, ca. 1622, 234 x 190 mm, London, British Museum

Antonio Vercellini’s letter about Lady Arundel’s portrait session shows that Lady Arundel not only wanted to be portrayed, but was also actively looking for new artistic talent to recruit for the English court. Continue reading “Following Vorsterman”

Diana in Antwerp

Peter Paul Rubens, Lady Arundel and Her Train, 1620, Oil on cCnvas, 262,5 x 265 cm, München, Alte Pinakothek

Lady Arundel was the first English woman to be portrayed by Rubens. The decision to depict her surrounded by her entourage on a loggia in front of an Italian landscape with Solomonic columns in the background clearly conveys the strong impression that the Catholic Englishwoman made on the Antwerp master. Continue reading “Diana in Antwerp”

Lady Arundel 1654–2054

Peter Paul Rubens, Lady Arundel (Detail), 1620, München, Alte Pinakothek

This blog is dedicated to the extraordinary life and the times of Lady Arundel in preparation for the 400th anniversary of her death in 2054. It presents the results of a research project concluded at the University of Bern in 2017 as well as new insights and ideas for the celebration of the anniversary of the fascinating person of Lady Arundel.

Aletheia Talbot, Countess of Arundel was one of the great European collectors of the seventeenth century. The first English woman to have lived in Italy has been portrayed by the most important painters of her time. With her death in Amsterdam began the dispersion of one of the most impressive art collections of the period.