Defining a dynasty- a gem of a show.

Defining a dynasty- a gem of a show.

For colour – and sheer quality – Bath’s Holburne Museum has got itself a little gem of a new exhibition which brings together a variety of artistic work – across the whole  Bruegel family dynasty – for the first time in this country.


Guests admire the newly-discovered masterpiece.

Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty helps unravel the complex family tree – revealing the originality and diversity of its members across four generations of painters.


Thirty-five works are on display – including masterpieces from the National Gallery, Royal Collection Trust, the National trust, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Barber lnstitute of Fine Arts.

Pride of place goes to the discovery of a masterpiece in the museum’s own collection.

This is Director Jennifer Scott’s last big show before she leaves for a new post as Director of the Dulwich Gallery in London.


Bruegel expert Amy Orrock and Holburne Director Jennifer Scott.

She has co-curated the display with Bruegel expert Amy Orrock who has also written  a book to accompany the exhibition.


The book Amy Orrock has written to accompany the exhibition.

lt’s not the biggest of galleries to lay out such an exclusive exhibition but – with a clever use of space and colour – the Holburne’s succeeded in providing the perfect background to show off both the talent and diversity of Antwerp’s most famous artistic dynasty and give you room to appreciate it.

Bath Newseum spoke to Jennifer and Amy – just before the special preview.


A book to accompany the exhibition Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty is written by Amy Orrock and published by Philip Wilson and will be on sale in the Holburne’s Gift Shop for £16.95.

Principal Exhibition Sponsor Bath Spa University Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty 11 February – 4 June 2017 £10 Full Price | £9 concessions | £5 Art Fund, Full Time Student | FREE Entry to under 16s and All Museum Members All tickets purchased online will state 5pm but are valid at any time during our opening hours The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB

Open daily, free admission 10am to 5pm (11am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays) T: 01225 388569 | E: |

A little light cleaning

A little light cleaning

It’s cleaning time in the ballroom at Bath’s Assembly Rooms. These are some of the most important chandeliers to have survived from the 18th century.


Cleaning the chandeliers in the ballroom of Bath’s Assembly Rooms.

Mounted on pulleys they are lowered twice a year for cleaning. The three in the tea room and the five here in the ballroom are by William Parker of Fleet Street.

An earlier set in the ballroom – made by Jonathan Collett – were dismantled just one month after the Rooms opened in 1771.

Seems part of one of them collapsed arm and fell to the floor – narrowly missing painter Thomas Gainsborough as he danced beneath.


Chandeliers ‘hover’ just above the ballroom floor.

They were taken down and the best bits put together to form a singular large chandelier for the Octagon. This is where fortunes were made or lost at the card tables.

Roman road at Claverton Down

Roman road at Claverton Down

Nice to hear from local historian and writer  John Branston about an interesting discovery at Claverton Down. In an email to the Virtual Museum he says:

The exposed Roman edging  exposed at Claverton Down.

The Roman road edging exposed at Claverton Down.

‘Thought you might like to know the following. A friend lives at Chedworth Close, Claverton Down, and it’s widely known that the Roman road from Bradford comes in along the strip of land between Chedworth Close and the woods.

Last week, National Trust works to create a new path surface uncovered one of the kerbs of the Roman road.

On Sunday three of us got the trowels out and exposed a few more, plus a little of the ‘surface’. Actually the surface flag stones are gone, but the rest is in good shape.
Thought you might like to go and take a look. Maybe B&NES and the National Trust could start a project to reinstate a 100m section of road? Beyond the Baths, our Roman heritage is not very evident…’