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Eric Roberts

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Eric Roberts last won the day on April 10

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  1. Back on topic, I recently came across an article by Ella Horsey (BACONIANA Vol. XXXV No. 140 July 1951) that not only challenges the view that Francis's marriage was a failure, but argues that his wife may have played a central role in the feigning of his own death. My apologies to anyone who has already read the article, but for those who haven't, like myself, it is interesting to hear a cogent interpretation of Francis Bacon's marriage to Alice Barnham written by a female Baconian. It presents his intimate life, not as a failure due to his neglect and Alice's capriciousness, but in a much more positive light. ALICE BARNHAM by Ella Horsey .pdf
  2. I was wrong. The FBS archive is housed in the Senate House Library after all: https://encore.libraries.london.ac.uk/iii/encore/search/C__SFrancis Bacon society__Orightresult__X0?lang=eng&suite=cobalt No sign of the copy of the picture by van Somer I'm looking for, but I did find a better image of the Senate House portrait on the Art.UK site.
  3. Still in search of the lost portrait of Sir Francis by Paul van Somer which once belonged to author, Baconian and psychic, Ella Horsey. No reply as yet from either Gov.UK regarding her will and probate documents or from Art.UK's senior art detective, Bendor Grosvenor. Meanwhile, I'm reading one of her two books - "A Chant of Pleasant Exploration" (1962) in which she elaborates on her discovery of the portrait. See earlier post. She mentions that the portrait "is one of my most precious possessions" which suggests that she would have retained it until she died in 1982. Today, I found a review of the book I'm reading in Baconiana No. 163, 1963. It mentions that she had a copy of the van Somer portrait made which she donated to the Francis Bacon Society. The copy, either a photograph or an oil painting, was on display in the office of the FBS at Canonbury Tower in Islington. This is odd because according to Wikipedia, the Society's occupancy at Canonbury ended in 1940. The book review written in 1963 (see below) states that the Society was still there over twenty years later. I wonder if Ella Horsey, who was born in Islington in 1885 and lived there until she was in her mid-teens, was aware that Francis Bacon held the lease of Canonbury between 1616-1625 and that very probably he was responsible for planting the ancient mulberry tree that still survives in the hidden courtyard. https://www.moruslondinium.org/research/canonbury-heritage-mulberry I also wonder where the reproduction of Ella's purportedly original van Somer portrait of Francis is today... the FBS archives would seem the best bet, but where are they located? Not in the Senate House Library apparently. Does anyone know the current whereabouts of the Society's famous collection of books, MS and artefacts? Please help if you can.
  4. Thanks for posting this chapter from Jean Overton Fuller's book. I have put off buying the book for some time, but there is a lot here to reckon with re: the portraits.
  5. Were he still of this world, Sir Francis would compose a most elegant and meaningful letter of thanks to you both.
  6. Brief Update: Missing FB Portrait, Possibly by Van Somer 1. Emailed Bendor Grosvenor who is an expert in 16th & 17th Century portraits and a group leader on the Art UK website. Sent him the attachment below asking for any advice about how to trace Ella Horsey’s picture. 2. Emailed the Findhorn Foundation on their Isle of Erraid website to request a photo of a portrait of Ella Horsey. She wrote a book about her experiences on Erraid called “Seven Years on a Scottish Islet” published in 1967 about her life as a reclusive writer on the island from 1952 – 1959 when she was in her seventies. She also wrote another book titled “A Chant of Pleasant Exploration” (1962) about living with the grief of losing loved ones. 3. Have tried to access her will and probate records on Gov.UK without success. Nothing comes up. I have written to archivists for assistance in locating her files. LOST PORTRAIT OF SIR FRANCIS BACON BY PAUL VAN SOMER I.pdf
  7. I didn't mean to be flippant - this is a very powerful piece of graphic design. And this entire website truly deserves an international design award. I can't believe how much attention to detail has gone into its construction. Everything works beautifully. Thank you Rob. You're a genius!
  8. My suggestion (addressed to Shaksper): “Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell” (Othello, Act 4, Sc. 2)
  9. Love the idea of a giant billboard!!! Needs a caption, though - or a thought bubble. Why don't we move it to the anti-stratfordian cartoon competition topic and invite suggestions? No prizes - only fun...
  10. Thanks for the question but I'm no expert when it comes to the techniques of Elizabethan portraiture. However, Sir Roy Strong, former director of the NPG, gives us a few insights in the introduction to "Tudor and Jacobean Portraits", Vol. 1, 1969. Here is a short extract:
  11. I see what you're getting at. The close resemblance between these two 'mystery' portraits of Francis is undeniable. The red picture is in the Royal Lazienki Museum in Warsaw. https://www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl/en/katalog/obiekty/lkr-896. What is unusual about this "early copy" (1620-22) is the tight framing of the figure, just like the portrait which belonged to Ella Horsey. Could it be that her's was an original variation by van Somer on which the red portrait was based? There are one or two small discrepancies, e.g. the spacing between the buttons on the right shoulder, the white tassel hanging from the ruff in Ella's picture, and the ruff itself, but the faces do seem to line up. Thank you so much for the video! Intriguing.
  12. Thanks so much for the suggestion of contacting Graham Cameron. I've looked up his impressive credentials. I'm just a little wary of someone who claims that the Mona Lisa was based on Leonardo's mother. But we definitely need an art detective willing to take on the search for Ella's missing portrait. I've managed to find out more about her, thanks to Ancestry, including a reference number which I think pertains to her Will or probate records. I'm going to attempt a Wills search on Gov.UK.
  13. I should have said at the end of my letter that "if the painting is authentic" it must date from 1618-21. You may well still be right. Only if and when the picture is found and put before qualified art historians can it be definitively identified, either as a copy or a genuine van Somer. The problem is: what did Ella do with it? And who has it now? I emailed Susan McIlroy about the portrait the other day, but it seems that she knows nothing about it. The FBS must have a record of Ella Horsey somewhere in their archives. If we had an address it might be possible to find out who she left her estate to. Presumably, someone has the picture in their private collection and is keeping quiet about it - a pity as we're talking about a work potentially of international significance.
  14. Having a little trouble uploading. Hope you can read the PDF letter to you I've attached. It doesn't address your concerns with the quality of the painting which I need to think more about and get back to you later on. Thanks so much for your interest. Ella's Portrait.pdf Ella's Portrait.pdf
  15. As intriguing and attractive as this portrait of a young Elizabethan gentleman is, when placed beside the unquestionably authentic portrait of Francis aged 17-18, for me at least, the only conclusion is that they are not of the same person. Domage!
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