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21 July 2021


Elizabeth Forbes (1859-1912) was born in Canada and lived  and worked in the UK. She was married to the painter Stanhope Forbes. School is Out was painted in 1889. Apologies to those with long memories as we may have had this on the Post before, but it so bears repeating. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the marvellous Anne with an E which got us through the first spring and summer of lockdown. If anyone can recommend something equally good for this summer please let us know.

20 July 2021

Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) was a Dutch still life and flower painter, there is an interesting video about her incredible work here.

19 July 2021

Naturally we have had women painters on the Post before, several times, but here are five this week that may be new to Persephone readers. This Iris (1675-80) is by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). Merian was the most fascinating person, there is a biography of her and more details (with beautiful illustrations) here.

16 July 2021

'People' 1947 was designed by Barnett Freedman as a poster for Lyons. 'This print was one of a series of 16 published by the catering company J. Lyons & Co Ltd. Originally intended to decorate Lyons' tea-shops, they were soon in demand by people keen to enliven the post-war dreariness of their own homes. Lyons subsequently reprinted and sold them to the public' (V & A website). A copy of the original lithograph is for sale at Liss Llewellyn here.

15 July 2021

'Naval Commander-in-Chief's HQ Wireless Telegraph Rooms in the night of 5 June 1944' needs no more explanation, the atmosphere is so highly charged and convincing – this is exactly how it was. Barnett Freedman's painting can be bought as a print here. Whenever we feel inclined to grumble or be depressed about current circumstances, we should think (but easier said than done) about what was happening in June 1944. Or read Few Eggs or London War Notes or indeed so many Persephone books: a full list of our twenty-three WW2 books is here.

14 July 2021

This alphabet, named Claudia after Barnett Freedman's wife, was designed in 1935. The Pallant sells it as a tea towel here.

13 July 2021

Soon Barnett Freedman was designing posters for Shell and London Transport. We would sell these in the shop if we could! (We always have one, framed, vintage poster for sale at any one time, at the moment a beautiful 'please use your correct address' poster of Stanton in the Cotswolds.) The Theatre (1936) was one of a pair with The Circus.

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