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Beware the Dangers of Popery (and Other Notable Documents)

25 February, 2011

This letter rack strikes the Author as a clever idea for interior design—she would like to use it for her own room, if only she had adequate wall space and enough letters to fill it (phone bills and bank statements wouldn’t be terribly attractive.  The Author mourns the precipitous decline of hand-written letters).

Thomas Warrender’s 1708 trompe l’oeil Still Life gives insight into this Scottish Gentleman’s life, his religious and political beliefs, his grooming and gambling habits.

Among his possessions deemed worthy for this painting is a pamphlet on the ‘Dangers of Popery’, the agreement of the Solemn League and Covenant between Scottish Covenanters and English Parliamentarians, a comb, a pocket watch with a pretty ribbon, and playing cards.  And in lieu of a mirror, Mr. Warrender hangs a portrait of himself.  Not the most attractive fellow, unfortunately.

Warrender still life

Postcard from the National Gallery in Edinburgh

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 18 March, 2011 6:49 pm

    ooohh just found you ! This is one of my MOST favourite paintings It contains all the things which I love to look at. Thankyou
    the card is on my wall
    Fay

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