7 Cracking Christmas Outfits from Art History

Posted in Inside Scoop by Ruth Millington on 06th December 2018

The festive season brings with it a significant wardrobe change. Woolly Christmas jumpers appear at the office party. Or, perhaps you prefer a wintery onesie or Santa-patterned socks? Looking back through art history, it’s clear that it has always been the season to make an effort. And these characters have out-dressed us all.


1. Adoration of the Magi by Rubens

Adoration of the Magi, 1609 by Rubens (Wiki Comms).


There ain’t no party like a Rubens Christmas party. Richly embroidered dresses, flowing silk loin cloths, and jewelled capes make it hard to choose a best-dressed guest. That feather, though.


2. Hand-coloured Etching for Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol First Edition by John Leech

John Leech, hand-coloured etching for Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol first edition (Wiki Comms).


The Ghost of Christmas Present makes quite an appearance with this faux fur-lined green robe and crown of holly. Shame on you Scrooge, you need some new pyjamas.


3. The Three Magi, Byzantine Mosaic

The Three Magi, Byzantine Mosaic c.565 (Wiki Comms).


Nothing screams sovereignty like Christmas sparkle on your leggings. Not only that, but these three Queens Kings have also coordinated in matching caps.


4. The Glorification of the Virgin by Geertgen tot Sint Jans

The Glorification of the Virgin, c.1490–1495 by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (Wiki Comms).


Not wanting to be outdone by his mother’s red cape and crown, a very tiny baby Jesus has stolen baubles from the tree and is about to appropriate them as earrings. It’s all about the accessories.


5. A Holiday at Mentone by Charles Condor

A Holiday at Mentone, 1888 by Charles Condor (Wiki Comms).


Going abroad for the holiday season? Make sure you pack your sunscreen, suit and top hat. Although, one beach guest has already overheated and passed out on the sand. Swimming trunks might be a smarter choice, after all.


6. The Procession of the Magi Benozzo Gozzoli

Detail: The Procession of the Magi ,1459 by Benozzo Gozzoli (Wiki Comms).


Whose family doesn’t force them on a winter’s walk at some point over Christmas? If you’re taking the horses too then make sure you’re matching, like this lot. Red and gold is a strong look.  


7. Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry)

Detail: Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry c.1412 – 1416 (Wiki Comms).


Even in Medieval times crazy Christmas socks were considered cute. Want to look fit for a feast? Select odd socks, and pull them right up.

Time to re-think that Christmas jumper?



Ruth Millington
is an arts and culture blogger, freelance writer and art historian.


Dawn Beckles | Putting the Life in Still Life

Posted in In the Studio by Aimee Morris on 29th November 2018

London-based artist Dawn Beckles reinvigorates the classic still life style by incorporating in her works vibrant colour, contemporary settings and exotic flora inspired by her native Barbados. Her maximalist interiors and characterful ceramics explore the relationship between people and the environments they construct around themselves. We catch up with Dawn to find out more about her process and the philosophy underlying her art.


Dawn working away at Wimbledon Art Studios in London.


What is it about the still life that appeals to you and how have you reinterpreted this classic style of painting?

For me, still life paintings are a reflection of childhood memories and travelling. The idea of a solid object that is selected to accentuate an interior or exterior based on its colour and aesthetic, is fascinating. Ceramics can often be an afterthought with little meaning or relevance - it’s my intention to bring them to the forefront. They can add colour, vibrance and life to an environment.


I Can Feel It by Dawn Beckles.


Can you tell us a bit about your process?

With all of my paintings I like to start with a neon base, from there I will build the room or setting using collated imagery. I use a room layout that I find appealing and I set about dressing it, layer by layer. Adding collage paintings, paintings, plants and furniture. For me it’s important for them to be inviting, warm and happy and to give the viewer an insight to something imagined.


Chinoiserie by Dawn Beckles.


Are the interiors you create based on real spaces or are they imagined?

All of the interiors that I create are imagined. I find maximalist interiors and clashing colours intriguing and every 6 months I put together a collection of these, with pieces of furniture, artwork, plants, flowers and patterns that I have come across. I then print these and create a mood board that works in conjunction with my colour wall and this is used as inspiration in my upcoming body of work.


It's Me, Maybe You by Dawn Beckles.


How do your roots in Barbados influence your work?

The light is most definitely different in Barbados and therefore my approach to colour reflects that. I find the local plants and animals extremely inspiring and am actively including some of these in my newest pieces. For example “Flying Blossoms” depicts flying fish which is on the Barbados Coat of Arms.


Dawn in her studio.


What are your ambitions for the future?

If the last year has taught me anything, it’s that when you do what you are most afraid of it challenges the way you think and perceive your practice and for me it has opened the door to possibilities.


Dummy Figure House by Dawn Beckles.


Often we can become stuck in boxes created either by others or ourselves and it’s important to realise that you and only you are in control. I am going to continue to work hard to produce and show my work, and see where that takes me.


Browse Dawn's works >> 



Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Posted in Inside Scoop by Aimee Morris on 28th November 2018

Jamie Ford is our newly-appointed Managing Director of Asia Pacific and she'll be leading Rise Art's expansion into Asia. Jamie has extensive experience in cross-cultural, interdisciplinary management and cultivation. She has spearheaded strategic initiatives in both the US and Greater China. 


Our new Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Jamie Ford.


Jamie's appointment comes as Rise Art looks to expand internationally. Over the last two years, we've hosted a handful of pop-ups and events in Hong Kong. Now we'll be doubling the size of our operations and customer service team to support this growth. 


Matthew presenting a talk on collecting art in the 21st Century. 


Earlier this month, Rise Art CEO Scott Phillips and Curatorial Director Matthew Hockley Smith (above) joined Jamie in Hong Kong to host a number of events focused on the rise of digital platforms and China's place in the global art market.


Discussion during one of the Rise Art events at KEF Music Gallery.


Multiple investors in Rise Art are now based in Asia, including Hong Kong based Entrepreneur and Art Collector Vicky Xu, as well as Derek Collins, Dean of Arts at Hong Kong University. Over the next 12 months, we'll be ramping up acitivties in the Hong Kong region and growing a local team around Jamie. Asia here we come...

Jamie at one of the Rise Art events in Hong Kong earlier this month.


Browse our latest collection of works under £1,000 >>

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