Somerville Gallery and the Coronavirus

Due to the current Coronavirus situation we have taken the sensible precaution to suspend formal opening hours of the Somerville Gallery in Otley. Whilst the foot count of visitors is usually not very heavy in a concentrated fashion, the nature of the screen panelling is such that close contact with other people is inevitable.

Should anyone wish to visit the Gallery we are quite happy to accommodate by appointment only for the time being.

By telephoning Ian or Jayne directly at the studio in Burley in Wharfedale : 01943 864349 arrangements can be made to suit most circumstances.

Ian will work solely from the studio for the time being.

We will keep the website updated with news as it develops and please don’t forget that most products can be distributed on line.

Leonardo Exhibition Inspires Ian to Copy the Master

Ian and Jayne Middleton attended this special exhibition and both were overawed with one particular work on display.

It was the ‘Lady with an Ermine’ and painted by Leonardo da Vinci around 1489–1490.

The subject of the portrait is Cecilia Gallerani, painted at a time when she was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and Leonardo was in the service of the duke. The painting is one of only four portraits of women painted by Leonardo, the others being the Mona Lisa, the portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci, and La belle ferronnière.

Disregarding the obvious arrogance of belief that he could make a passable copy, Ian went to town on the research even studying ex-rays of the painting and obsessively working to the palate colours at the time. Interestingly, Leonardo’s thumb print can be found on the lady’s face close up.

The result of Ian’s hard laboured efforts can now be seen as he releases the results on his website.