we also popped into the fabulously grand Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. Sir Merton Russell Cotes, owner of the Royal Bath Hotel, had the house built for wife Annie in the grounds of the hotel in the late 19th century. as many of the wealthy Victorians did, the Russell Cotes loved to travel and collect. they accumulated a wonderful collection of paintings, sculptures and knick-knacks which, following Merton's mayorship of Bournemouth, they donated to the town.
wonderful portrait of local resident Stewart Granger
Rosetti's Venus Verticordia
we were delighted to see that there was even a painting (The Venetians) by a distant relative of ours, on my father's side, Sir Luke Fildes (1843-1927). we have always had a copy of his famous painting The Doctor hanging in our hallway - the original can be seen at Tate Britain.
The Doctor by Sir Luke Fildes
The Venetians by Sir Luke Fildes
on the way back to my parents we stopped at the Rufus Stone in the New Forest which marks the (alleged) spot where King William (nickname Rufus) was shot and killed with an arrow (allegedly) mistakenly by his French archer. said archer then fled the country, asking a blacksmith to put backward facing shoes on his horse to deter pursuers, but in fact as Rufus was such a baaaa...rbarian and not a popular monarch at all, he needn't've bothered as noone followed, in fact noone even collected the body. a local took the body to Winchester where a quiet burial was performed and everyone was very happy that the new King Henry was enthroned pdq.