- Sarah Goodridge, Beauty Revealed. Self portrait miniature on ivory. 2 5/8th inches by 3 1/8th inches. American. 1828.

Let me just type that year again: 1828.

A variation on a Lover’s Eye, this was a gift from Goodridge to Daniel Webster (he who bargained with the devil in Stephen Vincent Benet’s short story) and discovered in his possessions after his death. Most descriptions of the duo’s relationship depict them as “friends and correspondents.”

Right. She painted 12 portraits of Webster over the years. He burned her letters. She kept his, and never married.

Here’s the rest of Sarah Goodridge, in another self-portrait from a couple of years later.

This little piece kills me. Cell phone porn and texted seductions are nothing new. We just keep reinventing ways to tell each other we’ve fallen in love.

Large (Wikimedia)

Pieter Christoffel Wonder painted this accurately if unimaginatively titled work, The Staircase of the London Residence of the Painter, in 1828.

In fact, the phrase “accurate if unimaginative” seems fairly well suited to the painting in general.

True, Wonder uses the game on the table—a hare and a pheasant—to include his signature (and more information about the house depicted).

His clothes, too, indicate something of how he wants to be perceived.

Much of the work reads, though, as a fairly straight record of the house itself. The light—on a tasseled cord, so it can be lowered and filled—the grandfather clock, the carpet, the little King Charles Spaniel and all seem more like an inventory than a composition.


January 23rd 1828: Saigō Takamori born

On this day in 1828, the famous Japanese samurai warrior Saigō Takamori was born in Kagoshima. He has often been called ‘the last samurai’. He went on to lead troops of the Satsuma region as they fought their rivals Chōshū. He opposed the opening and modernising of Japan in the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and the ruling Tokugawa Bakufu. He was a leader of the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion against the Meiji Government. Takamori was the basis for Ken Watanabe’s character in the 2003 film ‘The Last Samurai’.

This new Hubble image is a snapshot of NGC 986 a barred spiral galaxy discovered in 1828 by James Dunlop. This close-up view of the galaxy was captured by Hubbles Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 .