I totally fell in love with this little girl yesterday.
I spent a leisurely day out having lunch and pottering round the City and the Guildhall Art Gallery. This is another of London’s great freebies, although it doesn’t have as many pictures on display as other more well known galleries. There are a few pre-Raphaelites and one or two interesting pictures documenting events such as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and the Lord Mayor’s show from some time in the nineteenth century.
Next door to the gallery is the official church of the Lord Mayor of London (not Boris!), St Lawrence Jewry. This is a Grade 1 Wren church with an interesting collection of stained glass windows, including one dedicated to Christopher Wren, Grinling Gibbons, and the master mason, Edward Strong, and the portraits of all three men are considered to be a good likeness. The church was more or less completely damaged during the Second World War and was reconstructed afterwards, so, at the bottom of this window, there is a detail showing the new twentieth century architect, Cecil Brown, discussing the restoration with the vicar of the time.
It is a welcoming church, and I enjoyed a cup of coffee while listening to the organist practising – as if I don’t get enough of this sort of thing at home!
So who is the little girl?
Well she is the grandaughter of pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais, and she is shown here sitting on a church pew. There is an equally delightful companion picture in which the little girl has fallen asleep during the sermon.
But I just love what she’s wearing. Should I be brave and dig out my red tights again?