When I rewatched Portrait of a Lady on Fire recently, it occurred to me that the main protagonist, the woman artist, could well be a fictional representation of the 18th century Neo-Classical painting sensation Angelika Kauffmann. Her father was a painter too and taught her his craft: I always considered her Austrian (having spent my childhood in Vienna), and it turns out her father was Austrian but she was born in Switzerland and lived a peripatetic lifestyle as a child prodigy. In later life she had great success in England and Italy, although she was denigrated (or ‘trolled’) as well as praised throughout her lifetime and beyond.
I like quirky, unusual, characterful beauty when it comes to human beings, but I have to admit that I am a bit of a classicist when it comes to buildings. Much as I admire daring modern architecture, there are few things that can be better than the perfect proportions of the Greek temple, which has been the inspiration for so much of Western architecture. So here are a few symmetrical houses that I admire.