The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn: Music, Art and Literary References.


Once I have finished with each series I will post a downloadable excel sheet for each category; music, art and literary references. This would allow everyone who downloads said excel sheets to print them off for personal use. Hopefully, having these print outs next to you while you watch the episode will be of help in identifying your favourite pieces of music from all three series. In the same vein the downloadable excel sheets will I hope help in your enjoyment and appreciation of the art and literary references used in all three series.

Of course I am not infallible (I know I was shocked to realise that trait in myselfūüėČ ) so if you should spot an error or omission then please let me know and I will update my post with the new information.

The time of the pieces of music et cetera are based on the British DVD versions of the shows. However, the times shown should not be to dissimilar from other countries versions or should be easy to pinpoint what I am referring  to and when.

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. (Series 1, Episode 2)

(Chronologically; episode 2)

(The times are set as hh/mm/ss, i.e. hours, minutes and seconds).



The first piece of music is played while Morse is claiming to be doing paper work but is actually attempting to complete a crossword. The music is ‘Der Freischutz (the Marksman)‘ by Carl Maria von Weberand (1786-1826 (music) & Friedrich Kind (1768-1843) (libretto).



We are back in Morse’s house where we finding him washing his hair. The music is¬†Symphony in D minor by the Belgian composer Cesar Franck (1822-1890).¬†He was born at Li√®ge, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands).



Morse visits Roope in his rooms at the college and tinkles something on the piano but unfortunately I have no idea what it is.



The next piece is when Morse visits Dr. Bartlett at his house and finds Dr Bartlett’s son, Richard, air conducting to the German composer Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) ‘Die Meistersinger von N√ľrnberg’. (The Master-Singers of Nuremberg)



We are back in Morse’s house where we find him completing ¬†a crossword until he is interrupted by a phone call from Lewis.¬†The extract is the opening of the Largo from Handel‚Äôs Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major HWV 313. ¬†The German born¬†George Frideric Handel was born on the¬†23 February 1685 ¬†and died on the 14 April 1759.


An interesting note about a piece of music composed by Barrington Pheloung. A blog reader, A.B., wrote to me sometime ago that he had noticed that a piece of music played over the section where Lewis is ‘tailing’ Roope’ to the Botanic Gardens to meet Dr. Bartlett (01h19m50s) had also been used in the previous episode ‘Dead of Jericho‘. In that episode it was played over the scene when Jackson goes to collect the money left there by Richards. (00h49m03s).



Let us start with the paintings on the wall of the room where there is a party to welcome the Sheik of Al-Jamara.


I believe the scene was shot in Oriel College but as for the paintings on the wall I’m afraid I cannot identify any of them. However, I have written to Oriel College to ask if they can verify it is a room in Oriel College and whether they can help with the identification of the paintings. Fingers crossed I get an answer.

I have received an answer from Oriel College and they kindly told me that it wasn’t their college but was in fact Brasenose College. So I Googled the college and viola found a picture of the room in which the party was held, Brasenose Hall;


After a bit of detective work I have more information about the paintings. To the far left is a painting of James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer. The artist is unknown.

unknown artist; James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough, Lord High Treasurer (1624-1628); Brasenose College, University of Oxford;


Next up is the painting second from the right. This is¬†Alexander Nowell, DD, Benefactor, Principal (1595), Dean of St Paul’s by an¬†unknown artist.

unknown artist; Alexander Nowell, DD, Benefactor, Principal (1595), Dean of St Paul's; Brasenose College, University of Oxford;


The painting in the middle is¬†William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, Founder, Chancellor of the University (1500‚Äď1503) by an¬†unknown artist,

unknown artist; William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, Founder, Chancellor of the University (1500-1503); Brasenose College, University of Oxford;

The painting second from the left is Richard Sutton (d.1524), Knight, Founder by an unknown artist.

unknown artist; Richard Sutton (d.1524), Knight, Founder; Brasenose College, University of Oxford;

The final one is the painting to the far right. This is¬†Sir Thomas Egerton (1539/1540‚Äď1617), Viscount Brackley, Baron Ellesmere, Commoner, Lord Chancellor of England (1603‚Äď1617), Chancellor of the University (1610‚Äď1617) by an¬†unknown artist.

unknown artist; Sir Thomas Egerton (1539/1540-1617), Viscount Brackley, Baron Ellesmere, Commoner, Lord Chancellor of England (1603-1617), Chancellor of the University (1610-1617); Brasenose College, University of Oxford;


In Nicholas Quinn’s house at 14 minutes and 25 seconds there is a small painting behind Morse. My first thought was a work by¬†Charles Warren Eaton as it has the tonalist quality of one of his landscapes but if it is I can’t find it when searching the artist on Google. So for the moment it is unidentified.



Next up we have two painting s on the wall of Ogleby’s house at 42 minutes and 40 seconds.


The first above is a very bad print/reproduction of¬†Joseph Mallord William Turner’s (1775-1851), 1840 painting of ‘Venice seen from the Giudecca Canal’.

Here is the original.


The second one is to the left of the first painting on Ogleby’s wall.


This is another Turner painting;¬†‘Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus

Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus exhibited 1839 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856


The next painting is a much simpler regarding its identification. It is on the wall of Roope’s College rooms wall.


This painting is ‘Canal and Factories’ by the English artist¬†Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887‚Äď1976).¬†Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England. Below is the original.



We now move onto a poster on Monica’s wall in her office which can be seen clearly at 01h23m57.


It is a poster advertising an exhibition of the Spanish artist Ramon Dilley (1932-  ) at the Galerie du Carlton in Cannes. The original image is below;



At 01h29m Morse is in Dr Barlett’s office after arresting him. On the wall is a small painting which I cannot identify as yet with any certainty. It does look like it could be a very bad print or reproduction of ‘Venice: The Grand Canal, Looking North East From Palazzo Balbi To The Rialto Bridge‘ 1724 by Canaletto. (Real name,¬†Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768). See painting below.




Philip Ogleby not only works at the Foreign Examinations Board but also sets crosswords under the pseudonym Daedalus.


Michael Gough as Philip Ogleby.

Daedalus was written about by both Greek authors Homer and Ovid. He is probably best known as the father of Icarus and Iapyx. He is also very well known, as is mentioned in the episode, as the creator of the Labyrinth on Crete, in which the Minotaur (part man, part bull) was kept.


While Morse is interviewing¬†Philip Ogleby ¬†he asks Ogleby if it was Monica who had told him he was a bachelor. Philip replies that he had looked up Morse and so there was no need to “Cherchez la femme“.

Cherchez la femme is an¬†expression first used in the 1854 novel ‘The Mohicans’ of Paris’ by Alexandre Dumas, ( Dumas is of course better known for writing¬†¬†‘The Three Musketeers’). The phrase¬†Cherchez la femme literally means, ‘Look for the woman’.¬†The phrase has come to mean over the years as, no matter what the problem, a woman is often the root cause.


Morse and Lewis are standing outside the cinema after the death of Ogleby. Morse says, “No human action happens by pure chance unconnected with other happenings” Lewis finishes the quote, “None is incapable of explanation.” The quote is attributed to Dr. Hans Gross, one-time Professor of Criminology at the University of Prague. Hans Gross¬†is believed to be the creator of the field of criminalistics and is to this day seen as the father of Criminal Investigation.


Dr Bartlett is discussing with Morse if he should tell his wife about visiting the cinema to see the ‘pornographic’ film ‘Last Tango in Paris’. Morse tells him that adultery of the heart is not really the same as adultery and ends by saying ‚ÄėWho shall ‘scape whipping‚ÄĚ

This is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet says it ¬†to Polonius in Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2. The exact and full quote is ‚ÄėUse every man after his desert and who shall ‚Äėscape whipping‚Äô. In context this has Polonius saying that he will use the players as they are deserved (desert) to be used. Hamlet responds that Polonius should go out of his way to treat them far better (for if people were to be treated as they deserved, few would escape whipping).

We have come to the end of this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I am hoping to post the next in this series of posts by the end of the week. That post will of course be on the subject of the music, art and literary references from the episode, ‘Service of all the Dead’.

Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

5 thoughts

  1. Extraordinary! How do you do it, I wonder? ūüôā many thanks – it’s lovely to read such well-researched posts. looking forward to the next one.

  2. What a fantastic series, Christopher! The Interweaving of art, music, and literature in the plots of Inspector Morse and its spin-offs is one of the main reasons why I love them so much.

  3. I think your own passion is to be commended. I am so impressed with the time and effort you put into this blog. Just as I’ve said that I get smarter just watching all three shows, I also learn so much from your work here. I can’t thank you enough. I looked up LS Lowry and came upon a wonderful little movie done about him in 1957. Really interesting man. You may see it, and his work here: I had never heard of the artist, so I thank you, yet again. There is some music playing in the movie which you will probably recognize, but I don’t know what it is.

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