142 – Getting carried away

Nicolas Poussin, The Ecstasy of St Paul, 1649-50. Musée du Louvre, Paris. On the whole I try not to get carried away by things, although, as I’m sure most of you know, my enthusiasm does mean that I rarely have the discipline to edit my presentations adequately – hence my now standard length of anContinue reading “142 – Getting carried away”

141 – a rose, By any other…

Allan Ramsay, Margaret Lindsay of Evelick: The Artist’s Wife, 1758-60. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. Context is everything. You’re a very sophisticated lot, and I’m fairly sure that most of you will have completed the above quotation from Romeo and Juliet, that tale of star-crossed lovers. It comes from Act 2, scene 2: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,By any other name would smell as sweet. ThisContinue reading “141 – a rose, By any other…”

140 – A Blog about a Dog

William Hogarth, The Painter and his Pug, 1745. Tate Britain, London. I’m not much of a dog person, but I have developed a fondness for William Hogarth’s pet pug, not least because rejoiced in the name of Trump (no relation). This portrait – if that’s what it is – features in the exhibition Hogarth andContinue reading “140 – A Blog about a Dog”

Revisiting Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c. 1660. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. I am currently in Dresden, where yesterday I saw one of the most perfect exhibitions – Vermeer: On Reflection – at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister: thoughtful, thorough, purposeful, explaining everything you would want to know through a remarkable collection of truly superb works of art. As IContinue reading “Revisiting Vermeer”

139 – Cavalier attitudes

Judith Leyster, The Last Drop (The Gay Cavalier), c. 1629. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Famously, Frans Hals’ painting, The Laughing Cavalier, is neither laughing, nor a cavalier – I will talk about what he is and who he might be this coming Monday, 25 October at 6pm in the context of the WallaceContinue reading “139 – Cavalier attitudes”

138 – Transfigured

Apse Mosaic, c. 549. Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna. This coming Tuesday, at 6pm, I will be Revealing Ravenna – or at least, talking about the remarkable mosaics, putting them in their historical and religious context, and explaining why the best Byzantine art is in Italy, rather than in Istanbul. And the following week I willContinue reading “138 – Transfigured”

137 – The little Lord Jesus, Asleep…

Cosmé Tura, Virgin and Child, 1480s. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Having spent a fair amount of time in my youth in Ferrara, when I was researching my PhD about the sculptures there, I grew inordinately fond of the idiosyncratic school of painting that flourished alongside my far scarcer sculptures. The paintings themselves are remarkably sculptural, weContinue reading “137 – The little Lord Jesus, Asleep…”

136 – At Home with Uncle Gianni

Bernardo Bellotto, Venice: Upper Reaches of the Grand Canal facing Santa Croce, about 1738. National Gallery, London. This Monday, 20 September, I will be putting the National Gallery’s small but perfectly formed exhibition Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited into context with a lecture I have entitled Bellotto – The Journey to Dresden, so today IContinue reading “136 – At Home with Uncle Gianni”

135 – Say it with flowers

Carl Larsson, Azalea, 1906. Thielska Gallery, Stockholm. On Monday (6 September) I will be lecturing about two great Swedish artists from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, both of whom (and I know I’ve said this before) deserve to be better known. Aside from their enormous technical skill, theContinue reading “135 – Say it with flowers”

Psyching myself up

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Psyche showing her Sisters her Gifts from Cupid, 1753, National Gallery, London. I was going to write a new post today, but it turns out I’m still in acting mode. After two weeks in Sidmouth playing three different roles in the four playlets that make up Neil Simon’s California Suite we have half a weekContinue reading “Psyching myself up”