Day 35 – Judith and Holofernes

Donatello, Judith and Holofernes, late 1450s, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. Talking about Judith Leyster yesterday I was reminded that I had said, when talking about Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes (Picture Of The Day 17), that I would talk about Donatello’s version of the same story – so here it is. And for those of you who have onlyContinue reading “Day 35 – Judith and Holofernes”

Day 34 – Judith Leyster

Judith Leyster, Self Portrait, c. 1630, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. For JW≈ – and any Dutch mothers I know. Yesterday we looked at Rembrandt trying to be someone else in 1640, but here, ten years earlier, with have an artist at the height of her powers and very happy to be herself: Judith Leyster.Continue reading “Day 34 – Judith Leyster”

Day 32 – Juno discovering Jupiter with Io

Pieter Lastman, Juno discovering Jupiter with Io, 1618, National Gallery, London. I started writing Picture Of The Day on 19 March – so I’m now beginning the second month! To celebrate I want to return to several of the themes of POTD 1: Jupiter, a great god, but a bad man; cows – Jupiter had disguisedContinue reading “Day 32 – Juno discovering Jupiter with Io”

Day 31 – The Suitors Praying

Giotto di Bondone, The Suitors Praying, 1305, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua. I ended yesterday’s Picture Of The Day with a lacuna. Apologies if I confused you, but I had said what was going to happen in the second sentence of the second paragraph… Today, I want to continue with a lacuna. Or rather, I want to talkContinue reading “Day 31 – The Suitors Praying”

Day 30 – The Supper at Emmaus

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Supper at Emmaus, 1601, National Gallery, London.  People often ask me what would be the best book to read as an introduction to renaissance art, and my answer is almost invariably ‘the Bible’. And its value is not restricted to the Renaissance. Most ‘Old Master’ painting was produced in a profoundlyContinue reading “Day 30 – The Supper at Emmaus”

Day 29 – St Francis in the Desert

Giovanni Bellini, St Francis in the Desert, c. 1476-78, Frick Collection, New York. The sun is still shining outside my window, as it is in this fabulous painting. It captures that wonderful sense of release you get when you’ve been cooped up inside all day, and finally step out into the fresh air, take a deepContinue reading “Day 29 – St Francis in the Desert”

Day 28 – Catharina van Hemessen

Day 28 – Catharina van Hemessen, Self Portrait, 1548, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel. I promised you something sunnier today, but it’s lovely and sunny outside anyway (well, it is up here), so I’ve put off that idea until tomorrow. And anyway, today is World Art Day! According to at least one website, ‘World Art Day is an international celebrationContinue reading “Day 28 – Catharina van Hemessen”

Day 27 – Birds, Butterflies and a Frog among Plants and Fungi

Day 27 – Melchior d’Hondecoeter, ‘Birds, Butterflies and a Frog among Plants and Fungi’, 1668, National Gallery, London. Well, here’s a curious thing! In terms of the standard classifications of art, it’s hard to know where to put it. Given its size (68 x 57 cm) and its subject matter, it should be a Still LifeContinue reading “Day 27 – Birds, Butterflies and a Frog among Plants and Fungi”

Day 26 – ‘La Tasse de Chocolat’

Day 26 – Nicolas Lancret, ‘La Tasse de Chocolat’, probably 1742, National Gallery, London. It’s Easter Monday, which is not a religious festival (unless you’re Orthodox, in which case Easter isn’t until next Sunday anyway), but a chance for the banks to have a holiday because they wouldn’t have been open yesterday anyway, so couldn’t haveContinue reading “Day 26 – ‘La Tasse de Chocolat’”