129 – The Calm before the Storm

Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat, 1793. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels. One more painting from the 18th Century before I head back to the Baroque – my next series of lectures is called Caravaggio: A life in three paintings, and will start on Monday 24 May (at 2pm and 6pm, as before) withContinue reading “129 – The Calm before the Storm”

128 – Unfinished Business

Johann Zoffany, The Academicians of the Royal Academy, 1771-72. Royal Collection Trust. Two weeks ago I talked about Mary Moser, one of the two women who, in 1768, were founder members of the Royal Academy. Today I would like to talk about a portrait of her, which hangs next to another, which depicts her fellowContinue reading “128 – Unfinished Business”

127 – Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Self Portrait with Two Pupils, 1785. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A slight change of plan – rather than talking about a painting by a man this week, as I had planned to – even if it does impinge upon one of my Three Women in the 18th Century – I wantedContinue reading “127 – Adélaïde Labille-Guiard”

Day 79 – Pygmalion

François Boucher, Pygmalion and Galatea, 1767, The Hermitage, St Petersburg. The day before yesterday I was talking about a self portrait by Sofonisba Anguissola seeming to come alive (Picture Of The Day 77), and referred to the myth of Pygmalion – so what better than to explore that idea a little further today. The origins ofContinue reading “Day 79 – Pygmalion”

Day 65 – Venice

Canaletto, Venice: The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day, about 1740, National Gallery, London. Yesterday was Ascension Day, and in Venice that always used to be one of the great days of the year. The celebration, known in the Venetian dialect as the Festa della Sensa, was associated with two historical events. On 9 May in the yearContinue reading “Day 65 – Venice”

Day 58 – Ottobeuren Abbey

Johann Michael Fischer, Ottobeuren Abbey, 1737-1766, Bavaria, Germany. Frescoes: J.J. and F.A. Zeiller; Stucco: J.M. Feichtmayr. Today’s picture is a building! Or rather, the decoration of a building. I’ve named Fischer as the architect, although, to be honest, so many people were involved that it is hard to know who did what – but Fischer isContinue reading “Day 58 – Ottobeuren Abbey”

Day 57 – Tobias revisited

Gian Antonio Guardi, The Story of Tobias, c. 1750, Arcangelo Raffaele, Venice. I’ve told you the story of Tobias and the Angel before (Picture Of The Day 4), so if you’d like to refresh your memory, do have a look there. At the time somebody mentioned the wonderful version of the story as told by a memberContinue reading “Day 57 – Tobias revisited”