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”

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”

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”