155 – Pre-Announced

Raphael, The Annunciation, c. 1506-7. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. I’ve said in two different lectures (to two different audiences) that I intend to write about this drawing, thus announcing the Annunciation. I’d not seen it before my first visit to the glorious Raphael exhibition at the National Gallery, but it grabbed my attention, and instantly became myContinue reading “155 – Pre-Announced”

Revisiting Raphael

Raphael Sanzio, The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saints and Angels, about 1502-3, National Gallery, London. Happy Easter! And greetings from Vienna! I’m here with a group, and actually wrote this paragraph in London on Easter Monday: I’m sure I’ll have to do a bit of preparation before I go. However, the blog below wasContinue reading “Revisiting Raphael”

144 – Make a joyful noise

Geertgen tot Sint Jans, The Glorification of the Virgin, about 1490-95. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. I have a new favourite artist (those of you who follow me on Instagram might have noticed), although sadly a dozen of his works seem to have survived, maybe a couple more or less. This does mean that IContinue reading “144 – Make a joyful noise”

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”

134 – Displaced Angels

Raphael, The Sistine Madonna, 1512-14. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden. I am constantly reminded of something that, when I first heard it, was attributed to Mark Twain: ‘I am sorry to have written such a long letter: I didn’t have time to write a short one’. Since then I have heard it attributed to any numberContinue reading “134 – Displaced Angels”

122 – Justice for Venice

Jacobello del Fiore, Justice enthroned between the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, 1421. Gallerie Accademia, Venice. Great news! The Accademia in Venice, which houses today’s painting, is reopening on Monday 8 February, and the Vatican museums are already open – so things are looking up. Soon we will be able to get back and see thingsContinue reading “122 – Justice for Venice”

121 – A golden girl goes missing

Duccio, The Virgin and Child with Saint Dominic and Saint Aurea, and Patriarchs and Prophets, about 1312-15 (?). National Gallery, London. First thing’s first – I’m giving my own talks! Rather than sheltering under the umbrella of another institution or organisation I’m doing my own thing. More of that after Duccio, but if you can’tContinue reading “121 – A golden girl goes missing”

120 – The Colour of Virtue

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Maestà, c. 1335. Museo di Arte Sacra, Massa Marittima. I’m giving a talk for ARTscapades on Wednesday afternoon (at 2pm) entitled Good and Bad Government, which would be fine, apart from the fact that it has a subtitle The Lorenzetti Brothers in Siena. What was I thinking? I will have plenty of timeContinue reading “120 – The Colour of Virtue”

117 – St Thomas Becket

St Thomas Becket, c. 1178-89. Monreale Cathedral, Sicily. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered on 29 December 1170 – eight hundred and fifty years ago. I wanted to mark the occasion. I’m not going to talk much about him, or about his relationship with King Henry II, the man who has always been blamedContinue reading “117 – St Thomas Becket”