171 – All together now…!

Attributed to Michelangelo, Study for one of the Medici tombs at San Lorenzo, 1524. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Gesamtkunstwerk. It’s the word that Wagner used in 1849 to describe his ideal art form, with all genres of art working together through theatre. Of course it applies specifically to opera, which involves music, drama, and visualContinue reading “171 – All together now…!”

163 – Mary, multi-tasking

Dirk Bouts, The Virgin and Child, c. 1465. National Gallery, London. I love it when I go to an exhibition which makes me think about something in a completely new way – or for that matter, which makes me look at something differently, or even properly, for the first time. That is certainly what happenedContinue reading “163 – Mary, multi-tasking”

154 – A Feast for the eyes

Donatello, The Feast of Herod, 1423-7. Baptismal Font, Battistero di San Giovanni Battista, Siena. The Donatello exhibition in Florence is truly remarkable, an astonishing achievement, given that sculptures have been transported from churches and cathedrals across Italy, including several which have left their original settings for the first time since they were installed. Others haveContinue reading “154 – A Feast for the eyes”

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”

133 – Cleanliness next to Godliness

Luciano Laurana, La Facciata dei Torricini, 1464-72. Palazzo Ducale, Urbino. It’s a long time since I’ve talked about a building, but as today’s façade has a brief mention in the first of my new series of talks about Raphael, (A Boy from Urbino, this Monday 5 July at 6pm) – I thought I’d look atContinue reading “133 – Cleanliness next to Godliness”