182 – The Rest of Christmas

Luisa Roldán, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, c. 1690. The Hispanic Society of America, New York Happy Christmas! And yes, it is still Christmas – as I write it is only the fifth day of twelve, and on the Fifth Day of Christmas… but that doesn’t matter right now. As far as theContinue reading “182 – The Rest of Christmas”

181 – Candlemas comes early

Jacques Daret, The Presentation in the Temple, c. 1434-35. Petit Palais, Paris. Theoretically I should have written about this painting last week, as I talked about the theme – The Presentation in the Temple – in Monday’s talk. This coming week, Week 4 of The Childhood of Christ, I will include a lot of paintingsContinue reading “181 – Candlemas comes early”

176 – All change!

Salvador Dalí, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937. Tate. Salvador Dalí was a Surrealist, obviously, and, some would say, the Arch-Surrealist. In 1934 he even claimed a form of ‘über-Surrealism’ when he explained that ‘The difference between the Surrealists and me is that I am a Surrealist’ – a typically Surreal statement. As such, like all membersContinue reading “176 – All change!”

169 – Michelangelo’s Lost Love

Alessandro Algardi, Sleep, 1635-6. Museo Borghese, Rome. Yes, you’re right, this is not a sculpture by Michelangelo. Nor is it, for that matter, ‘Love’. You might have realised that already from the photograph – or for that matter, simply by reading the caption. But I do love this work – and after Bernini’s flashy showpiecesContinue reading “169 – Michelangelo’s Lost Love”

157 – Florid

Caterina Angela Pierozzi, The Annunciation Miniature, 1677. Colnaghi, London. I’ve just read a wonderful article in the New York Times, A Messy Table, a Map of the World by Jason Farago, and I’m half inclined to post a link to that today (which I have) and leave it at that. It’s a richly illustrated piece,Continue reading “157 – Florid”

141 – a rose, By any other…

Allan Ramsay, Margaret Lindsay of Evelick: The Artist’s Wife, 1758-60. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. Context is everything. You’re a very sophisticated lot, and I’m fairly sure that most of you will have completed the above quotation from Romeo and Juliet, that tale of star-crossed lovers. It comes from Act 2, scene 2: What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,By any other name would smell as sweet. ThisContinue reading “141 – a rose, By any other…”

135 – Say it with flowers

Carl Larsson, Azalea, 1906. Thielska Gallery, Stockholm. On Monday (6 September) I will be lecturing about two great Swedish artists from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, both of whom (and I know I’ve said this before) deserve to be better known. Aside from their enormous technical skill, theContinue reading “135 – Say it with flowers”