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”

Day 94 – Narcissus

Claude, Landscape with Narcissus and Echo, 1644, National Gallery, London. I last talked about Claude, one of the great innovators of landscape painting, when we were exploring the story of Psyche, and if you want to more about him, and why I think this artist who produced all his work in Italy was not really French,Continue reading “Day 94 – Narcissus”

Day 87 – The Childhood of Christ

Giotto, The Childhood of Christ, c. 1305, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua. So, as we continue to explore the Scrovegni Chapel we hit the middle tier of frescoes on the side walls. With the Last Judgement at the West End (Picture Of The Day 38), and the Annunciation and Visitation at the East, spanning the chancel arch (POTD 80),Continue reading “Day 87 – The Childhood of Christ”

Day 84 – Boston Street Scene

Edward Mitchell Bannister, Boston Street Scene (Boston Common), 1898-99, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland. Another landscape today, very different in style to yesterday’s, but, in some very subtle way, connected by a common mindset. Edward Mitchell Bannister’s work contains even less reference to social status or racial issues than paintings by Robert S. Duncanson, but,Continue reading “Day 84 – Boston Street Scene”

Day 83 – Landscape with Rainbow

Robert S. Duncanson, Landscape with Rainbow, 1859, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. One of the problems with learning is that you keep finding out how much you don’t know. And this week I’m finding out the full extent of my ignorance. I should probably come clean: American art has never been one of my mainContinue reading “Day 83 – Landscape with Rainbow”

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 54 – Psyche V: ‘Reawakening’

Anthony van Dyck, Cupid and Psyche, 1639-40, Royal Collection Trust, Kensington Palace, London. Well, I couldn’t just leave her lying there, eternally asleep… To be honest, according to Apuleius, Psyche thought she was collecting Persephone’s beauty to take to Venus, and that is what she wanted to see – but it turned out to be ‘sleep’Continue reading “Day 54 – Psyche V: ‘Reawakening’”

Day 47 – Salisbury Cathedral

Day 47 – Salisbury Cathedral John Constable, Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1830-31, Tate Britain, London. Sometimes a painting is asking to be talked about. I heard on the radio – yesterday morning I think it was – that the foundation stone of Salisbury Cathedral was laid on 28 April 1220 – 800 years ago lastContinue reading “Day 47 – Salisbury Cathedral”