101 – Spinning a Yarn

Diego Velázquez, ‘Las Hilanderas’, 1655-60, The Prado, Madrid. Had Picture Of The Day not ended on a Saturday, then this would have been POTD 100 – for reasons which should eventually become clear. But I couldn’t shift Scrovegni Saturday, now, could I? And had I got my skates on during the Velázquez lecture (thank you to all thoseContinue reading “101 – Spinning a Yarn”

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 68 – Psyche, a coda

Antonio Canova, Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss, 1787-93, Louvre, Paris. I know, Cupid and Psyche are living happily ever after, but I couldn’t leave them without one last look back, and without one last, truly beautiful image of Psyche. This is a sculpture by Antonio Canova, the great master of neo-classical simplicity.  As often with Canova,Continue reading “Day 68 – Psyche, a coda”

Day 67 – Psyche VII: ‘Celebration!’

Raphael, The Council of the Gods and The Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche, 1518-19, Villa Farnesina, Rome. Oh dear – I was wondering last week if we were nearing the end of the story of Cupid and Psyche (Picture Of The Day 43, 44, 46, 53, 54, 60), on what has gradually evolved into ‘Psyche Sunday’, and IContinue reading “Day 67 – Psyche VII: ‘Celebration!’”

Day 60 – Psyche VI: ‘Resolution?’

Workshop of Raphael, The Story of Psyche, 1518-19, Villa Farnesina, Rome. I had no idea this rom-com would involve so many episodes! But it is a great story, with some lovely paintings associated with it. And even if Apuleius didn’t tell it exactly as I am – well, my version seems to match the paintings… ThisContinue reading “Day 60 – Psyche VI: ‘Resolution?’”

Day 56 – Apollo and Daphne

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Apollo and Daphne, 1622-25, Museo Borghese, Rome. This truly is one of the marvels of marble carving – nothing can rival the delicacy of the leaves rustling in the breeze, the firmness of the roots thrusting into the ground, or the varied textures of tree and tresses – nor is there anything to matchContinue reading “Day 56 – Apollo and Daphne”

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 53 – Psyche IV: ‘The Tasks’

Giulio Romano, The Story of Psyche, 1526-8, Palazzo Te, Mantua. Where are we? Back in the Sala di Psiche – or Room of Psyche – in the Palazzo Te in Mantua. And where were we? Oh yes – we left Psyche sitting and snivelling outside Cupid’s castle, having realised how much she loved him, back in Picture OfContinue reading “Day 53 – Psyche IV: ‘The Tasks’”

Day 46 – Psyche III

Claude, Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid (‘The Enchanted Castle’), 1664, National Gallery, London. So… Psyche has done the one thing she was supposed not to do, and has tried to find out who her mystery lover really is (if you missed the first parts of the story, head back to Picture Of TheContinue reading “Day 46 – Psyche III”