170 – Drawing to an end

Michelangelo, The Fall of Phaethon, 1533. The Royal Collection/HM King Charles III. This week, a drawing from the Royal Collection – it seems apt. And, although Monday sees the funeral of its former owner, Queen Elizabeth (she held it in trust for the nation), I have decided to go ahead with my talk, Michelangelo 3:Continue reading “170 – Drawing to an end”

Psyche, a coda (a repeat)

Antonio Canova, Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss, 1787-93, Louvre, Paris. So far in my series on sculpture I haven’t mentioned Antonio Canova, although I will this Monday, 20 June at 6.00pm, when I will discuss the very substance of art (or, at least, the different substances from which sculpture is made), in a talk entitled Material:Continue reading “Psyche, a coda (a repeat)”

Back to the Chase

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Apollo and Daphne, 1622-25, Museo Borghese, Rome. It’s got to that stage… I was wondering what to blog about this week as an introduction to my new lecture series, Sculpture: Form, Function, Material and Memory and I realised that a great choice would be Bernini’s astonishing Apollo and Daphne. Indeed, I was rather surprisedContinue reading “Back to the Chase”

Psyching myself up

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Psyche showing her Sisters her Gifts from Cupid, 1753, National Gallery, London. I was going to write a new post today, but it turns out I’m still in acting mode. After two weeks in Sidmouth playing three different roles in the four playlets that make up Neil Simon’s California Suite we have half a weekContinue reading “Psyching myself up”

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 79 – Pygmalion

François Boucher, Pygmalion and Galatea, 1767, The Hermitage, St Petersburg. The day before yesterday I was talking about a self portrait by Sofonisba Anguissola seeming to come alive (Picture Of The Day 77), and referred to the myth of Pygmalion – so what better than to explore that idea a little further today. The origins ofContinue reading “Day 79 – Pygmalion”

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!’”