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”

156 – Second helpings at the Feast

Donatello, The Feast of Herod, 1423-7. Baptismal Font, Battistero di San Giovanni Battista, Siena. ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’  OK, so it seems extremely unlikely that these words, said by Oliver Twist in the eponymous novel by Charles Dickens, and so often misquoted, nor indeed anything like them, would ever have been uttered atContinue reading “156 – Second helpings at the Feast”

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”

132 – Giant, or Giant Slayer?

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, David, 1623-4. Galleria Borghese, Rome. I was blogging about Bernini two weeks ago, and I had meant to write a post about Caravaggio’s St Francis last week, as we still have one more talk about Caravaggio to go (this Monday at 2pm and 6pm), before I start a new series of fourContinue reading “132 – Giant, or Giant Slayer?”

Day 86 – Ethiopia

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Ethiopia, 1921, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC. Today we make it into the 20th Century – so far I’ve deliberately avoided it, to be honest, for reasons of copyright, but that is the only reason… I’m assuming nothing will happen on this occasion, though. However, despite what IContinue reading “Day 86 – Ethiopia”

Day 82 – The Death of Cleopatra

Edmonia Lewis, The Death of Cleopatra, 1876, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Today I’m finding it hard to say who or what had the most unusual history – the artist or their art, the subject or the sculpture – and given the fame of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt that’s really saying something.  But Edmonia Lewis wasContinue reading “Day 82 – The Death of Cleopatra”

Day 70 – The Annunciation, again

Veit Stoss, The Annunciation, 1517-18, St Lorenzkirche, Nuremberg. It’s been over two months since I last discussed The Annunciation. Back then it was the calm, rational, yet mystical version by Piero della Francesca, which is at the heart of his True Cross cycle (Picture Of The Day 7). I’m surprised I haven’t talked about more versions, thereContinue reading “Day 70 – The Annunciation, again”

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 63 – Ecstasy

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Ecstasy of St Theresa, 1647-52, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. I’ve said it before: the Baroque is theatrical. Well, the audience is gathering…  Already the Cornaro family have bagged the best spots in the boxes on either side of the stage – those Venetians like a bit of theatre. They are theContinue reading “Day 63 – Ecstasy”