146 – You’ve been framed

Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of Nicolaes van Bambeeck, 1641. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. At the end of last week’s talk I said that the Royal Collection contained some of the best portraits ever painted. I’m not going to talk about them today – I will leave that until Monday, as they are included inContinue reading “146 – You’ve been framed”

118 – Epiphany in Ravenna

The Adoration of the Magi, c. 504/560 and later. Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna. It’s Epiphany – a moment of sudden and great revelation – and today celebrates the moment at which the wise men recognised Jesus as the Boy Born to be King, their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh usually interpreted as gifts suitable forContinue reading “118 – Epiphany in Ravenna”

Day 88 – Juan de Pareja

Diego Velázquez, Juan de Pareja, 1650, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. I used this portrait as an illustration last week when I talked about Juan de Pareja’s own painting of The Flight into Egypt (Picture Of The Day 85), but I wanted to look at in its own right, because it is rather wonderful – and also becauseContinue reading “Day 88 – Juan de Pareja”

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 81 – The Banjo Lesson

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, 1893, Hampton University Museum, Hampton, VA. I’m always glad to learn about new artists, and this week, for reasons which I hope are clear, I’ve decided to seek some out. Henry Ossawa Tanner promises to be the most exciting recent discovery. His style sits somewhere between Realism and Impressionism, theContinue reading “Day 81 – The Banjo Lesson”

Day 23 – The Crucifixion

Day 23 – Raphael Sanzio, The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saints and Angels, about 1502-3, National Gallery, London. It is Good Friday – which, of course, every year, prompts the question, ‘Why is it Good’? Well, according to the OED, the first use of ‘Guode Friday’ was in 1290, and the word is usedContinue reading “Day 23 – The Crucifixion”