August 17, 2013
Raphael: Study for Transfiguration

So much energy in the piece, all focused on one, single, burning point.

July 25, 2013


"An ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist"

So said Duchamp on readymades. But it could be equally applied to Velazquez’s piece, the humble waterseller treated with the worth of a King.

July 25, 2013

The Muse - Nicolae Vermont


The Muse - Nicolae Vermont

(via lacalaveracatrina)

July 18, 2013
A furtive glance

The owner of this piece, Charles Colle, asked to be put in a place where he could see his young mistress’ young legs. He’s not the only one trying to get a look - even the statue is having a peek.

July 7, 2013
Saints alive and punitive

I have to say, despite my initial doubts about Michael Landy’s ‘Saints Alive’ exhibition at the National Gallery, both concept and execution were brilliant. Landy essentially picks up on the darker strands of Catholicism and strips the faith, so acts of flagellation and self-denial are reduced to absurd and frankly primitive acts. We have St Francis banging a crucifix against his head every time some money is put into the donation box, and an enormous wheel that parodies the fates of the martyrs. You may be burnt alive, or convince heretic Kings, die a glorious death with the name Jesus on your lips. The whole thing is a rather sophisticated blend of Theology as presented to the masses - this is counter reformation stuff, and frankly it’s laughable. Because if you strip the devotion the act of martyrom is suicide, and therefore totally contrary to the very teachings of the Church these saints are trying to uphold.

Thoroughly enjoyable, certainly instant gratification (you get to interact with the sculptures! Where is the hallowed distance between spectator and work!) and what’s more - it’s free.

June 28, 2013
Hey relax, it’s Summer.

June 27, 2013
For the first time

Intimacy almost unbearable

June 24, 2013
Degas, ever the voyeur

June 17, 2013
On the trail of the spire

Worcestershire countryside holds some unusual gems.

Hoarwithy Church was the most surprising, an Italianate 19th building high up on a hill in the middle of a tiny rural village. Although it was freezing, and the rain was beating its familiar rhythm on the rooves of the countryhouses, I was walking through a beautiful cloister. On closer detail, the carvings of the column capitals were clearly Celtic, and the view that the colonnade boasted was the rolling hills of Malvern.

Inside, with the charming if rambling guide of a parishioner, was…. a Burne-Jones stained glass window!

The rest of the inside was impressive, in a pseudo-Baroque-Byzantine way. The mosaics evoked St Marks and the rising columns St Peters.

Well worth a visit if you find yourself in Herefordshire!

June 16, 2013

We caught a slight glimpse of sun yesterday, but I hope in the coming weeks we’ll be bathed in it’s glorious light, as Derain envisioned when he brought incredible Fauve sensations to the Thames.

'Pool of London', André Derain, 1905-06

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