A blog dedicated to the study of art history, covering all periods, styles and movements. With regular commentary, exhibition reviews and educational information.

J. M. W. Turner, Crossing the Brook, 1815, oil on canvas, 193 x 165.1 cm, Tate Britain, London

J. M. W. Turner, Crossing the Brook, 1815, oil on canvas, 193 x 165.1 cm, Tate Britain, London

Posted on 16 April, 2014

Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia ego, 1637-38, oil on canvas, 121 x 185 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris
A group of shepherds dressed in classical attire surround a large stone tomb. Two of these figures point to a memorial inscription on the front of the tomb: Et in Arcadia ego. This roughly translates as ‘Even in Arcadia, I am’, which is read as a reference to death’s ever-existing presence, even in paradise.

Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia ego, 1637-38, oil on canvas, 121 x 185 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris

A group of shepherds dressed in classical attire surround a large stone tomb. Two of these figures point to a memorial inscription on the front of the tomb: Et in Arcadia ego. This roughly translates as ‘Even in Arcadia, I am’, which is read as a reference to death’s ever-existing presence, even in paradise.

Posted on 16 April, 2014

Domenico Ghirlandaio, selected frescoes in the Tornabuoni Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, 1485-90:

Stories of the Virgin (left wall): Birth of the Virgin, Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple and Marriage of Mary

Rear wall: Portrait of the Donor Giovanni Tornabuoni and Portrait of the Donor Francesca Pitti-Tornabuoni

Stories of St John the Baptist (right wall): Birth of St John the Baptist, Visitation and Preaching of St John the Baptist

Posted on 15 April, 2014

Henri Fantin-Latour, Le Soir, 19th century, La Piscine Museum, Robaix

Henri Fantin-Latour, Le Soir, 19th century, La Piscine Museum, Robaix

Posted on 15 April, 2014

Gormley to Hirst: today's top artists on the genius of Henry Moore

This article of multiple interviews comes in light of the upcoming Henry Moore Foundation exhibition 'Body & Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art' at Perry Green in Hertfordshire. The curator Anita Feldman and various artists involved in the show all give their thoughts on one of the greatest and most recognised modern sculptors, Henry Moore (I automatically preceded Moore’s name with ‘Sir’ at first, forgetting his famous knighthood turndown in 1951). I love how Gormley came across Moore whilst still at school, and how Deacon admits to being more interested in the contemporary status of Hepworth throughout his youth.

Posted on 14 April, 2014

Ronnie Landfield, Blue Wall, Brown Wall and Red Wall, 1970, acrylic on canvas, 82 x 103 cm

Posted on 14 April, 2014

David Roberts, Old Buildings on the Darro, Granada, 1834, oil on panel, 44.4 x 59.4 cm, V&A Museum, London:

Roberts visited the ancient Moorish capital of Granada in southern Spain in 1833. Its medieval district is enclosed by the River Darro and contains the exotic architecture the painter was particularly fond of. When this painting was first exhibited, a critic called it ‘an exquisite thing’.

David Roberts, Old Buildings on the Darro, Granada, 1834, oil on panel, 44.4 x 59.4 cm, V&A Museum, London:

Roberts visited the ancient Moorish capital of Granada in southern Spain in 1833. Its medieval district is enclosed by the River Darro and contains the exotic architecture the painter was particularly fond of. When this painting was first exhibited, a critic called it ‘an exquisite thing’.

Posted on 14 April, 2014

Cimabue

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Cimabue, The Madonna in Majesty (Maestà), 1285-86, tempera on panel, 385 x 223 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

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Cimabue, Crucifix, 1287-88, tempera on panel, 448 x 390 cm, Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce, Florence

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Cimabue, Madonna Enthroned with the Child, St Francis and Four Angels, 1278-80, fresco, 320 x 340 cm, Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Cimabue (c.1240-c.1302) - which is pronounced ‘chee-ma-boo-eh’, for those who are flummoxed - was an Italian painter and mosaicist of the medieval era. Cimabue is sometimes described as being ‘early Renaissance’ thanks to his status as the teacher of Giotto, the artist whose work is considered by many to signify the end of the Byzantine style, and the start of the Florentine Renaissance. Giotto’s fame and importance is one of the reasons why Cimabue is often looked over in art history. Poor guy.

Posted on 13 April, 2014

Lucio Fontana, Portrait of Antonin Artaud, 1968, wood, enamel, copper, steel, plexiglas and artist’s book, MoMA, New York:

Fontana founded the Italian postwar movement Spazialismo, which aimed to bring art and science together. He is best known for groundbreaking work in which he slashed, cut, punctured, and bored into the surfaces of his paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures in an attempt to transcend illusionistic representation.
These strategies can be seen in the “illustrations” Fontana contributed to a book by Otto Hahn about the iconoclastic French playwright, actor, poet, artist, and director Antonin Artaud (1896–1948). Through his theories about art and theater and his experiences with drug addiction and institutionalization, Artaud became a figure of tremendous interest among artists in the 1960s. To illustrate this book, Fontana created a set of punctured sheets of steel, brass, and plexiglass kept in a sculptural container.

Lucio Fontana, Portrait of Antonin Artaud, 1968, wood, enamel, copper, steel, plexiglas and artist’s book, MoMA, New York:

Fontana founded the Italian postwar movement Spazialismo, which aimed to bring art and science together. He is best known for groundbreaking work in which he slashed, cut, punctured, and bored into the surfaces of his paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures in an attempt to transcend illusionistic representation.

These strategies can be seen in the “illustrations” Fontana contributed to a book by Otto Hahn about the iconoclastic French playwright, actor, poet, artist, and director Antonin Artaud (1896–1948). Through his theories about art and theater and his experiences with drug addiction and institutionalization, Artaud became a figure of tremendous interest among artists in the 1960s. To illustrate this book, Fontana created a set of punctured sheets of steel, brass, and plexiglass kept in a sculptural container.

Posted on 13 April, 2014

Georges de la Tour, Quarrelling Musicians (The Musicians’ Brawl), 1625-30, oil on canvas, 94 x 140 cm, Private Collection

Georges de la Tour, Quarrelling Musicians (The Musicians’ Brawl), 1625-30, oil on canvas, 94 x 140 cm, Private Collection

Posted on 13 April, 2014

(Not so) good morning

Today is my ‘I have to be productive, or I’m in big, big trouble’ day. Every time I go to write some of my essay, I end up deleting more words than I add. It’s time to stop being so pernickety, and just get a first draft completed. Or at least make it past 1,000 words …

Posted on 13 April, 2014

Nicolas Lancret, Luncheon Party in a Park, c.1735, oil on canvas, 54.1 x 46 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Drunk dogs, smashed plates, a giant ham … where was my invite?!

Nicolas Lancret, Luncheon Party in a Park, c.1735, oil on canvas, 54.1 x 46 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Drunk dogs, smashed plates, a giant ham … where was my invite?!

Posted on 12 April, 2014

Léon Bonnat, Roman Girl at a Fountain, 1875, oil on canvas, 170.2 x 100.3 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Léon Bonnat, Roman Girl at a Fountain, 1875, oil on canvas, 170.2 x 100.3 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Posted on 12 April, 2014

Giacomo Balla, Street Lamp, 1909, oil on canvas, 174.7 x 114.7 cm, MoMA, New York

Giacomo Balla, Street Lamp, 1909, oil on canvas, 174.7 x 114.7 cm, MoMA, New York

Posted on 12 April, 2014

Art of 1885:

Edgar DegasLa Toilette, c.1885, pastel on paper, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Claude MonetPoppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny, 1885, oil on canvas, 65.1 x 81.3 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Paul SignacThe Modistes, 1885-86, oil on canvas, 111.8 x 89 cm, Foundation E. G. Bührle, Zurich

Posted on 11 April, 2014



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