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Art History Today
Midlands, United Kingdom
Professional Art Historian, Phd in Poussin,
Interests: music, art history, films, (classical through to rock), literature (mainly modern crime mystery).
Recent Activity
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The final weeks on Venice- Turner and Ruskin- are up now. Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at Art History Today
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I finally made it to the Veronese exhibition in London on Friday. Here are my observations of it, complete with misgivings about the battleship grey!. On the Melbourne Art Network. Link Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at Art History Today
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Now in the 18th century we consider patrons and painters, especially Canaletto. Link Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at Art History Today
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The decline and dispersion of Venetian art in the 17th century- and its rejuvenation by Tiepolo and other artists in the early 18th century. Link. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Art History Today
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What is “Venetian colour?” In my last session on the renaissance in Venice, the focus shifts to colour and debates about it. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at Art History Today
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All last week my students were urging me to watch a television programme on women artists. But I seldom subject myself to the moronic inferno of television, and if I did I suspect the subject of this short post wouldn't be mentioned in this programme. Madame Clément Boulanger, née Marie- Élizabeth Blavot, later Madame Edmund Cavé is not a name well known to even art historians, let alone the general public. By all accounts her painting wasn't memorable, and if she is recalled to the mind of art history today, it is for her books on painting: in 1850 she... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at Art History Today
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What is the meaning of paintings like Bellini’s “Sacred Allegory”? I wish I knew! More on works like this here. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at Art History Today
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Famous for its portraits of Doges, especially Bellini’s- below, here’s a brief survey of the subject. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2014 at Art History Today
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Although literary texts were referred to as 'classical' at the time, artists and architecture were diligently studying the damaged artworks of antiquity. They did not call their models 'classical' but they spoke with reverence of of the ancients. They knew Roman works and cherished the hope of discovering Greek works which Latin sources themselves acknowledged as superior. Occasionally these early modern artists and architects would consider sculpture of the highest quality to be of 'Greek chisel', and were universally and deeply moved by the discovery of the Greek Laocoön amongst the ruins of Rome (1506). My reading this week has... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at Art History Today
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Second instalment of Venice course- with the focus on religious art. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2014 at Art History Today
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I’ve started a new blog, on Venice from the renaissance to the 19th century. The link is here. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2014 at Art History Today
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Yesterday R3’s Desert Island disc format programme Private Passions had the Director of the National Gallery, Nicholas Penny as its guest. Escorted on a tour of several paintings, presenter Michael Berkeley) and his audience were introduced to a selection of paintings specially chosen for Easter. Penny chose music and the spoken word as accompaniments for each painting- Rossini's Stabat Mater for Jacopo di Cione’s Crucifixion- above. A number of interesting themes came up such as using the NG as a place to be surprised by art. Something that I count as a serendipitous find was the Dead Christ that Penny... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2014 at Art History Today
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This phrase is the renaissance scholar’s David Rosand’s, and I came across it while researching my next course on the art of Venice: Venice, Renaissance to Ruskin. I was intrigued by the phrase, especially as I wanted to consider how Venice used its complex system of signs including such images as the “Lion of St Mark”, as in Carpaccio’s painting shown above,Venetia (the personification of Venice) to present a picture of the state to the world, and of course its own citizens. In his book Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State (2001) Rosand presents an iconographical exposition of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Art History Today
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J Just a reminder for people who don’t know about the on-line celebration of Hasan Niyazi’s life and work. All kinds of posts over on his blog. The photo above is off one of these sites- it shows Hasan in Florence. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Art History Today
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I must have known Hasan Niyazi for about four to three years, though we never met more’s the pity. Thinking back on the exchanges we had, I got the impression that he was taking a long time to get used to Poussin. That’s true for many people! One thing I do recall is that Hasan was fascinated by a remark that Poussin is reported – by Bellori- to have made that Caravaggio was brought into the world to destroy painting. Hasan was intrigued, perplexed and agitated by this remark as Caravaggio was one of his favourite artists on TPP. Go... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Art History Today
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With the focus on the rediscovery of ancient art at Herculaneum and Pompeii, here wonderfully realized by L J Deprez. week 10 Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at Art History Today
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Weeks 8 and 9. 10 soon… Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Art History Today
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You wait for one GT post to come,, and then three turn up at the same time! Week five, six and seven. Above, Hubert Robert’s Pilgrims at St Peter’s in Rome. Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2014 at Art History Today
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If there is one image that sums up the Grand Tour, it’s Zoffany’s picture gallery of connoisseurs…….the subject of the latest instalment. Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at Art History Today
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Following on from my post about Charles Murray’s survey of historically outstanding figures, including artists, I note there’s a similar book for the Wiki and Google Age. Who’s Bigger:Where Historical Figures Really rank uses statistical data based on use of the English version of Wikipedia. This is Murray’s page counting metrics transposed to the hyperlinking, wiki-building generation. The brains behind the project, Steven Skiena and Charles Ward said to the Independent. "We analyse the Wikipedia pages of over 800,000 people to measure quantities that should correspond to historical significance. We would expect that more significant people should have longer Wikipedia... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2014 at Art History Today
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Sherlock Holmes famously said to Dr Watson that he didn’t know the earth went round the sun. From time to time in the canon of stories, Holmes's ignorance of astronomy is refuted. There was a clever use of this in the BBC’s Sherlock where the outcome of a case, as well as somebody’s life, depended upon Holmes deciphering a painting like a connoisseur. After scanning the signature, the facture and other parts of the canvas, it suddenly hit the detective that a series of paint splotches were arrayed in the shape of an astronomical cluster. The fraudster-artist having a penchant... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at Art History Today
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As was shown last week, Florence didn’t appear in the visual record until later in the century when the city was mapped out for visitors. Eventually, a standard guide to Florence published by the city’s single printing house appeared. This guide divided the city up into quarters and documented every church and building of significance within each quadrant. The geographical knowledge of visitors would vary. Stendhal (shown here) says he knew the city well from studying maps beforehand, but on arrival he bought a “descriptive guide.” However, even armed with this he still had to stop twice to ask directions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Art History Today
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This phrase occurs in a press statement from the Dept of Culture, Ministry and Sport about a temporary export ban on Poussin’s Young Moses Treading on Pharaoh's Crown which is owned by the Duke of Bedford. “The painting by Nicolas Poussin depicting the moment the infant Moses trampled Pharaoh’s crown, will be exported overseas unless a matching offer of £14,000,000 is made. The Culture Minister issued the temporary export bar in the hope that a UK buyer can be found in the time allowed. Ed Vaizey took the decision following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2014 at Art History Today
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Over Christmas I read a book by Charles Murray called Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950. In this volume its author attempts to define eminence since 800 BC until 1950. By the use of statistics and the science of historimetry- the practice of measuring genius through historical trends or by data-, Murray draws up lists of the most outstanding individuals in the arts and sciences. Tabulating the Lexicons of Art History. The tables and written sections on artists will be of most interest to people reading this blog, though his explorations... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2014 at Art History Today
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Shocking revelations from Artwatch about accidents with sculpture in leading museums. Like this terra cotta relief by Andrea della Robbia which fell off the wall at the Met in the middle of the night. No wonder the Met aren’t returning AW’s calls. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Art History Today