15 Apr 2015

The World is a Mirror

Like many stories conveying wisdom, this anonymous one is slightly silly. However, it suggests why so many masterpieces of painting, like Velazquez’s Las Meninas for instance, only make sense when its surface is seen as reflective. No doubt this story unravels his Rokeby Venus too (above) by...

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26 Mar 2015

Ssh! The Secret of Picasso’s Ear

Ears make sense as one of the five: touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. But who thinks about Picasso's ears? We mostly remember his eyes: deep, dark and powerful. Yet he himself - as I don't think has been noted before - seems to have been very conscious that he had large ears. Noddy, a...

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20 Mar 2015

Whose God is on the dollar bill?

Art is too often seen as a literal representation of the artist's own small, physical world. The idea that it uses metaphoric language to express much larger, eternal truths shared by all mankind is seldom realized. The same happens with the dollar bill. Six local Republican legislators want to...

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26 Feb 2015

Art in Search of Self-Knowledge

One of the great shibboleths of art history is that High Renaissance masters depicted the exterior world. Few, of course, doubt that landscapes and portraits represent exterior nature. EPPH, on the other hand, argues that all scenes in art are internal in the long millennia-old search for...

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20 Aug 2014

The Craftsman’s Christ

This is a scene by an unknown 16th-century artist, probably Flemish, at a time when artisanal effort was admired not just for the perfection of the end-product but for the artisan’s closely-guarded knowledge of materials. Wood, stone, minerals, plant extracts, gold-work, smelting etc. No-one...

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09 Jan 2014 | 7 Comments

Keith Haring’s Secret Knowledge

EPPH has already shown how at least 7 major artists depicted themselves as lions (see below). There are more to come but many are by Old Masters and are quite subtle. Here’s an obvious example, an actual self-portrait, by an artist who was all the rage in 1980’s New York, Keith Haring. Why...

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18 Nov 2013

Giacometti’s Visual Illusion Blows My Mind

Yesterday, after posting the entry on Giacometti’s Self-portrait with Brush (above), I saw something astonishing. It's a good reminder that even when you think you understand, there's still more to know. And it comes with perserverance and the right approach. The more you look, the more you...

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29 Jan 2013 | 5 Comments

2nd Self-Portrait Found in Same Met Gallery!

After discovering a self-portrait by Picasso four days ago (see blog), I think I've discovered another one, this time by Bonnard.....hanging right opposite the other one at the Metropolitan Museum! The "coincidence" demonstrates, if nothing else, that you can walk into almost any important...

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13 Nov 2012

Six Tips on How to Look at Art

The idea, peddled by many, that you can just stand in front of a work of art and let it speak to you is wrong. What, for instance, happens inside you when you look at the Mona Lisa? Probably not much. Indeed, as an adolescent trying to figure out why adults were going bananas over art, the Mona...

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29 Oct 2012

Leonardo’s Hurricane Sandy

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast of the United States tonight, I thought I should take the opportunity to tell our users there that we are thinking of them and wish them well. We're in it too. If you have a second to take your mind off the monstrous storm outside - before the...

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