26 Feb 2015 | 2 Comments

Picasso on EPPH

At the small but excellent Museu Picasso in Barcelona, a repository for much of Picasso's early work and the complete series of paintings on Las Meninas, they sell a pencil (above). Draw your own conclusions. No comment.

08 May 2014

Dutch Royals Are All Artists

I received a message from the Rijksmuseum that their superlative site, the Rijkstudio, now has a collection of Dutch royal portraits. Anyone who has seen on EPPH how portraits of British, Italian and French royalty resemble the artist might wonder whether the Dutch did the same. After all even...

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09 Oct 2013 | 1 Comments

Artist Crucified in his Studio

No-one you know thinks of themself as Christ which may be why most people find it so impossible to believe that artists do. My continual harping on this theme can sound like madness. One new reader, clearly dedicated to her Church, complained vociferously last week. Yet it is true because...

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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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06 Dec 2012

Faking It

FAKING IT, a new exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum, attempts to show the full range of photographic manipulation in the age before Photoshop. It has an interesting premise. Many photographers in the 19th and early 20th century were dis-satisfied with just showing what the world...

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20 Nov 2012 | 1 Comments

Bellows’ River Rats At the Metropolitan Museum.

George Bellows’ exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum opened last week and is well-deserved, showing us for the first time in modern memory the full scale of what he achieved in twenty-something years. He died at 42.  The success of his work is variable but it is clear that Bellows understood...

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21 Sep 2012

Impressionism and Fashion

Impressionism and Fashion is the title of a new exhibition opening at Paris' Musée d’Orsay this coming Monday.  The key image on the catalogue’s cover and the Museum’s website is Manet’s Young Lady of 1866. The model, Victorine Meurend, is familiar to art lovers from her starring roles three...

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28 May 2012

Coins, tablets and Dürer

Coins draw groans. Walk into a roomful of coins in a museum and even the most ardent art lovers hurry through in the hope of finding some painting or sculpture on the other side. Nevertheless the designs on coins are one of the glories of Greek art in antiquity. Talented artists designed the...

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27 Feb 2012

Degas on Reflection and the Great Masters

At the entry to a small, mildly interesting exhibition of Rembrandt’s engravings and their influence on Degas, the Metropolitan Museum has highlighted the following quote:

“What I do is the result of reflection and the study of great masters.”        Edgar Degas

That will not surprise...

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21 Dec 2011

The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini #5

Continuing our series in honor of the Metropolitan Museum's current exhibition of Renaissance portraits we have Botticelli's portrait of Michele Marullo Tarcaniota on the left compared to Botticelli's earlier self-portrait on the right. Tarcaniota's portrait is hanging  today in the Met's...

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10 Dec 2011

Portraits: Icons of America

Portraits make popular art exhibitions because we all think we can “read” a face. It’s part of being human. Everyone is his or her own expert on other people’s faces. Besides, portraits help satisfy our natural inquisitiveness about what people in the past looked like. Strangely, though,...

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13 Oct 2011

Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus

America’s a religious and largely Christian country so an exhibition titled Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, currently in Philadelphia and soon to travel to Detroit, ought to be a popular hit. It caught my interest because – face it – you know why. As I expected, buried in a mountain of...

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11 Sep 2011

The Kimbell Gets a Surprise

Nicolas Poussin’s Sacrament of the Ordination (1640's) is one of the masterpieces of Western art. I wrote about it last year when it failed to sell at auction. Now the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas has acquired it for $24 million. The Kimbell is a small museum specializing in those...

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11 Apr 2011

Free Museums

If you're in Italy this week or on your way, take advantage of the free museums. All state-owned museums in Italy are offering free entrance (except for special exhibitions). That means all the best permanent collections are yours for the viewing. Enjoy them.

13 Mar 2011

Google’s Art Project

The image above is the right eye of Botticelli's Venus, a mere inch or two of canvas. It's taken from the Google Art Project, an amazing site where you can zoom into a hundred or so major masterpieces and see exquisite detail. If you haven't seen how it works, you'll be stunned. Thanks to H....

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