26 Apr 2012

Canvas is Canvas

Most of the visual metaphors for an artist’s implements revealed here are related to their referent in art through their form, their function or some other more abstract link. A rifle or sword is long and thin like a paintbrush. They must be aimed and used precisely like an artist's hand. A...

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12 Jul 2011

Introducing Bellini’s “Eyes”

I have recently introduced the argument that a significant number of compositions by Giovanni Bellini are not just representations of the apparent scene but, on another level, are representations of giant “heads”, “faces” or parts of faces, sometimes just “eyes”. They appear to...

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18 Mar 2011

Face Fusion is Everywhere

For years I’ve been rattling on about face fusion to demonstrate that portraits by true artists are not what they seem. Many are not accurate depictions but a fusion of features from different faces, often the artist’s own. Salvador Dali, for instance, practiced face fusion but called it...

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21 Dec 2010

Velazquez and the King’s Left Eye

The Metropolitan Museum announced yesterday that it has re-attributed the earliest known painting of King Philip IV by Velazquez (left) to the master. In 1973 during a reconsideration of all their European holdings they downgraded this portrait to a workshop copy. Ever since scholars have...

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30 Oct 2010

The Frick’s Fiction

The Frick Collection's Portrait of Philip IV by Velazquez is described as one of the best portraits he ever painted. It is indeed magnificent and has just opened as a one-painting exhibition, accompanied by new explanations of what it means, until January 2011. The trouble is The Frick thinks...

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