Velázquez: Las Mininas

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Diego Velázquez Las Meninas, 1656, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado Las Meninas is Velázquez’ most famous and enigmatic work and one of the great masterpieces of western art We are observing a large room, perhaps the main chamber, the Cuarto del Príncipe, in the Alcazar in Madrid. Due to a description by Antonio Palomino published […]

Whistler: Symphony White Barber

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J. A. M. Whistler Symphony in White, No.III, 1865-67, Birmingham, Barber Institute of Fine Arts Two women, one in white the other in a light cream dress, seem to be consumed by introspection – ennui pervades their listless postures. To the left the young woman with red hair subsides onto one elbow and stares out […]

Watts: Hope

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G. F. Watts Hope, 1885-86, London, Tate Britain Hope is one of the Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity) traditionally represented as women. In 1886 George Frederick Watts completed two versions of his take on one of the Virtues, the subject of many images since antiquity and the Renaissance. He sold the original version and […]

Claude: Landscape with the Ponte Molle

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Claude Loraine Landscape with the Ponte Molle, 1645, Birmingham, Museum and Art Gallery This is one of Claude’s most sublime paintings of the Roman campagna. The scene is suffused with the glorious golden light of the setting sun prompting a delicious yearning to experience such a view on such an evening. This is at the […]

Previati: Dance of the Hours

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Gaetano Previati Dance of the Hours, 1899, Milan, Fondazione-Cariplo The immediate inspiration for the painting was a short ballet The Dance of the Hours which appeared at the end of the third act of the opera La Gioconda, composed by Amilcare Ponchielli. It was first performed in Milan in 1876. But the iconography hails from […]

Vermeer View of Delft

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Johannes Vermeer View of Delft, 1660-61, Mauritshuis, The Hague On entering Room 15 at the Mauritshuis Picture Gallery in The Hague, the visitor’s eye is immediately drawn to perhaps the most famous townscape in all of western art. Johannes Vermeer’s great work is one of only two paintings to have survived that are devoted to […]

Pieter Bruegel at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

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Pieter Bruegel at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Vienna has the most extensive collection of works by Pieter Bruegel in the world. How did so many paintings by the Flemish master  come to be in Vienna? Owing to the complexities of late medieval dynastic inheritance the Low Countries became part of the sprawling Habsburg Empire in […]

Franz Marc at the Lenbachhaus, Munich

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Franz Marc at the Lenbachhaus, Munich This wonderful small museum houses many of the most impressive examples of the Blau Reiter (Blue Rider) group formed in Munich in 1911 by Vasily Kandinsky, an expatriate Russian and Franz Marc, a native of the city, who rejected the perceived conservatism of the Neue Kunstlervereinigunng Munchen (the New […]

Welcome

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17th Century Spain Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas – 1656 – Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado Click on image to enlarge Las Meninas is Velázquez’ most famous and enigmatic work and one of the great masterpieces of western art We are observing a large room, perhaps the main chamber, the Cuarto del Príncipe, in the Alcazar […]

Felix Vallotton, Royal Academy, London

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Félix Vallotton – Royal Academy, London In 1882 Félix Vallotton left Switzerland for Paris at the early age of 16, attracted by the opportunities for aspiring artists in the French capital which was also the world capital of the visual arts. He eschewed the chance to attend the Ecole des Beaux Arts in favour of […]