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Frans Hals at the National Gallery

Yesterday I  went to the National Gallery to see the Frans Hals exhibition – his  first retrospective in 30 years- and enjoyed it immensely. You might think that portraiture could be boring but not so.  This is because Hals was a supreme technician, that his sitters often adopted unusual [...]

November 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

John Craxton/Pallant Gallery Chichester

The Pallant Gallery has done – more than any other museum – much to redeem the reputation of many 20th Century British painters. In some cases, like the 1920s society artist Glyn Philpott or Leon Underwood, I wondered why, whereas with others – like Johnny Minton, regarded as the [...]

November 22, 2023 // 0 Comments

Venice: City of Pictures (Martin Gayford)

As one might expect from such an eminent art historian Martin Gayford’s latest work on Venetian art and architecture is a thorough, well-researched study with beautiful images. He covers the ‘Big Four’ of Venetian art – Titian, Tintoretto (the only artist born in and of Venice) [...]

November 11, 2023 // 0 Comments

Marriage of the Arnolfini

Few paintings have generated as much controversy and speculation as The Marriage of the Arnolfini by Jan van Eyck (1424) Little is known of Jan van Eyck. He was the court painter of the Duke of Burgundy whose lands extended to Flanders and the Netherlands. Bruges in Flanders was a thriving [...]

September 27, 2023 // 0 Comments

Symbolism in art

Recently I watched a programme called Decoding Turner in which a mechanical engineer and his wife advanced a theory that in Turner’s famous The Fighting Temeraire, on the prow of the vessel was concealed a picture of Napoleon. The art historian Andrew Graham Dixon peered at the picture and [...]

September 13, 2023 // 0 Comments

Artist talking about themselves

My late father – no mean watercolourist but above all a fine preceptor of humanity – once observed of a painter he knew: “I don’t think he is much good but he is very good at talking about his art “ Talking about art and doing it are two different skills. Picasso mixed with a [...]

August 30, 2023 // 0 Comments

Farleys House & Lee Miller

Sussex is well blessed with places of the arts to visit. I have visited and reviewed Charleston, the Bloomsbury outpost where Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant painted and had a brief affaire, and Batemans – the home of Rudyard  Kipling at Alfreston. By bad luck my planned trip to Farley Farm [...]

August 11, 2023 // 0 Comments

A la Colthard/Eating out in Chichester.

Chichester is renowned for its cathedral, theatre and art gallery – but not its restaurants. I accompanied Alice (Mansfield) on Tuesday to the Pallant Gallery.  I enjoyed the Gwen John exhibition and particularly her draughtmanship. Can one use that word now or should it be [...]

August 3, 2023 // 0 Comments

Gwen John/Art and Life in London and Paris/Pallant Gallery

Most art critics are women and most of these carry a feminist agenda which runs that female artists  were oppressed and unrated by their male counterparts. Thus, the conventional narrative is that Gwen John’s more celebrated younger brother Augustus deliberately overshadowed her career though he [...]

August 2, 2023 // 0 Comments

Thunderclap & The Man who made Vermeers

Thunderclap by Observer Art Critic Laura Cumming is the story of the life and death of Dutch 17th century artist Carel Fabritius. In fact much more is known about his death in 1654 when his house collapsed after a gunpowder  depot explosion in Delft. As for his life, he was born in the village of [...]

July 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

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