A blog about art in the classical tradition

I’ve been following Scott Schuman’s Sartorialist blog for a long time. He is famous for capturing street fashion trends. But, occasionally he’ll include capture images that seemingly nothing to do with fashion and capture a remarkable sense of place. Today, he posted an image of a “young butcher” in Asni, Morocco.
Maybe it’s just the art [...]

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§918 · December 17, 2013 · Baroque, Photography · (No comments) · Tags: ,


The Museum’s collections have been rearranged and expanded. (Learn more here.) Works, such as Eve (1900) by Thomas Brock (1847-1922), have been taken from other museums — Eve was formerkly in the sculpture gallery at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where it stood on a very high pedestal — and put within the context of contemporaneous works.

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Does Baroque art burn more calories than other genres? What did that couple in leather pants say about Mary Magdalene looking hot?  Was Luca Giordan0 the first street artist? Is linseed oil more environmentally friendly than egg tempura?
These are questions that naturally occur when seeing a Caravaggist exhibition in LA.  I’m kidding . . .  sort [...]

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The January/February edition of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine carries an article I wrote about seeing the Prado’s exhibition, El Paisajista: Martín Rico y Ortega (1833-1908).

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By request, I have made my second annual list of my favorite fine and decorative art books published within the last year. It is longer than before. These books reflect my personal taste, not the current zeitgeist.
I have tried to categorize them;  but, I hasten to add, that if it pricks your curiosity, ignore my [...]

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§849 · December 8, 2011 · Books, On the Shelf · 7 comments · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I don’t think Mr. Penny’s advice in this interview is the basis for his opinions; but, he has been trained by a hundred years of art historical practice to talk to the public about art in an imprecise and unhelpful way. This work has been through a host serious scientific tests, including carbon dating and comparative chemical testing of pigments used in undisputed da Vinci paintings. These are not the kind of tools available to average museum-goers who Mr. Penny invites to “judge for themselves.” If he were a lawyer, we would expect him to say “Here is the compelling evidence for and against . . . therefore I am pretty sure it is attributable to da Vinci.” not: “I’m pretty sure . . . It’s weird . . . ask someone else.” It is a sign of our times that a trained scholar and Director of one of the world’s great museums would tell people to look at and interpret a Renaissance painting as though it were a 1960s drip painting.

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Located a short walk from the Royal Palace, the Basilica de San Francisco el Grande is not on most tourists’ itineraries. It should be. Even when tourist visit, it is to see the Capilla de San Bernardo (Chapel of Saint Bernard) where a large painting by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828) hangs. Goya’s work [...]

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We do not usually associate the two; but, there it is, a Van Gogh hanging somewhere between one of the world’s largest collections of antiquities and the Sistine Chapel.

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With only 36 hours in Lisbon, there was little time for me to explore. I wanted to visit the city’s most well-known art museum. So, when I asked a cab driver to take me to the Museum of Fine Art, I was taken to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. (Roughly translated as the “National Museum of Ancient Art,” the term “ancient” in Portuguese does not have the same meaning in English, which would imply anything from pre-historic to, perhaps, the birth of Christ.)

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According to the Catholic Calendar of Saints, today is the Saint Day of Juan de la Cruz (Spanish, 1542-1591). While I am not Catholic, the history of art has been inspired by and inseparable from it. For several months, I have been pouring over the poems of Juan de La Cruz; drawn in by their depth and simplicity. But, also, amazed at the relationship his mystic view of the relationship of man and God was expressed in contemporary painting.

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