Tag: painting

Alma-Tadema’s uncarnal classics

August 7, 2017 0 Comments
Alma-Tadema’s uncarnal classics

Alluring women in chiffon and sandals, bright marble benches, azure seas, flower petals falling like rain.  This was the recipe Lawrence Alma-Tadema hit on for his paintings of scenes from ancient Rome.  Thousands were drawn to buy them, or at least reproductions of them, in late Victorian and Edwardian England. It was all a long […]

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Roger Cecil

April 21, 2017 3 Comments
Roger Cecil

I met Roger Cecil just once, in 2011.  There was only one way of making initial contact with him, according to my instructions, that had any chance of success.  You rang his number, twice, then put the phone down and rang again.  If you were lucky he would then answer.  I was lucky, and arranged […]

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Glenys

January 21, 2017 0 Comments
Glenys

There’s only one person in Swansea known by everyone as ‘Glenys’.  And there couldn’t be a more popular or fitting choice for the Glynn Vivian’s first big exhibition after its five-year sleep than a retrospective of the works of Glenys Cour, born in 1924 and still painting daily at the age of 92. What’s more, […]

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Paul Nash

December 19, 2016 1 Comment
Paul Nash

The big Paul Nash exhibition now on at Tate Britain is a great show.  Not just because it’s an unusually big and comprehensive review of his work, but because it raises so many interesting questions – about the part of an artist in homegrown and international traditions, about art’s relationship with the state in times […]

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Esther Grainger

September 3, 2016 0 Comments
Esther Grainger

We’re in Merthyr Tydfil to spend an afternoon in Cyfarthfa Castle and its estate, above the town to the north-east.  The house was built as a home by the Crawshay family, owners of one of the town’s great ironworks in the nineteenth century.  ‘Castle’ is the right word for it.  Stone turreted and battlemented, it […]

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Kyffin Williams the writer

February 5, 2016 3 Comments
Kyffin Williams the writer

The text of the 8th Kyffin Williams Annual Lecture, given at Highgate School, London on 1 February 2016. First, I’d like to thank David Smith and Highgate School for inviting me to give this year’s Kyffin Williams Lecture.  It’s very fitting that Highgate remembers Kyffin so loyally, because he was always grateful to the school […]

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Peter Lanyon’s gliding paintings

November 2, 2015 2 Comments
Peter Lanyon’s gliding paintings

If you want to escape from the madness of central London – a frequent need, in my experience – you could do worse than visit the Courtauld Gallery. It’s usually quiet, its home is a handsome and quirky corner of Somerset House, and its permanent collection is exceptional for its quality and holding power. You […]

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Goya and the Philippines junta: power mocked

May 24, 2015 0 Comments
Goya and the Philippines junta: power mocked

The town of Castres has several claims to fame. At its centre handsome rows of old tanners’ and weavers’ houses overhang the river Agout. It was where the socialist leader and peacemaker Jean Jaurès was born in 1859. It has a flourishing ‘Top 14’ rugby side. And it contains the Goya Museum, which specialises in […]

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Atalanta

March 8, 2015 0 Comments
Atalanta

For International Women’s Day, here’s a Greek woman of formidable talent and power. Since 1935 she’s lived in Swansea, in the collection of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. She’s hidden away from public view at the moment while the Gallery’s home is being modernised. She was absent from the big Christopher Williams exhibition curated by […]

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Vivienne Williams

October 26, 2014 3 Comments
Vivienne Williams

Still life as a genre has a long history. Pictures of plenty – fruits of nature arranged by human hand – are common on Roman painted walls and mosaics. Renaissance artists picked out collections of food, natural and prepared, from the incidental details of medieval paintings and placed them centre stage. The golden age of […]

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