art

The ageing of Henri Rouart

October 2, 2021 0 Comments
The ageing of Henri Rouart

Henri Rouart was one of Edgar Degas’ oldest and most loyal friends.  They went to same school in Paris, Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and served in the artillery together during the Franco-Prussian War (Degas was an indifferent soldier).  Rouart became an engineer and industrial designer, specialising in vapour-compressed refrigeration.  He owned a successful company and used his […]

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A Gresford decapitation

September 3, 2021 0 Comments
A Gresford decapitation

Today is 29 August, the traditional date, faithtourism reminds me on Twitter, for remembering the Decollation of St John the Baptist.  Decollation is a euphemism for having your head violently removed from your body.  It’s often used of this particular episode, when Herod Antipas, puppet ruler of Galilee and Perea, ordered John to undergo this […]

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Y cartŵn Cymraeg cyntaf?

August 20, 2021 2 Comments
Y cartŵn Cymraeg cyntaf?

Yn ôl Marian Löffler, hwn yw’r cartŵn cyntaf i ymddangos mewn print yn yr iaith Gymraeg.  Mae’n wynebddalen mewn llyfryn gan Thomas Roberts a gyhoeddwyd yn Llundain yn 1798, Cwyn yn erbyn gorthrymder. Brodor o Llwyn’rhudol Uchaf ger Pwllheli oedd Thomas Roberts.  Cyfreithiwr oedd ei dad, William.   Ganwyd e yn 1765 neu 1766, a symudodd […]

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‘Zounds!’: Tristram Shandy’s rude bits

August 6, 2021 0 Comments
‘Zounds!’:  Tristram Shandy’s rude bits

In the gallery at Shandy Hall at the moment is an exhibition of ingenious ceramics by Katrin Moye.  Entitled Filthy trash, it takes its inspiration from an aspect of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy that’s obvious, but often skated over by scholars more interested in its grander themes, like time, digression and reflexivity – its sly […]

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John Thomas: lluniau confensiynol, lluniau hynod

July 24, 2021 0 Comments
John Thomas: lluniau confensiynol, lluniau hynod

Mae’n anodd astudio bywyd cymdeithasol yng Nghymru yn ystod ail hanner y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg heb droi at y drysorfa fawr o luniau, dros 3,000 ohonynt, a dynnwyd gan John Thomas, Lerpwl rhwng y 1860au a’i farwolaeth yn 1905.  Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yw eu cartref bellach, a gallwch chi weld y mwyafrif ar wefan […]

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Remembering Camille Claudel

July 2, 2021 0 Comments
Remembering Camille Claudel

The Auguste Rodin exhibition now at Tate Modern takes you beyond easy assumptions about the artist, based on the best-known works and a few fragments of biography.  Rodin’s escape from the conventional beauties of classicism into reconstructing real human bodies came in 1876 with The age of bronze.  Its realism scandalised the critics.  But that’s […]

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Prussian Blue

March 26, 2021 0 Comments
Prussian Blue

Like a teenager, C. has fallen hopelessly in love, with a visitor from the Continent.  I didn’t see it coming.  And the worst thing is that I’m not sure it’s a temporary infatuation that will soon pass.  It’s taken a firm hold on her affections.  Only time will tell whether everything will end in tears. […]

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Thomas Jones’s ‘A wall in Naples’

January 29, 2021 3 Comments
Thomas Jones’s ‘A wall in Naples’

This week Patrick McGuinness reminded his Twitter followers of a two-part poem he published in his 2004 collection The Canals of Mars, called ‘Two paintings by Thomas Jones’.  The first part, ‘A wall in Naples’, goes like this: I look and look until the nothing that I seeperfects itself. I perfect its lack of interest,as […]

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The Last Bard: loops of an invented tradition

December 26, 2020 2 Comments
The Last Bard: loops of an invented tradition

By now the ‘invented tradition’ is itself a tradition.  Since Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger published their edited collection The invention of tradition in 1983, we’ve become familiar with the idea that rituals, histories and beliefs that seem age-old were actually recent fictions devised with specific purposes in mind. One of the chapters in The […]

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The revolutionary gaze of Constance Mayer

December 19, 2020 2 Comments
The revolutionary gaze of Constance Mayer

In a room a woman, about thirty years of age, sits alone. The room is plain, with two bare walls, dark and grey.  Its furniture is sparse, just a chair and a round table with round brass handles.  The woman wears a simple white cotton dress.  It has a high waistband and lacks sleeves, leaving […]

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