art

Lucian Freud and Celia Paul

January 25, 2020 0 Comments
Lucian Freud and Celia Paul

Lucian Freud isn’t one of those big artists whose star quickly fades after death.  To judge by a visit to the Royal Academy exhibition of his self-portraits (it finishes tomorrow), his work still attracts plenty of public interest. The paintings were arranged chronologically, so you could follow easily the track of Freud’s development, and how […]

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A fruit bat, displayed

January 18, 2020 0 Comments
A fruit bat, displayed

This is one of those important, but well-concealed exhibitions that attracts large numbers of visitors mainly by word of mouth.  When I was there, in the cramped basement of the Wallace Collection last weekend, I was surprised to be sharing the space with many others.  Most of them seemed as smitten as I was by […]

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A reader walks out

December 27, 2019 0 Comments
A reader walks out

In the huge and magnificent William Blake exhibition now on in Tate Britain there are many images that were new to me, even though I’d seen the earlier big Tate shows of his artistic work, in 1978 and 2000.  One of them comes from a series Blake produced during the last three years of his […]

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More poetry is needed

December 6, 2019 2 Comments
More poetry is needed

These are dark times.  Walking through the streets of central Swansea, it can seem that the dark is rising.  More shops close with every month, leaving empty and boarded windows.  In some parts only charity, pawn and vape shops appear to be in business.  Never-ending cuts have reduced what were once thriving public and third […]

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August Sander and his Germans

November 23, 2019 0 Comments
August Sander and his Germans

The National Museum in Cardiff is currently showing a generous selection of the portraits of August Sander, possibly the best-known large series of photographs produced in the first half of the twentieth century.  It’s hard to explain how it feels to walk slowly along the gallery of figures Sander captured.  Admiration at the brilliance of […]

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Sophy Rickett’s missing women

November 17, 2019 0 Comments
Sophy Rickett’s missing women

At the centre of ‘The curious moaning of Kenfig Burrows’, Sophy Rickett’s collection of photographs in the Glynn Vivian Art Galley, is Cupid, a seventeenth century oil painting from the Gallery’s foundation collection.  It’s safe to say that this work hasn’t been seen by the public for many decades.  It’s attributed to an obscure Italian […]

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Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

October 29, 2019 0 Comments
Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

If you visit the Penllergare Valley Woods, as we did last week, you can’t leave without developing a strong respect for the estate’s chief creator, John Dillwyn Llewelyn.  Photographic pioneer, astronomer, botanist, orchid collector, landscapist, inventor – he used his wealth, leisure and connections, after inheriting the estate as a boy from his grandfather in […]

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Sebon glan, sebon budr

October 11, 2019 0 Comments
Sebon glan, sebon budr

Daeth newyddion da o Lyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru‘r wythnos yma: bod y Llyfrgell wedi prynu un o’r ddau fersiwn gwreiddiol o’r llun dyfrlliw enwog Salem gan Sydney Curnow Vosper, cyn arwerthiant yng Nghaerdydd.  Mae’n hollol briodol bod llun a ddisgrifir yn aml fel ‘eicon’ o gelf Gymreig yn cael cartref parhaol mewn sefydliad diwylliannol cenedlaethol.  Fel […]

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Edgar Degas does some more ironing

October 8, 2019 0 Comments
Edgar Degas does some more ironing

A while ago I drew attention to the pictures Edgar Degas made of women ironing.  I tried to show how this unusual theme brought out the best in him as a painter.  This week, in Avignon, I came across another fine example that I hadn’t seen before. It’s on display in the Musée Angladon.  This […]

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The memory of Sir Thomas Picton

August 23, 2019 0 Comments
The memory of Sir Thomas Picton

One of the many noxious elements making up the miasma of Brexiter thinking is exceptionalism.  The idea that Britain is naturally superior to other countries, and that it is strong enough to stand alone against every foe, has deep roots – much deeper than the Battle of Britain, so often trundled out by politicians.  If […]

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