A case of ‘mirror mania’ – Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

A case of ‘mirror mania’ – Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

When the National Gallery acquired Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434) in 1842, it was the only pristine example of early Netherlandish painting from this period in their collection. Van Eyck had also been erroneously credited as the inventor of oil painting, a sixteenth-century myth invented by Giorgio Vasari in Italy and perpetuated by Karel [...]

3-2-C: The Wallace Collection, London

3-2-C: The Wallace Collection, London

Of all the museums and galleries in London, the Wallace Collection is my favourite. Displayed at Hertford House and only a short walk away from Oxford Street, the collection contains everything from leaves of illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance and Baroque paintings, to military arms and armoury, in addition to a very strong selection of French 18th-century [...]

In The Name Of Michelangelo

In The Name Of Michelangelo

The Opera di Santa Croce, the non-profit body in charge of the church and monumental complex’s upkeep since 1371, is currently raising €100,000 ($119,000) to fund a hugely important project to clean and restore the tomb complex of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti family. It is urgently in need of restoration following damage caused by the [...]

3-2-C: Tate Modern, London

3-2-C: Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern is London’s all-around stop for modern and contemporary art. There is everything from painting to performance art, sculpture to new media, and even a viewing platform from the new Blavatnik Building. Many visitors gawk at Pablo Picasso’s Weeping Woman (1937), marvel at Salvador Dalí’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937), and fall silent in the [...]

3-2-C: The British Museum, London

3-2-C: The British Museum, London

According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), the British Museum continues to reign supreme for the 10th year running as the most popular UK attraction in 2016. Nearly 6.4 million people passed through its colonnade and classical façade to see the mummies, the Rosetta Stone (196 BC), the looted Parthenon statues, and on [...]

Encountering the Past

Encountering the Past

In a chapter of Cynthia Freedland’s book, Portraits & Persons, the philosopher proposes that portraits are images of persons that fulfil one or more of the following features: Likenesses Psychological characterisations Proofs of presence or ‘contact’ Manifestations of a person’s ‘essence’ or ‘air’ Such criteria may seem obvious but, in practice, they are particularly difficult [...]

‘My dearest compare’: Michelangelo & Sebastiano

‘My dearest compare’: Michelangelo & Sebastiano

‘All the discords that arose between Pope Julius and me were owing to the envy of Bramante and Raphael of Urbino […] And Raphael had good reason to be envious, since what he knew of art he learnt from me.’ (Michelangelo from Rome to an unknown addressee, October-November 1542) What do you get when you [...]