The Renaissance Nude

A major museum exhibition can have two justifications: it can make a novel or interesting point, or argument; or it can present great, or at least interesting, objects. By those measures, The Renaissance Nude at […]

January 7th, 2019|Categories: Essays|0 Comments

American Masterpieces

At some point you go to so many museums it loses the thrill, and you wonder if you’re going just because it’s there and it’s a comfortable habit. In the span of a month, I […]

November 16th, 2018|Categories: American Art|0 Comments

Corot: Women

Two questions came to mind as I wandered through Corot Women at the National Gallery of Art: how many variations are there on the word “melancholy,” and is it acceptable to judge a work of […]

October 29th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Delacroix at the Met

Seeing 150 works in the Met’s first-ever-in-North-America retrospective of Eugene Delacroix I came to the conclusion that he was a one-trick pony. There was little or no development or change detectable from his first works, […]

October 8th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Truth and Beauty

Kudos to the organizers of this exhibition for using major international loans to make an art-historical point. It’s one thing to say that Britain’s Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was inspired by certain Renaissance artists; it’s quite another […]

October 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Museum Exhibitions ’18

Over May and June of this year I’ve had occasion to visit a half-dozen special exhibitions, from the spectacular to the routine to the overstuffed. Far and away the best, and perhaps the best I’ve […]

July 12th, 2018|Categories: Travel|0 Comments

Thomas Cole @ Met

Thomas Cole is a crucial, but transitional, figure in the history of American landscape art, bridging the European world of myth and legend with the American world of boundless nature. This can be seen, most […]

May 3rd, 2018|Categories: American Art, New York|0 Comments

Cult of the Machine

The “Cult of the Machine” at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum spotlighted American artists’ fascination with the industrial boom roughly between the World Wars, when machines equaled progress and the future and, therefore, became a new […]

April 11th, 2018|Categories: American Art|0 Comments

Paintings at the Met – 18th Century

613. French Women
Best: Marie Denise Villers, Marie Josephine Charlotte du Val d’Ognes (1801). Of all the eyes looking at me in this gallery, hers are the ones that hold me. Light and shadow define the […]

October 20th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Paintings at the Met – Spain

610. Velazquez
Best: Velazquez, Juan de Pareja (1650). A masterpiece of world portraiture: Velazquez’s consummate brushwork comes through the unfortunate glazing, capturing light reflecting off the Moor’s forehead, texturing his skin, revealing itself in the lace […]

October 20th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Paintings at the Met – 16th Century

607. Venice
Some periods are just better than others. 16th c. Venice – with Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Lotto – is one. The next gallery – 16th c. Northern Italy – is not.
Best: Paolo Veronese, Mars […]

October 19th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Paintings at the Met – before 1500

602. Gold Ground
Best: Lorenzo Monaco, David (1405-10). David strikes a commanding pose, holds a ‘cither’ realistically on his knee, and has the most human face in the gallery. The gold background sets off the beautiful […]

October 10th, 2017|Categories: The Met|0 Comments
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