Monthly Archive for December, 2017

Merry Christmas

Filippino Lippi, The Adoration of the Kings, about 1480, The National Gallery

Cézanne’s Card Players

Cézanne’s Card Players

On Cézanne, time, figure drawing, still lives, and the classics

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Jimmy Corrigan’s Spectacular Reality

Jimmy Corrigan’s Spectacular Reality

Article on Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan

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Christmas odds and ends


So it’s nearly Christmas and I realise that I’ve been running behind even on the self-promotion (such as it is) in here. Fear not, I’ll have you caught up in no time, or just in time to wish you a merry one.

ITEM My exhibition Michelangelo & Sebastiano, which showed at the National Gallery last spring, was nominated for Exhibition of the Year at the Apollo Awards. Although we were beaten for the award by the amazing Raphael exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, it was needless to say an honour to be considered. I am proud of the work we did, warts and all, and hope some of you had the chance to come see it.

ITEM Speaking of Michelangelo and Raphael, they are — of course — two parts of the ‘Big Three’ constellation we are currently showing in room 20 at the National. The Royal Academy generously lent us Michelangelo’s Taddei tondo for Michelangelo and Sebastiano and have let us keep it till the end of January while they’re renovating and preparing its new display in time for their anniversary. For various reasons, my full online interpretation treatment on went live a few weeks ago. You can look at it here, and you can of course watch my Facebook Live introduction — previously posted – here.

Cornelis Cort after design by Titian, The Annunciation, second state, c. 1566, engraving


ITEM I reviewed Peter Lüdemann’s Tiziano. Le botteghe e la grafica in the December issue of The Burlington Magazine. on the use of graphic media in the Titian workshop. A stimulating if slightly incoherent book, which at times skirts the difficult issues but nevertheless collates little-studied material in enlightening ways. Here are my concluding remarks:

Lüdemann’s book is a welcome
addition to the literature. In addition
to providing the first analytical overview of
print production both in Titian’s workshop
and outside it, its central argument about
collaboration is strong. Titian himself never
cut, engraved or etched, which means that
any consideration of prints relating to his
output necessarily involves his workshop
practice and his arrangements with fellow
artists, printmakers and printers. It should
be obvious to any reader of this flawed but
fascinating book that the prints, and indeed
the drawings relating to them or otherwise
analogous to their function, are a particularly
illuminating key to a better understanding
of Titian’s work as a whole.

Read it at your local art library!

ITEM Our Christmas video series at The National Gallery this year focuses on gold as its theme. I participated briefly (see above) in the section devoted to the gilding of frames, discussing with our Head of Framing Peter Schade the spectacular altarpiece frame he created for the Gallery’s Raising of Lazarus by Sebastiano and Michelangelo, which debuted in the aforementioned exhibition and is now on view around the painting in the Gallery’s room 8.

Merry Christmas!

Bruegel, Rembrandt, Crumb and Cartooning

Bruegel, Rembrandt, Crumb and Cartooning
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Extended Hooded Utilitarian piece on R. Crumb’s Genesis and the cartoon tradition.

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The Green Hand at The Comics Journal


So, I already have another Common Currency column up at The Comics Journal. I know, crazy right? Anyway, it’s basically a standard review of French artist and writer Nicole Claveloux’ The Green Hand, just now reissued in a handsome English-language edition by New York Review Comics. I make the case that especially the tile story is a largely forgotten masterpiece, representing a road not really taken in the form until perhaps recently. In part because comics have been so bad at accomodating woman creators, again until recently. Things are changing. Go, read.

The Voice

The Voice
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Guru RIP

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