I just finished reading Thomas Hoving's King of the Confessors, which is about Hoving's adventures in acquiring what's now called The Cloisters Cross. Thanks to him, this English Romanesque carved ivory cross is one of the highlights of the Met Cloisters. The story is wild, and I couldn't put it down.
I just finished reading a book that told a wild, but true story about a work of art. Laura Cumming's The Vanishing Velasquez: A 19th-Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece tells the story of an English bookseller who believed that he owned a lost masterpiece by Spanish artist Diego Velasquez. It ends with a huge, still-unsolved mystery.
For the past few months, I've been working with Citaliarestauro.com, a Portuguese e-learning company specializing in art history, to create an online course about the history of Gothic architecture. I'm so excited to announce that it is now available for purchase!
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is located in Richmond, Virginia. Its highlights include the McGlothlin collection of American art, the Gans collection of English silver, and works by Faberge.
Want to enjoy great architecture from your couch? I recently discovered a host of virtual tours of famous works of architecture. How cool is that? While you can never truly experience a place from a computer screen, it's nice to have the option when travelling to the site in person isn't in your schedule (or budget). All of the tours listed are 360° experiences, not just pictures.
If you enjoy the works of J.M.W. Turner (as I do) and want to know more about him, I suggest reading Franny Moyle's Turner: The Extraordinary Life & Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner (New York: Penguin Press, 2016). It's a detailed and comprehensive book about Turner's life, art, personality, and career. This post is about some of the things I learned from the book.
The Frick is one of my favorite museums. It’s a small, world-class museum with collections and scholarship of the highest international importance. It's also a calm oasis in the middle of New York City.
Before synthetic colors, it was important to choose your paints wisely. Some artists, like J.M.W. Turner, didn't always do this, and their paintings discolored quickly.
History painting was an important genre in 18th and 19th-century European art. The term is used all the time, but doesn't simply refer to paintings of history. Learn about the characteristics of a history paint and why all the most ambitious artists wanted to pursue it.
Please read my article for DailyArt Magazine about Thomas Gainsborough's portraits of his two daughters.