Matisse in the Studio

Matisse in the Studio

‘Small, but perfectly formed’ is a good description of virtually any exhibition held in the Sackler Galleries. Matisse in the Studio is the perfect example of just how the right number of pictures and objects in four rooms make a cohesive and containable show by telling stories. After the Introduction, the exhibition divides into...

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A date with ‘The Master’: Balenciaga at the V&A

A date with ‘The Master’: Balenciaga at the V&A

Christobel Balenciaga was called ‘The Master’, and for anyone in any doubt, a walk around the current celebration of his work at The Victoria & Albert Museum will explain why. Despite the fact he died in 1972, his influence can be seen in silhouette after silhouette on the catwalks today,...

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The Postal Museum and the Mail Rail

The Postal Museum and the Mail Rail

Whilst I am perfectly au fait with using the Great British Postal Service (at least when it comes to regrettable late night impulse purchases off  Amazon), I have never, it must be said, been particularly curious about the history and inner workings of one of our oldest institutions. Indeed most...

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Michelangelo & Sebastiano

Michelangelo & Sebastiano

Michelangelo & Sebastiano National Gallery Until 25 June 2017 Admission £18 nationalgallery.org.uk   ‘Neglected’, ‘overlooked’, ‘forgotten’, ‘unappreciated’ are just some of the words that could describe Sebastiano del Piombe (1485-1547), at the time, the achingly talented Venetian and as big a name as Michelangelo, Titian and Raphael in Rome, from...

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David Hockney

David Hockney

The media has become preoccupied with who ‘Britain’s Greatest Living Artist’ is. After Francis Bacon died in 1992, the hollow crown was perched precariously on Lucian Freud’s head until he died in 2011, and this was was then followed by an interregnum, while various art critics bandied around names like...

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Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London.

Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London.

A decorative mosaic panel on the original facade of the V&A Museum, which is now a grand threshold for its cafe, shows a portrait of bearded John Lockwood Kipling. The terracotta panels visible on the exterior front of this Museum are also the work of Kipling. He was born in...

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Diana: Her Fashion Story

Diana: Her Fashion Story

A carpet of forget me nots, enhanced with tulips and scented narcissi, will adorn the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in springtime, to celebrate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. In summertime the reflective pool in this historic garden, so loved by the Princess, will be surrounded with white...

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Flaming June: The Making of an Icon

Flaming June: The Making of an Icon

Flaming June: The Making of an Icon. Leighton House Museum. Until 2nd April. 2017. A Victorian painting of a sleeping beauty, adorned in a diaphanous, glowing gown, seemingly made of shimmering orange sunshine, awoke the world as she posed beside the sea, apparently the Mediterranean, in her flowing classical style...

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Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans

Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans

Trying to name famous Belgians is a popular question at pub quizzes. Some can come up with a handful, including two painters, René Magritte and Peter Paul Rubens, then maybe Eddy Merckx the five-times Tour de France winner, Adolphe Sax of ’phone fame, and then they let the side down...

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Beyond Caravaggio

Beyond Caravaggio

  Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was certainly the bad boy of Renaissance art. He killed a man, Ranuccio Tomassoni, in a row over a woman, Fillide Melandroni, one of his models and a famous Roman beauty and courtesan. Recent research has disclosed that Tomassoni, who was not only a rival...

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