Category: Art

Iconic Album Covers – 5 Favourites – April 2021

Following on from a highly enjoyable 5 Favourites post in March, I have decided to make the feature a running one. Sparks – Propaganda The brothers Mael find themselves in a series of tricky situations for the cover of their 1974 album, Propaganda. The middle sleeve is the photograph I used for the cover of this post, but these two can also be found gagged and bound in the back of a car on the back cover of this wonderful album. The album itself is an astonishing and flawless work of art, please do listen to it. Supertramp –...

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The Captive Slave – John Philip Simpson

John Phillip Simpson (1782–1847) was a British portrait painter. Until his death he was a frequent exhibitor at Royal Academy and was even the appointed painter to Portuguese royalty. Today I want to talk about a piece of his which has moved me rather. I wanted to include this in Black History Month back in February but almost feel it is more impactful being seen as a stand alone piece some weeks later. After all, the issues highlighted in Black History Month are suffered year round. Despite enduring critical neglect and eventual obscurity, Simpson was a gifted artist, capable...

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Bacchus – Caravaggio 1596

Dyonysus, otherwise known as Bacchus, is the god of, wait for it: grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth. The frenzy he induces is referred to as bakkheia. The Romans also referred to him as Liber, meaning free. Partaking in his wine and ecstatic dancing is said to free the reveller and in turn be possessed by Bacchus himself. Caravaggio’s work was commissioned by Cardinal Del Monte, owner of the Palazzo Madama in Rome. This palace is now the home of the Italian Senate....

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Dante and Virgil – Hellish Bouguereau Masterwork

William Bouguereau (1825-1905) was a French academic painter. His works comprised mostly mythological themes and modern interpretations of Classic scenes. His most famous work is of course the Birth of Venus (seen below), painted in 1979. There is a bit of nudity in this piece so please scroll very fast if you do not wish to be startled. The piece I will be discussing today is Dante and Virgil, painted in 1950 when the artist was just 25. It shows a scene from the Inferno where Capocchio, and Gianni Schicchi are fighting. The former is biting the later rather...

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Sunlight in a Cafeteria – Edward Hopper

It is not difficult to find examples of social distancing in Edward Hopper’s works. This blog has explored Office in a Small City, which is a reality I face daily being one of about three people working in my office. Hooper (1882-1967) is one of the great American artists to have ever lived. He is most widely known for his oil paintings but was also highly proficient at watercolours and etchings, having produced over 800 works during his career. Hopper seems to be the perfect artist for this time of extreme alienation, isolation and loneliness. Del Ray Artisans, who...

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