Art

Pyotr F. Sokolov: Watercolour Portraits in the Age of Pushkin

Following my piece ‘On the Fugitive and French and Russian Poetry’ – which considered fugitive poetry in eighteenth-century France, and its influence upon the Golden Age of Russian poets including Alexander Pushkin, Konstantin Batyushkov, and Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky – I thought I would take a look at a Russian painter who encapsulated the Pushkin era. Active from the middle of…

Podcast: Banks of the Marne and Zola’s House at Médan, by Cézanne

An aural and visual composite of two pieces on Cézanne: on Banks of the Marne, which he painted in 1888, and which I first considered within the context of Cézanne’s career after viewing it during the exhibition Impressionism: Sensation and Inspiration, held at the Hermitage Amsterdam in 2013; and on Zola’s House at Médan (or Le Château de Médan), painted between 1879…

Mughal Painting and the Akbarnama: Miskina and Mukund

Mughal Painting and the Akbarnama: Miskina and Mukund

At the beginning of the year, while spending a few days in London, I visited the V&A and was taken with the museum’s South Asian rooms. In particular, I was captivated by the Mughal paintings on display: with their flattened perspectives, and their rich colour palettes of prominent reds and oranges, amber yellow, gold, and subtly complementing shades of viridian green and Persian…

A Cultural History of the Potato as Earth Apple

The etymology of the word ‘apple’ takes us back to the Early Middle Ages, when it appeared in various related forms across the Germanic languages: as ‘apful’/’aphul’ or ‘apfel’/’aphel’ in Old High German, ‘appel’ in Old Frisian, ‘appul’ in Old Saxon, ‘epli’ in Old Icelandic, ‘æplæ’ or ‘æpæl’ in Old Danish, and so on. At the time, the word referred sometimes…

The 1937 Paris International Exposition: Documents

The following documents are intended to be viewed and read in conjunction with my piece ‘Art and Architecture Towards Political Crises: The 1937 Paris International Exposition in Context’. They consist of pictures and videos documenting the Paris exposition; images of prominent artworks connected to and on display during the exposition, including art by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Raoul Dufy, Joan Miró, and…

Grayson Perry Plays Hide and Seek in York

Grayson Perry Plays Hide and Seek in York

The BBC reports: Museums, galleries and historic spaces are preparing to host almost 700 night-time events over the next three days. The annual Museums at Night festival gives visitors free access to museums from sunset onwards while special one-off events are planned around the UK. It gets under way later on Thursday and runs until Saturday. Events include an appearance…

Van Gogh’s Blossoming Orchard Triptych

Van Gogh’s Blossoming Orchard Triptych

In early April, I began a series on the art of Vincent van Gogh. Propelled by a thematic display of his works at the Hermitage Amsterdam, my series continued on as these works were removed and transported back across the city for the reopening of the Van Gogh Museum, on 1 May, and with a new exhibition, entitled Van Gogh…

The Scythians and The Rite of Spring: Documents

The Scythians and The Rite of Spring: Documents

Here are a selection of documents and sources – videos, images, and text – relating to and referred to in the piece I just published, on the influence of Nicholas Roerich and Asiatic culture on Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Mikhail Glinka, Ruslan and Lyudmila (1842) – Overture Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade, Op. 35 (1888) Vladimir Soloviev, ‘Pan Mongolism’ (1894) Pan Mongolism! The…