Last Supper in Pompeii

Last Supper in Pompeii

Pompeii is a vibrant presence in our cultural imagination. Many of us will have learned about it at primary school: how the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE froze a moment of historical time, preserving forever the objects of daily life under the Roman Empire. Life and death are deeply intertwined here: it [...]

‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ by Edmund de Waal

‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ by Edmund de Waal

I picked up this book expecting to learn a lot about netsuke, the tiny Japanese sculptures that ceramicist Edmund De Waal inherited from his beloved uncle Ignace, known fondly as Iggie. Netsuke are little ornaments, usually ivory or wood, that were worn from the belt as part of traditional Japanese dress. During the craze for [...]

Photography in the gallery

Photography in the gallery

Many art lovers vocalise their disappointment when a gallery lifts a prohibition on photography. There are claims that letting photography into the sacred gallery space is a rude violation of quiet looking: photography, some argue, gets in the way of really experiencing a work of art. It makes the act of viewing a superficial and [...]

Van Gogh and Britain

Van Gogh and Britain

Van Gogh’s art is so multi-dimensional, so broad in its influences, that there are countless different “Van Gogh and…” exhibitions just waiting to be curated. We could have exhibitions on his relationship to Japan, France and the Low Countries, or his reception in the USA after his death. Like Picasso after him, Van Gogh was [...]