What it tries to contain — an unimaginable nothingness — is so beyond its simple means…
I first saw Titian’s Flaying of Marsyas in the winter of 1984. I had moved to Brooklyn from the Bay Area just 5 months before, when I heard the Flaying of Marsyas was at the Royal Academy in London for an exhibition on 16th Century Venetian painting. I quit my job, got a cheap flight and flew over.
Ask me what my favorite painting is — a very hard question since there are so many — and I’ll eventually come up with An Old Man and his Grandson by Domenico Ghirlandaio…
Yet this is the prospect given in Bruegel’s “St. John the Baptist Preaching.” Jesus is there, but as a presence he hardly counts and John is too far away to be heard distinctly.
Through the double doors that open into the Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibition, I fell into the familiar vortex of a painting I have loved for decades…
The challenge to an artist to think about his or her influences is such a central one that it immediately sends a stream of thoughts about a seemingly endless number of artists through one’s head.
First off, let’s get one thing straight. The Low Countries are aptly named. They’re low. No mountains at all. None!
The predella panel of Fra Angelico’s Perugia Altarpiece envisions the humble yet heroic life of Saint Nicholas, also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker.
Known primarily for his nearly unparalleled work in engraving and woodcut…
I know its an absurd statement to say – “Masterpiece” or “Greatest Painting Ever Made”. It’s obscene, and not in a good way, I admit this.
I grew up seeing the paintings of Munch and minor works of Northern European artists in the flesh, most of them tipping the scale at maudlin/austere.
Turn left outside the Jules Maidoff Palazzo in Florence†, walk to the first traffic light, turn left and walk up the hill until you reach via della Collona. Go right, soon you will arrive at # 9.
This rather battered old reproduction hangs in my studio. I’ve owned it since I was five, which is when I first and last saw the original.
A small painting: 12 inches wide by 16 inches high. Thin, lightly touched scrapes and dabs of paint in ochres, viridian greens, and a flurry of blues.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.” (St. Luke)
Seeing an Annunciation painting in Italy is about as easy as it was to find hair gel in a locker at my midwestern high school in the 80s.
The day after the Piero della Francesca show opened at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, I was up there to see this small gem of an exhibit.
This is my go to painting. When I’m downtown with any time to spare, I’m here. If I’m in the museum for any reason, I touch base here.
Stretch, a moment, a hide taut between threads and wind the threads around a wooden frame. Stitch this skin, recently nestled over sinew and muscle and organ and bone…