2019

Christmas Selfies Recording History

Christmas Selfies Recording History

Christmas Selfies Recording History It could now be considered a work of art. For 42 years Richard and Anna Wagner took a Christmas portrait of themselves in their apartment in Berlin : Christmas Selfies Recording History Look carefully and you can see a fantastic story of the changing times and lives. Affluence to austerity. Peace to wartime. Look at their Christmas presents – household goods for her, ‘man’s stuff’ for him. Look at the spreads on the table, how times and circumstances affected the fare. The style of clothes for both of them dramatically shows how couture changed. Warmth in 1915, cold in 1917 – we all know what was going on. Same net curtains for many years, a little change of wall-paper. 1942 – just 3 years before the Russians came. The photographs were recently discovered and are now … Continue reading Christmas Selfies Recording History

Pricking Paul Gauguin’s Balloon

Pricking Paul Gauguin’s Balloon Not a pleasant man? But by whose judgement? Pricking Paul Gauguin’s Balloon Museums are reassessing the legacy of an artist who had sex with teenage girls and called the Polynesian people he painted “savages.” Source NY Times . Nov 2019  He failed at this, he failed at that. Left his wife and family for sexual adventures in the South Seas. He fell out with Van Gogh. Much of a painter? That’s the question. If it wasn’t for Roger Fry and the ‘Post Impressionists‘ Exhibition and the French believing their art is the best, where would he be? He came up with a new approach. He was avant-garde … maybe. But am I being too iconoclastic? Or is this a case of the emperor’s new clothes? What really grates is his attitude in Tahiti. Already the French … Continue reading Pricking Paul Gauguin’s Balloon

Lucian Freud Royal Academy

Lucian Freud at the Royal Academy – Self Portraits A few more weeks to enjoy this exhibition : Lucian Freud Royal Academy               I have to admit that originally I was most disinterested in seeing this. It was only because I was trying my new ‘Academician’s Room’ membership that I thought I’d pass a few minutes taking in Freud. My disinterest turned out to be most displaced. The event was spell-binding.              Some of the works I was familiar with, most of the others were new to me and my few minutes turned into a good hour and a half. It all starts with Freud’s early works – drawings of himself in different contexts. Excellent stuff. Rapidly we are then moved on to his later painted self-portraits and here … Continue reading Lucian Freud Royal Academy

Amman Hashemtite Kingdom of Jordan

Amman Sketch in Roman amphitheatre

Amman Hashemtite Kingdom of Jordan Amman Hashemtite Kingdom of Jordan : a sketch from the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre overlooking the city of Amman with the ancient Citadel on the far horizon (backdrop photo to frame the sketch) I had about 5 minutes to complete a quick pen sketch which I coloured in later. Sitting high above the orchestra and stage area, the weather was warm in November with a slight breeze to keep cool by. Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into the art world, share an insight, smile at a joke and maybe even be informed a little. Al regularly visits … Continue reading Amman Hashemtite Kingdom of Jordan

Klimt Staircase Vienna

Klimt Staircase Vienna It’s not difficult to be over-awed enjoying the experience of the Gustav Klimt staircase at the Kunst Historisches Museum, Vienna. The sheer technical and aesthetic brilliance is breath taking. As you enter the Museum the staircase lies immediately ahead of you. You amble across the foyer and start to ascend the gently rising steps, being careful to avoid tripping as you indulge your senses to the full. Your gaze flows around and your desire is to get much nearer to study the detail, but alas the distance is of course too far. I was visiting the Autumn 2019 exhibition of Caravaggio and Bernini  and as my timed ticket was not due for another hour, I sat with a coffee and drew a sketch of my view from my table. By sketching, the beauty becomes even more apparent. … Continue reading Klimt Staircase Vienna

Kode Museum Bergen Norway

Kode Museum Bergen Norway If you’d like a quick, enjoyable and enriching introduction to the history of Norwegian art, you can’t go wrong with: Bergen Norway Kode Museum.                   Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into the art world, share an insight, smile at a joke and maybe even be informed a little. Al regularly visits the major galleries in the UK and whenever possible, mainland Europe and the USA. He keeps up to date by subscribing to many periodicals, viewing documentaries and the news in general. Al paints and sculpts himself and frequently sketches in-situ. … Continue reading Kode Museum Bergen Norway

Baroque & Rococo Revisited

Baroque & Rococo Revisited Baroque & Rococo Revisited  : A little video pulled together for a brief enjoyment of this period of art history. “I think you might enjoy this…”   Baroque & Rococo Revisited  : A little video pulled together for a brief enjoyment of this period of art history. Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into the art world, share an insight, smile at a joke and maybe even be informed a little. Al regularly visits the major galleries in the UK and whenever possible, mainland Europe and the USA. He keeps up to date by subscribing to many periodicals, viewing documentaries … Continue reading Baroque & Rococo Revisited

Wadi Rumm TE Lawrence Augustus John

TEL Drawing

Wadi Rumm TE Lawrence Augustus John Wadi Rumm TE Lawrence Augustus John : Dawn at Wadi Rumm. Watching the sun rise over the horizon. Magical. Other-worldly. Listening to Maurice Jarre’s score for David Lean’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on a mesa overlooking Wadi Rumm,   … it was not difficult to imagine both the presence of the 1917 hero and the 1962 film crew capturing the drama and excitement. Balfour, Sykes and Picot apart, reading his ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ and ‘Revolt in the Desert’, Lawrence genuinely believed he was endeavouring to gain the Arabs their independence. How betrayed he must have felt. This emotion can be seen in Augustus John’s poignant capturing of his image as he gazed out of a London window to watch a victory parade pass below. This drawing of 30 lines was brilliantly executed whilst John … Continue reading Wadi Rumm TE Lawrence Augustus John

Jordan John the Baptist Caravaggio Jesus

Caravaggio's 'John the Baptist'

Jordan John the Baptist Caravaggio Jesus Jordan John the Baptist Caravaggio Jesus: Passing through The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the visitor is treated to a number of outstanding sites: Petra, Wadi Rumm, Amman, Mount Nebo, Aqaba and … … the site of John the Baptist’s baptism of Jesus Christ at Bethany Beyond the Jordan. The ‘power of the place’ quietens the mind of even those of an agnostic, sceptical frame of mind. To give my snapshot more contextual poignancy I’ve added Piero Della Francesca’s ‘Baptism of Christ’ c1448-50, now in London’s National Gallery. I believe this gives both the painting and the site itself a far greater visceral meaning (and Caravaggio’s ‘John the Baptist’ to my photo of the wilderness). In Francesca’s time as in Biblical times, the River Jordan would have been free flowing and John the Baptist’s wilderness … Continue reading Jordan John the Baptist Caravaggio Jesus

Caravaggio Heaven and Hell

Caravaggio Heaven and Hell The fantastic thing about(Michelangelo Mersisi da) Caravaggio is the way he draws you into his story. Caravaggio Heaven and Hell How does he do this? Notice his use of lighting? What is its source? Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s off to the side. Often it’s from the front, from you, you are helping to illuminate the scene, why? Because you are there, included with the other players as an observer or participant. The other device Caravaggio uses is the positioning of his scene on the canvas. More often than not to the fore, right at the front of the canvas. The effect being that the scene is within your space not in some far off distance. By implication, you are drawn into the scene along with your light. Caravaggio depicted his characters in dramatic action poses. … Continue reading Caravaggio Heaven and Hell