painting

Essays

John Martin and the Theatre of Subversion

John Martin and the Theatre of Subversion

Max Adams, author of The Prometheans, looks at the art of John Martin and how in his epic landscapes of apocalyptic scale one can see reflected his revolutionary leanings. more

The Serious and the Smirk: The Smile in Portraiture

The Serious and the Smirk: The Smile in Portraiture

Why do we so seldom see people smiling in painted portraits? Nicholas Jeeves explores the history of the smile through the ages of portraiture, from Da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Alexander Gardner's photographs of Abraham Lincoln. more

Time and Place: Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)

Time and Place: Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)

In many countries around the world the works of Eric Ravilious have come out of copyright this year – he died when his aircraft went missing off Iceland while he was making war paintings. An artist in multiple disciplines, his greater legacy dwells in water-colours. Frank Delaney re-visits the work of this understated, yet significant figure. more

Gustav Wunderwald’s Paintings of Weimar Berlin

Gustav Wunderwald’s Paintings of Weimar Berlin

The Berlin of the 1920s is often associated with a certain image of excess and decadence, but it was a quite different side of the city — the sobriety and desolation of its industrial and working-class districts — which came to obsess the painter Gustav Wunderwald. Mark Hobbs explores. more

Lover of the Strange, Sympathizer of the Rude, Barbarianologist of the Farthest Peripheries

Lover of the Strange, Sympathizer of the Rude, Barbarianologist of the Farthest Peripheries

Winnie Wong brings us a short biography of the Chinese curioso Pan Youxun (1745-1780). At issue? Hubris, hegemony, and global art history. more

Primary Sources: A Natural History of the Artist's Palette

Primary Sources: A Natural History of the Artist's Palette

For all its transcendental appeals, art has always been inextricably grounded in the material realities of its production, an entwinement most evident in the intriguing history of artists' colours. Focusing in on painting's primary trio of red, yellow, and blue, Philip Ball explores the science and stories behind the pigments, from the red ochre of Lascaux to Yves Klein's blue. more

Pantagruel
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