Achieving the Illusion of Depth, Two Examples

This large fresco is a masterclass in linear perspective. The Forum like architecture is bilaterally symmetrical and provides a very large number of orthogonals that converge, with rigid mathematical precision, […]

The Slave Ship by Turner, a Critical Appreciation

At first sight Slave Ship seems to depict a beautiful sunset over a tumultuous sea. A Turner tactic to lull you in. A stark counterpoint to the horrors and barbarity […]

Twenty Famous Nude Paintings

There are many reasons that the female nude is such a popular subject for painting. It is an aesthetically pleasing subject. Most artists and most patrons have been men. It […]

Ten Spanish Artists

When we study art we tend to concentrate on France and Italy, with the Netherlands, UK and USA forming a second tier. Which is unfair to Spain which through history […]

Francesco Squarcione, Renaissance Hero

You probably haven’t heard of Francesco Squarcione, but he is well worth knowing about. Born in Padua in 1395 he was a member of the painters guild by 1423. Considering that […]


Artists often create illusions. Using technique to make you see things well beyond just a 2D surface. The picture above proves how the eye and brain can be easily led […]

The 5 rules of modern art

So let’s play devil’s advocate here. Anything is “art” purely if the “artist” says that it is. No other criteria apply. This is irrefutable and cannot be challenged. The physical […]

The Shock of the New

Many years ago the BBC was a world class broadcaster; politically neutral, comedy that was actually funny and unafraid to broadcast high brow content. Unlike today where it is just […]

Macchiaioli, Impressionism 10 years before the Impressionists?

The Macchiaioli were a group of Italian painters who predated the Impressionists with whom they had many very striking similarities. Named “Macchiaioli” as an insult by a critical journalist writing in  in November […]

An Artist a Day

This is great fun, takes little time and is very interesting indeed. The history of art is like an incredibly complicated jigsaw, with the individual artists as the pieces. The […]