Grappling with the great Giorgione

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My first encounter with Giorgione didn’t start well. It was a scorching August day and as the audio guide droned on I failed to see what all the fuss was about as crowds thronged to get close to ‘The Tempest’. Nine years later I can readily admit that I was wrong. I still don’t like The Tempest but I do like Giorgione. He hasn’t changed but I certainly have. Last autumn Alessandra and I even made the pilgrimage to his pretty little hometown Castelfranco Veneto to see the magnificent Castlefranco Madonna and the little Museo Giorgione dedicated to his life and works.

In the Age of Giorgione at the Royal Academy is a gem of an exhibition. Simply drop your other plans and insist on going. Continue reading Grappling with the great Giorgione

A Rare Disappointment at the National Gallery

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I’m rarely disappointed by exhibitions at the National Gallery. Indeed, the first exhibition which began my love of art was in that very place. Since 2005 and Caravaggio: The Final Years my addiction has been regularly topped up by the fantastic displays it has to offer. Both Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan and Rembrandt: The Late Works come so easily to mind. Each conjures a rich tapestry of images and I still treasure the catalogues to this day.

The permanent collection is equally a treat. For me the space takes on a quality somewhat akin to a sacred space. Continue reading A Rare Disappointment at the National Gallery