The Easel

Archives: Staff

4th December 2018

French art dealers angry after report urges African treasures be returned

Incredibly, “over 90% of the material cultural legacy” of sub-Saharan Africa is held outside Africa, notably in Paris’s Quai Branly Museum. Restitution seems an obvious step but not everyone can see a moral imperative. Some fret about lack of proper care, others think it doesn’t matter where these objects reside: African bronzes, like European art, “are part of the world’s cultural patrimony”.

Who was Su Shi, and why is he so revered within Chinese culture?

China’s Song dynasty was a period of great artistic achievement and some think Su Shi was its “pre-eminent personality of the 11th century”. A master of poetry, painting and calligraphy, he was also a senior scholar in the imperial court – a “proto Renaissance man”. His “gift to art history — the sense of an artist’s inner psychology being appropriate subject matter for art.”