The Easel

23rd May 2017

What the Minotaur can tell us about Picasso

Picasso had good reason to revere bulls – his Spanish heritage, his identification with Goya.  So the remains of Knossos, discovered in Crete around 1900, gave Picasso his alter-ego, the half man, half bull Minotaur. “It is a figure that speaks to almost everything he did, both in and out of the studio. His Minotaurs appear in scenes both of rape and of tender eroticism, as monsters and as victims and as heroes.”

Canaletto and the Art of Venice

Canaletto did “view paintings” of Venice for wealthy tourists doing the Grand Tour. “[H]e remains acutely conscious of the need for a good ‘set’. Crammed into the right-hand side of the painting, the church towers over its surroundings, its facade a riot of columns and warm brown stone. Images do not do this justice: it’s a tour-de-force of architectural painting.” An interview with the curator is here.

Photography Is …

London is trying to break into the photography exhibition business. Now in its third year, Photo London is taking on more established Europe-based fairs, apparently with some success. The linked piece covers the fair itself, while a list of top exhibits – or perhaps it’s a list of top names – is here.