The Easel

16th April 2019

Rubens had it all — fame, fortune, good looks. But you can’t hate him.

Rubens was successful, hugely so. Flaws that might make him more human are hard to spot. His work is dubbed “cinematic”, a la Spielberg. Is that so bad? Rubens is “almost always not just successful, but also almost comically successful, with a virtuoso energy that overwhelms suspicion.” Plausibly the greatest court painter of his age. More images are here.

9th April 2019

Offensive or important? Debate flares anew over SF school mural depicting slavery

There are calls for the removal from a San Francisco school of a 1930’s mural depicting slaves and a slain Native American. Some see it as “traumatic” and/or glorifying oppression. Others argue that it portrays, without approval, those violent parts of American history – it is “a historic mural by a renowned artist”. The school head says “I do understand the sensitivity about it being art. It’s difficult”.