The Easel

26th May 2020

Don McCullin on the stories behind his most personally significant pictures

McCullin grew up in grinding poverty, in working class London. That experience influenced his subjects of choice – wars and social injustice – in an acclaimed career in photography. “Photography is like climbing Everest without oxygen and the weight you’re carrying is a moral, mental weight … [You think] God, I’m having such an exciting, wonderful life,’ but if you think it’s free of charge, it’s not. It’s loaded with penalty.”

19th May 2020

Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age

Maes had Rembrandt for a teacher and Vermeer as a contemporary. How could he not be overshadowed? Still, he had accomplishments. Maes innovated in genre painting, deftly inserting a narrative into images of middle-class domesticity. And then he moved on, to (more lucrative) portraits. Not Vermeer, who saw untapped potential in what Maes had been doing. The rest, as they say, is history.