The Easel

20th July 2021

Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes at Wallace Collection review – Let’s keep them together

When Rubens retired and was painting for his own pleasure, he produced not his signature fleshy figures but … rural views. Two such landscapes – painted as a pair – have been hung together for the first time in 200 years. Described as masterpieces and being entirely by Rubens, they reveal something about his mindset. They are “grand but also cosy” says one critic. Rubens’ saw his life as one of “autumnal plenty”.

13th July 2021

Paula Rego review – phenomenal paintings, shame about the decor

Rego is one of the major artists of our age. Her highly imaginative works portray violence, the complexities of relationships, families, stories told in a hyper-realist style. One critic says “to describe this show as stunning would be an understatement”. Another gushes “no artist has more powerfully and persuasively mastered then subverted the language of male painterly tradition to express modern female interior experience”. Images are here.

Gustave Moreau at Waddesdon Manor review — dark and decadent

The writer politely notes that the nineteenth century Symbolist movement was a bit over-the-top. So, when Moreau, one of its stars, painted La Fontaine’s Fables – with their monsters and demons – the result was always likely to be an explosion of “madcap imaginings”. It was. “The first image we see is an allegory of Fable herself, flying across the sky on the back of a hippogriff … [whose] wings are a blue so intense they would shame a sunlit peacock. “Wow,” I gulped.”