The Easel

12th October 2021

Jenny Saville’s Nudes Bring Renaissance Masters Down to Earth

The Renaissance was dominated by men. Florence has cleverly responded with a show that puts those works next to Jenny Saville’s acclaimed portraits of fleshy, imperfect female bodies. With their emphasis on emotion and vulnerability they differ radically from Renaissance ideals of womanhood. Still, at some level, all these artists are motivated by concepts of humanism. In different ways, they all put “the figure at the center of the history of art”.

5th October 2021

Judith Joy Ross’s timeless and empathetic portraits

Ross’s acclaimed portrait projects can be years long – members of Congress, people at Washington’s Vietnam memorial, Pennsylvania school pupils. They are mostly formal compositions, set in unremarkable locations. What makes them stand out is their emotional acuity, the ability to reveal a private self. Ross has that ability to connect with her subjects: “I know I’m being delusional. But I like to think I’m capturing the real thing.”