A Day Out with the Contemporary Treasures of Hereford Cathedral

Hereford is someway off the main tourist routes in Britain, but those intrepid enough to discover the city, will be richly rewarded, especially in the vicinity around the cathedral. Our visit last week was not our first and we skipped the two great attractions on this occasion. The Mappa Mundi is one of the great…

Barbara Hepworth and the Rhythms of the Stones at Wakefield

Barbara Hepworth invited the composer, Priaulx Rainier, to her studio at St Ives in 1950. While there, Rainier introduced Hepworth to Igor Stravinsky’s The Poetics of Music, of which the artist wrote “His (Stravinsky’s) chapter on composition corresponds so exactly to the creation of form that a mere half a dozen words would need to…

June Painting of the Month: Pictures at an Exhibition.

Modest Mussorgsky was one of the leading lights of Russian art and culture as the nineteenth century closed. His collection of suites for the piano, Pictures at an Exhibition, introduces my theme for June. The companionship between music and the visual arts has become stronger and stronger over the centuries until the two media are…

Samson Kambalu and The New Liberia at Modern Art Oxford

Modern Art Oxford is one of those locations that thrive on celebrating freedom in whatever form it comes. So it is appropriate that it is my first public gallery visit since lockdown and vaccination. I have treated my self to the works of Samson Kambalu and his new solo exhibition, New Liberia. The works are…

More on Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

Salisbury Cathedral was the focus of my previous post. However, it did introduce one of Constable’s great paintings which has a history and symbolism worth its own spotlight. John Constable had just lost his wife, Maria, and was encouraged to produce this large scale painting by his friend and patron, Archdeacon John Fisher. Constable had…

A Visit to Salisbury Cathedral in May this year as lockdown eased

Salisbury was our stopping off point last week on our way to the coast. The last visit before further relaxation of lockdown measures. It was strange to see the medieval town so empty and the cathedral closed. Still the City looked great bathed in Spring sunshine, unlike the last few days. Salisbury Cathedral is unique…

Piero della Francesca and the ‘art’ of Looking at Art.

Piero della Francesco will always stand out in my memory of studying the History of Art at Oxford University. In the first module of the first term of the Certificate course we listened to the wonderful Mary Acton explaining how to look at paintings. She used a number of themes to illustrate her lectures:  composition, space,…