August 31 2011
Well, that was nice. Two weeks in Switzerland doing not much. We went via Lake Como (overrated) and Paris (beautiful as ever, but, being hot and dry, more than usually smelly).
To avoid a busman's holiday, I consciously avoided looking at paintings. So I have nothing art historical to report. I did, however, try, for the first time, a spot of painting myself. Brimming with enthusiasm, we took with us paints, easels, brushes and all manner of gadgets. But I forgot the canvasses. So I had to paint on a rock instead (above). I can exclusively reveal to you that I am a crap painter.
While I was away:
- Someone thought they had found a portrait of Van Gogh.
- The National Portrait Gallery announced a small display of works by William Dobson, who was born 400 years ago in 1611.
- The BBC and the V&A announced a new partnership to highlight decorative art.
- The British Library announced a new exhibition on illuminated manuscripts.
- Tracey Emin installed a work in 10 Downing Street, a neon sign saying 'More Passion'. (Deep.)
- There was controversy over plans by the National Gallery to cut down on room attendants - and in turn controversy over the controversy.
- A drawing by Rembrandt was stolen from a hotel in California.
- The art dealer Clovis Whitfield published new theories on Caravaggio, while over on Three Pipe Problem Monica Bowen discussed some others.
- The September edition of the Burlington Magazine came out, with a well-written editorial on Lucian Freud.
- David Packwood at Art History Today had a good review of a new book on Raphael.
- And Jonathan Jones examined Saif Gaddafi's extraordinarly bad paintings.