Art Theoria

Welcome to Art Theoria, my art/history/culture blog. Here I will explore the world of Art History through Theoria; that is through contemplating, speculating, and learning.

I hope you will enjoy reading what you find here, and join me on my journey of discovery and enlightenment, of a basic sort.*


*I apologise in advance for my ignorance in any subject post 1900, being a self-confessed Italophile and my blatant bias against anything of other origin.


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Painting of the Month

Goldfish 1912. Oil on canvas The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art, Moscow

Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece

National Gallery, London Until 26th January 2020   When it comes to art exhibitions, I consider myself something of a traditionalist. Words such as ‘digital’, ‘immersive’ and ‘interactive’ used in conjunction with ‘exhibition’ usually make me wince. However, in the Curator’s Talk for Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece at The National Gallery (, Dr Caroline Campbell…

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Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Until 4th November Victoria & Albert Museum   Like many others, I have a soft spot for Frida Kahlo. I admired her work as a teenager and became fascinated with her brutally honest, dream-like paintings. As a result of her deeply personal work and the physical and mental turmoil she lived through, we get a…

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Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

Until 29th July 2018 British Museum Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) may have been a ‘modern’ man but it is clear from looking at his sculptures that he was intensely inspired by the past. He said ‘Antiquity is my youth’, betraying a deeply rooted respect and admiration for the ideas and aesthetics of Ancient civilisations….

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A Pre-Raphaelite Collection Unveiled: The Cecil French Bequest

Until 3rd June 2018 Watts Gallery, Compton   After originally coming to London as an aspiring artist Cecil French (1879-1953) found his niche as a writer, poet and, perhaps most significantly, as a collector. With a taste for Romantic art the collection French amassed focussed on the Pre-Raphaelite painters, the majority of which are by his favourite artist Edward…

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Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites & Murillo: The Self Portraits

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites – until 2nd April 2018 The National Gallery, London   At the heart of this exhibition is a painting which is often perceived to be shrouded by an air of mystery. The Arnolfini Portrait, to use its most common name, was painted by Jan van Eyck in 1434. We…

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