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

Art & Religion

This is a guest post written by an anonymous contributor “Art and religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance to ecstasy. Between aesthetic and religious rapture there is a family alliance. Art and religion are means to similar states of mind.” — Clive Bell The purpose of great art is to…

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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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