Month: June 2016

  • June 25: Seurat thinks too much

    SEURAT THINKS TOO MUCH In an earlier post (March 17, 2012) I lamented Georges Seurat’s self-defeating application of pointillism to large compositions. But his big, striving showpieces got mired in another, equally counter-productive weakness: his notions about emotional response to compositional devices. For example, he thought that a bouncy, upward-sweeping shape evoked joy. In “La Chahut,” which is […]

  • June 18: a favorite Lippi

    A FAVORITE: “Man and Woman at a casement” c. 1440 by Fra Lippo Lippi (1406 – 1469) in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At first glance, this odd work seems to depict a tete-a-tete. Their heads are the same size, as if they are the same distance from the viewer. But he’s […]

  • June 11: the more things change . . .

    THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . . The great cartoonist Herblock (Herbert Lawrence Block, 1909 – 2001) put his visual finger vividly on the sins of his time. Alas, so little has changed. We have only to adjust some of the names and faces to apply his pieces to the present day.   blah     […]

  • June 4: Simonetta

                                      SIMONETTA Here we have two supposed images of Simonetta Vespucci, the great beauty of Florence in the 1470s. The one is by Sandro Botticelli, the other by Piero di Cosimo. They are not really portraits, because both were […]