Cry Me a River: The ‘Bad Art Friend’ in Art History

A few days ago the New York Times published “Who Is the Bad Art Friend?”, an enthralling narrative piece that took social media by storm. The premise seems straightforward from the onset: one woman (Dawn Dorland) donates a kidney, the other one (Sonya Larson) writes about it in a short story. I’m expecting a Netflix…

Of Chess and Art

Chess is a beautiful game. Like artists painting their worlds within the confines of a canvas, so do chess players build their vision within the square-format of their board.

Julio Romero de Torres – Mystical and Profane Love (1908)

Part of the reason why art can often be so intimidating is the constant name-dropping and the unrelenting attempts to place each and every artwork within a given temporal, spatial and cultural framework. People should be able to enjoy art without thinking of the movement it belongs to, the various influences exerted over the artist…

Fleury François Richard – Montaigne and Tasso (1821)

“We must become like the animals in order to be wise, and be blinded in order to be guided”, advised Michel de Montaigne in his Essays. The French philosopher wasn’t referring to a state based on primal instincts, but to the silencing of the mind, for an overthinking mind is more unreasonable than one lacking…

Carpaccio – Preparation of Christ’s Tomb (1505)

Chances are you’ve probably heard of carpaccio – the Italian appetizer which consists of thinly sliced raw meat – but you might not know that the name was inspired by the Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio. According to anecdotes, when Giuseppe Cipriani – the owner of the renowned Venetian restaurant Harry’s Bar, frequented among others by…

Sandro Botticelli – Portrait of a Young Woman (1480 – 1485)

A few weeks ago I was telling you about Simonetta Vespucci, the beauty of 15th century Florence, who is said to have been loved by Giuliano de’ Medici and painted, at least once, by Renaissance Italian artist Sandro Botticelli (1445 – 1510). After she died in 1476 just before turning 23, the Medici brothers and…