Constable’s The Hay Wain (1821): Painting Change

Decades before the Impressionists, Constable was laying the foundations for a transformation of landscape painting, from which they benefited directly. One painting, Noon which was eventually to be known as The Hay Wain, depicts an exceptionally beautiful part of England and so it cannot really be a surprise that some see a “chocolate box” sentimentalityContinue reading “Constable’s The Hay Wain (1821): Painting Change”

Masaccio’s Tribute Money (1425): The World Comes Into Focus

It’s like a painting has, for the first time since the ancients, brought the world into focus. I remember thinking this when I first came across Masaccio and his Tribute Money in particular, as a teenage student of Art History. Vasari, a 16th Century art historian, put it much more eloquently than I could, whenContinue reading “Masaccio’s Tribute Money (1425): The World Comes Into Focus”

Vermeer, View of Delft, 1660-1

It is hard to underestimate how much the Dutch Masters have contributed to the way we see the world today. They had it all: landscapes, seascapes, portraits, still lifes, but all largely eschewing religious or mythological influences. Their methods embraced new technologies (the camera obscura), their subjects were apparently ordinary. Their fascination with depicting theContinue reading “Vermeer, View of Delft, 1660-1”