Narcissus and the iPad


Holy Family with Saint Anne c. 1545-1546


Bronzino c. 1545-1546

Holy Family with Saint Anne (detail)

Juno Receiving the Head of Argos

Head of Argos

Juno Receiving the Head of Argos
Oil on canvas, 108 x 72 cm
Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Lodovico Mazzolino: The Holy Family with Saint Nicholas of Tolentino c.1530


Lodovico Mazzolino – The Holy Family with Saint Nicholas of Tolentino; National Gallery, London, England; c.1530

Valerio Cioli: Tomb of Michelangelo


Valerio Cioli c. 1564

Tomb of Michelangelo (detail)

Beheading of Saint Paul c. 1278-1279


Beheading of Saint Paul  c. 1278-1279

The Damned Being Cast into Hell


The Damned Being Cast into Hell
Oil on oak, 47 x 32 cm
Residenzgalerie, Salzburg

Giuseppe Cesari: Perseus and Andromeda

RISDM 57-167

Giuseppe Cesari

Italian, 1568-1640

Perseus and Andromeda, ca. 1592

Oil on slate

RISD Museum

Santa Croce, Florence

Renaissance Art: ‘Christ and Doubting Thomas’, Andrea del Verrocchio c. 1476-1483


Verrocchio c. 1476-1483 Christ and Doubting Thomas

Andrea del Verrocchio c. 1435 – 1488, born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de’ Cioni, was an Italian painter, sculptor, and goldsmith who was master of an important workshop in Florence. He became known by his nickname “Verrocchio” which in Italian means “true eye” a tribute given to him for his artistic achievement. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were trained at his workshop. His pupils included Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. His greatest importance was as a sculptor and his last work, the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, is universally accepted as a masterpiece…(more) Read the rest of this entry »

Anyone Can Learn to Be a Polymath


Master of many trades

Our age reveres the narrow specialist but humans are natural polymaths, at our best when we turn our minds to many things

Robert Twigger writes: I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food designed for a few go further. Far from expressing shame at having no pump, they told me that carrying too many tools is the sign of a weak man; it makes him lazy. The real master has no tools at all, only a limitless capacity to improvise with what is to hand. The more fields of knowledge you cover, the greater your resources for improvisation.

We hear the descriptive words psychopath and sociopath all the time, but here’s a new one: monopath. It means a person with a narrow mind, a one-track brain, a bore, a super-specialist, an expert with no other interests — in other words, the role-model of choice in the Western world. You think I jest? In June, I was invited on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 to say a few words on the river Nile, because I had a new book about it. The producer called me ‘Dr Twigger’ several times. I was flattered, but I also felt a sense of panic. I have never sought or held a PhD. After the third ‘Dr’, I gently put the producer right. And of course, it was fine — he didn’t especially want me to be a doctor. The culture did. My Nile book was necessarily the work of a generalist. But the radio needs credible guests. It needs an expert — otherwise why would anyone listen?

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Secret histories: sex lives of the Renaissance artists

Titian cavorted with his models, Raphael died of sexual excess, Leonardo ran into trouble with the Florentine sex police … We delve into the passionate private lives of art’s great masters and see just how raw and radical the Renaissance really was. 
For more, see Jonathan Jones’s book The Loves of the Artists.