• “A Superior Order of Beings” – Public Taste & the Arts

    The present generation appears to be composed of a new, and, at least with respect to the arts, a superior order of beings.  Generally speaking, their thoughts, their feelings, and language on these subjects, differ entirely from what they were sixty years ago.  No just opinions were at that time entertained on the merits of […]

  • Sargent and the Sea

    New show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

  • Everybody Wants Some

    News in Italy today that there is a newly discovered Caravaggio. I’ve seen an image… and that most definitely is not a Caravaggio.

  • Sfumato = 30 Layers?

    French Scientists Crack Secrets Of ‘Mona Lisa’

  • “Bianco di San Giovanni”

    Bianco di San Giovanni is considered the white pigment par excellence for fresco painting. It is used also in tempera and grounds while it is not advised in oil and encaustic painting techniques.

  • “Old Masters & Modern Science”

    Review of the show “Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries,” by Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times in London.

  • The Calling of Someone at the Table

    A painter’s analysis of Caravaggio’s Calling of Saint Matthew by Timothy Joseph Allen. Written as a response to my late great colleague Professor Terry Kirk in December, 2006.  Published on pLog July, 2010. Terry, your analysis and interpretation of this painting is intriguing.  I especially like your idea about pinpointing the exact moment in time […]

  • Caravaggio Techniques and the Camera Obscura

    Today I had a lively in-studio conversation with friend, colleague and restorer Eowyn Kerr on Caravaggio, his technique (did he glaze?) and why a painter should never underestimate the potential of a good table cloth.  She was even kind enough to make for me a lovely sketch on how to understand the cross-section of a […]

  • pLog Pith V

    pLog Pith V

    If you want Warhol walk the aisle of a supermarket If you want Koons watch VHS porn If you want Hirst visit the morgue But If you want Caravaggio build a bonfire in a cave If you want Velazquez plan a trip to the moon with a sliderule If you want da Vinci hike the […]

  • A Story About Jan

    Here is what happened: I just listened to the story on NPR about Plato, which mentions Pythagoras, which makes me think “Art = Math”, which makes me think Velazquez, then Las Meninas, then I remembered mentioning that in a short story I wrote while rafting through the Grand Canyon in 2008. Here is that story: […]

  • Pythagoras and Plato

    A musical message in the works of Plato? http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128290660

  • Michelangelo’s Brain

    Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo’s Separation of Light From Darkness in the Sistine Chapel

  • pLog Pith IV

    pLog Pith IV

    Da Vinci tells us to take a 2 dimensional surface and make it 3 dimensional. Modernism took a 2 dimensional surface and made it 1 dimensional. – TJA

  • More V for Vermilion & the “Beads on a Duck’s Back”

    I just spoke with the Michael Harding himself.  First impression: a  most affable and generous gentleman.  Here’s what I asked… and what I’ve learned.  Note: I’m paraphrasing our conversation.  I would hate to try and quote him only to have someone call him and say “but I read some where that you said the following blah, blah, […]

  • V for Vermilion

    Much to my delight, it arrived yesterday: Michael Harding’s “Genuine Chinese Vermilion”.  I never knew a 40 ml tube could be so heavy. First Question: just how poisonous is Mercuric Sulphide? More reports to follow…

  • pLog Pith III

    pLog Pith III

    Socrates said you are only educated when you’ve understood how ignorant you are.  You can only find that out by questioning and doubting all the time. – Christopher Hitchens, in a recent debate with Rabi David Wolpe.

  • pLog Pith II

    pLog Pith II

    You can play bloodhound for months on end and always discover something new. – Christoph Waltz during an interview with Charlie Rose, talking about his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds Name a painting that has the same effect.

  • V for Velázquez

    I’ve begun reading the essays included in a catalog I picked up last May while visiting the Prado and so far the first one is truly fantastic (if only all art analysis were written with such grace and clarity!). The catalog is called Velázquez’s Fables and the first essay is entitled “Velázquez as History Painter: Rivalry, Eminence and […]

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