Top Chef, Old Master

Michelle Legro They called him “fat boy,” this seventeen-year old apprentice in the studio of Florentine painter Verrocchio who would receive care packages from his step-father, a pastry chef. The bastard son of a Florentine notary and a lady of Vinci, the boy’s doting step-father gave him a taste for marzipans and sugars from a … Continue reading

The dustbin of art history

Ben Lewis. Why is so much contemporary art awful? We’re living through the death throes of the modernist project—and this isn’t the first time that greatness has collapsed into decadence. The paintings in Damien Hirst’s exhibition at the Wallace Collection last October were execrable. Most critics fulminated that these works of art should never have … Continue reading

Black Is Also a Color

Barry Schwabsky: Matisse’s paintings can appear to have taken form effortlessly. Their timelessness is akin to that of the icons that stunned the painter when he visited Russia in 1911—"the true source of all creative search," he declared. Of course, the frank evidence of multiple revisions observable on the surfaces of most of them tells … Continue reading