Edward Burne-Jones

Author: Nataliya Petlevych

March 19, 2019

Recently, the Tate Britain celebrated Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones with a grand exhibition, the first on such a scale in 40 years. It amazed visitors not only by the rich variety of works, including painting, tapestry and stained glass, but also by a special enigmatic beauty created by the artist. Born in industrial Birmingham, Burne-Jones [...]

A New Model of Civilization

Author: Gilad Sommer

March 10, 2019

One of the most astounding things about ancient civilizations is the unity of their way of life. In the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, there is a beautiful stele from the Mayan ruins of Calakmul in Mexico. This stele presents a ruler in his task as a high priest, dressed in ceremonial garbs, holding [...]

The Art of Devotion 

Author: Kanika Mehra

July 29, 2018

In the wee hours of the morning, Emperor Akbar awoke to the sweet melodious singing of Haridas, guru of the celebrated singer of his court, Tansen. Haridas had been singing a dawn raga. Overwhelmed, Akbar inquired why Tansen was not able to sing like his guru Haridas. Tansen replied that there was one big difference [...]

Improvisation in Art and Life

Author: Natalia Lema

March 8, 2018

According to Stephen Nachmanovitch, an American improvisational violinist, improvisation can be used as a tool to aid creativity, which will lead us into a joyful journey. Bach and Mozart were great examples of this approach and were highly imaginative improvisers. The word ‘improvisation’ implies, on the one hand, an absence of preparation. But it also [...]

Raphael: The Drawings

Author: Siobhan Farrar

October 19, 2017

Raphael was born in 1483 and by the age of 17 he had been given the title of ‘Magister’, meaning independent master. This exhibition of his drawings and studies at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford takes a look at the essence of the artist. The opening lines of the exhibition’s guide read as follows: ’Drawing [...]

Philosophy as a Way of Life

Author: Julian Scott

October 19, 2017

The other day I heard a memorable phrase from the mouth of a Yorkshire farmer: “Farming is a way of life.” And it occurred to me that anything which is done properly must be a way of life. The same is true of philosophy. “Generally speaking, university philosophy is mere fencing in front of a [...]

Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages

Author: Julian Scott

May 13, 2017

The title of this article comes from a book by Umberto Eco, an Italian philosopher, essayist, professor of literature and novelist, most famous for his medieval whodunnit The Name of the Rose, which was made into a film starring Sean Connery. In this book, Eco introduces us to a culture very different from our own. [...]

The Way of the Artist

Author: Shraddha Shetty

April 20, 2017

“Beauty is truth’s smile, when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” (1) How would you define art? Usually, it is described as a form which is pleasing to the eyes. We call this form ‘beautiful’. Is beauty then related only to the sense of sight, motivated by the viewer’s feeling at the [...]

Hilma Af Klint: Painting the Unseen

Author: Siobhan Farrar

November 12, 2016

Earlier this year the Serpentine Gallery held an exhibition described by the Telegraph as “a sense of unfathomable mystery”. Hilma Af Klint, a Swedish born female painter who began producing work in the early 1900s, is beginning to be recognised as the first artist ever to have produced a piece of ‘abstract art’. Prior to [...]

Renaissance Art and the Enigmatic Genius of Giorgione

Author: Agostino Dominici

July 25, 2016

The Royal Academy of Arts has recently put together an excellent exhibition presenting some of the greatest painters of the high Renaissance (c. 1490-1530) in a single show. The main intent of the exhibition was to revisit in particular the enigmatic figure of Giorgione, considered by many to be the founder of Venetian painting of [...]

William Morris, a 19th century idealist

Author: Natalia Lema

May 11, 2016

Although perhaps most famous as an English textile designer, William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was also an artist, writer, translator and socialist activist. Inspired by the philosophy of John Ruskin (art critic and champion of the Pre-Raphaelites), Morris was against the tasteless industrial production of arts and promoted the hand-crafted art [...]

Beauty in stone – the Greek Miracle

Author: Agostino Dominici

January 23, 2016

I have just learned that in the next few weeks the British Museum will be launching a major exhibition on Greek art – Beauty in the human form. Why is it that, despite the passage of twenty-five centuries, the beauty of Greek sculpture still commands so much attention? In what is sometimes called the Greek [...]