Blackpaint 78

Fra Angelico

I’m thinking of this picture that he did on the walls of that monk’s cell in Florence.  It’s San Marco, cell 7, and its the “Mocking of Christ”.  The most strange picture for the time – there’s a disembodied head with a Robin Hood hat blowing on Christ, a couple of disembodied hands, presumably slapping him, and another disembodied hand holding a stick, forcing down the Crown of Thorns on his head.  And Jesus has a white mask painted over his eyes!  The background is a beautiful pastel green.  That’s like a wall painting, with two figures sitting in front of it: Virgin Mary on left and St Dominic, enjoying a good book (prob. THE good book) on the right.

It’s just beautiful and very weird, and the colours are mouth-watering.  Also see “St Nicholas addressing an Imperial Emissary and saving a Ship at Sea” – who or what is that in the sky, behind the ship’s sails? Yes, must be St. Nick.   sorry, can’t find a picture on the net – it’s in that Taschen by the Hagens, “Fifteenth Century Paintings”.

Henry Moore

Can’t believe the concerted slagging I’ve just heard on the Review Show (BBC2) for the Henry Moore exhibition at Tate Britain – they all weighed into him as if he was the most boring (laughably so) artist in British history.  The price of success, I suppose.  His work is only a cliche because he had a strong and consistent vision, thoroughly realised time and time again.  Another example of how the ever-growing need for extreme opinions and controversy is warping all comment on TV.  Anyway, going to see it tomorrow – no doubt I’ll change my mind and agree with them as usual.


Yes there’s no doubt, always best to paint when you are drunk.  Results might be crap but great fun, and you get a sense of integrity, which lasts all the way until the hangover next morning.


Friday night,  telly broken.

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