Posts Tagged ‘Fernando Rey’

Blackpaint 297

October 3, 2011

British Ceramics Biennial

This is taking place in Stoke-on-Trent at the moment, and there is a report on it by Charlotte Higgins in today’s Guardian, which contains the following arresting sentence: “Today, it (disused Spode factory) houses Sarah Younan’s ceramic pieces, very sexual and inspired by Eva Hesse:  teapots strung from the wall, with lids like nipples; others decorated with erect penises…”.  More tea, vicar?

“New” Leonardo

Again from the Guardian, recent article reports that Martin Kemp, a retired Oxford prof, is convinced that the drawing in question is genuinely an unknown Leonardo; the evidence is circumstantial, of course, but plausible.  First, there is a fingerprint on the top left of the drawing which is “highly comparable” to one on Leo’s St.Jerome in the Vatican; there are “stylistic parallels” to a Leonardo portrait kept at Windsor Castle; carbon dating puts the picture at the right period; the picture appears to have been done by a left-handed artist (Leo known to have been a left hander).

Elsewhere, I think in the Telegraph, there was a report that stitch holes in the parchment edge matched those in a sketch book of Leo’s and the thickness of the parchment corresponded – in that all the pages were of varying thickness and this one differed from the others (in other words, it matches because it doesn’t match…).

I can only refer the reader to Blackpaint’s Law of Spurious Plausibility (see Blackpaint 165 et al.).  Briefly, the law states that the more reasonable a theory appears, the more likely it is to be wrong.  The portrait, however, looks very beautiful in reproduction, lost Leo or not.


Reading the Taschen on Cezanne at the moment, and I ‘ve realised for the first time how radical his vision was – how did he square his stated intention of painting absolute reality with tilting tabletops, jug mouths and bowls of fruit to show interiors and altering the size of objects to defy rules of perspective?  I mean, I can see all sorts of arguments which he might have put to himself and others, and it’s normal to us now – but at the time, he was going out on a limb.  Did he write about it?  Another example of my ignorance; will research and return to the subject.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Watching this great Bunuel film again last night, I was struck by Stephane Audran’s character, embodying the sleek beauty, perfect surface manners, hospitality, resourcefulness with an underlying selfishness and amorality – powerful combination.  Fernando Rey also perfect, as always.

I was surprised that it didn’t contain the scene where they dine, sitting on toilets – guess that was another one, Obscure Object of Desire maybe…