Blog Archives

Vasilii Perov and other Household Names we’ve never heard of

The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition ‘Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky’ makes me wonder why the West knows Russia’s writers and composers of this period – but not its painters.

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Posted in Exhibitions

Victoriana in London 2013-14

‘The Invisible Woman’ is a fine film, but a lot less coarsely entertaining than Dickens himself; London’s Dickens Museum does great walking tours but less illuminating candle-lit evenings; the St Pancras is worth a tour; and why does England do so many Victorian fairs and festivals, and so few Georgian ones?

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Posted in Events, Exhibitions, Films

Shunga in the City

The Shunga exhibition at the British Museum took some stomaching, but largely depicted happy, consensual, sex, with an explicitness which it was a particularity of Japan of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to tolerate and value.

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Posted in Exhibitions

Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum

This was an exhibition about life rather than death – but it was a rather pacific, domestic, ahistoricist life that we got. In fact the Ancient Pompeiians did more than eat figs and enjoy phallic garden ornaments; they exploited (or were) slaves, and included some of the most privileged, sophisticated citizen’s of the world’s most powerful and populous empire.

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Posted in Exhibitions