Annotate a Post-Impressionist Image

Attached is an annotation of the painting by Vincent Van Gogh; A Wheatfield, with Cypresses

The photo has been removed for copyright purposes. A copy of the image can be seen here


Exercise: Decorate a Town House

In this exercise were were invited to imagine ourselves as the Curator of a terraced town house that has been acquired by a museum. We needed to select four or five works of art to place in the Drawing Room or other major rooms. Attached is my report on the Exercise.

Exercise: A Roman Palace

This specification is for works of art to hang on the walls in two rooms in my palace in Rome.

One of the rooms is a very large main reception room which is open to the public. The second room is a much smaller and private study area.

I would like to treat these two rooms in very different ways and with two different styles of paintings to hang in each.


I would like this room to inspire all who visit it with the power and suffering of Jesus Christ. I would like paintings depicting some or all of the scenes from the Stations of the Cross. These are:

  1.  Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus carries his cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets his mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus’ clothes are taken away
  11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb
  15. Resurrection of Jesus

The paintings should depict the suffering of Jesus but his holiness and love for us all should be depicted in each. The finished works will show how ordinary people helped or taunted Him during the period of the crucifixion and they should all be portrayed quite naturally with all their faults and blemishes.

Each painting needs to illustrate the drama of the scene; this should be through dramatic lighting and the expressions on people’s faces. Each scene will have a sense of dramatic action from the movement and reactions of the people within it. The human figures within the scene will show the nature of the people involved through their generous or evil actions, expressions and gestures.

The central figure of Jesus Christ will be portrayed in each scene looking out at (and down) at the viewer in such a way that He can be seen to be asking of each viewer the strength of their faith compared to His.

The whole series will engage the viewer with the power of the scene, the narrative and leave them with a gratitude for the suffering of Jesus that He undertook on our behalf.

This commission might suit an artist such as Caravaggio.


For the smaller study I envisage a series of paintings portraying some of the miracles performed by Jesus Christ e.g.

·         Raising of Lazarus

·         Turning water into wine

·         Story of the loaves and fishes

·         Walking on the water

·         Cleansing a leper

·         Man with withered hand

This is a private room and these paintings will show to me the love and affection shown by Jesus to the people He helped and the power He had to perform miracles.

The paintings should show the miraculous nature of the scenes not through the drama of the lighting or postures but instead through the serene nature of Jesus and his all-pervasive power. The wonder of the miracles should be evident in the faces of the people witnessing it and the neauty of the moment and of nature should be evident in all the paintings.

The paintings should stand alone as individual works of art for contemplation as well as part of a series. The effect of each painting should be to inspire belief in the power and goodness of Jesus Christ. This can be shown through His stature being pre-eminent in all the paintings, through the idealised representation of Him and through the way in which he bestows His guidance on all the people in the scenes.

This commission might suit an artist such as Carracci.

634 words

Visit a Town House

For this exercise I visited the Stranger’s Hall, Norwich. A copy of the report on the visit is attached.

Analyse a Painting of a Historical Event

For this exercise I chose an event from the American Civil War painted by Winslow Homer called Prisoners from the Front

The image has been removed for copyright purposes, the original can be seen here

Annotate an Image of Contemporary Events

Attached is an annotation of the painting by JMW Turner The Slave Ship the full title is Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)

The photo has been removed for copyright purposes. A copy of the image can be seen here

Exercise: Prints for Sale

This catalogue lists a number of works that I feel will be of great interest to my regular clients.

I start with two prints from

Lucas van Leyden (b Leiden. 1494; d Leiden, 1533).

His engravings are influenced by the master, Albrecht Durer Durer; they show a great inventiveness in what they portray, for example this portrait of A Young Man Holding a Skull, dating from around 1519. The subject is unknown but I find this an intriguing engraving who is the youth, who is he gesturing to? The facial expression is beguiling.


Next is a religious engraving portraying St Jerome dating from 1513.

This portrays the Saint at prayer in the wilderness, accompanied by his faithful companion the lion. Lucas has given a sense of holiness to his subject and powerfully conveys the sense of the Saint’s devotion.


Next I present three prints by

Cornelis Visscher (b Haarlem 1628)

The first is aLandscape (after Nicolaes Berchem b Haarlem 1620) showing a herdsman and female companion riding on a donkey with the lkandscape stretching beyond them. The sense of perspective is good in this engraving and the addition of the human interest in the foreground adds to the sense of scale of the landscape

Recently completed in 1650 is this etching of Pope Alexander VII. This will appeal to those clients wishing to purchase a portrait with a religious theme. The portrait is rendered in a suitably holy style and with a grand setting. The skill in rendering the detail of the background has to be admired.


Finally from 1649-1650 is this engraving from two plates. After the painting by Rubens it shows The Coronation of the Virgin or Virgin and Child surrounded by angels. This is a wonderful opportunity to obtain a fine religious print copy of a masterpiece by Rubens


Next is an etching with drypoint and engraving from an undoubted master

Rembrandtvan Rijn(b. Leiden 1606)

With the title The Three Trees and dating from 1643 this is a superb print. The sky is expressive, perspective beautifully rendered and with great expression to the three trees of the title.*&where=Netherlands&what=Etching&pos=15


For those interested in prints with a narrative theme I am proud to present an etching by

Hieronymus Cock (b Antwerp, c. 1510; d Antwerp, 1570).

Produced in 1558 this tells the story from classical mythology of Mercury Lulling Argus to Sleep. Besides depicting Mercury and Argos from the story it is also set in a fine landscape that would appeal to many.*&when=A.D.+1400-1600&where=Netherlands&what=Etching|Prints&pos=153

For a landscape with a difference (a seascape) I am pleased to present

Reynier Nooms Zeeman (b Amsterdam 1623)

Entitled Four Sailing Vessels near a Breakwater this etching is a highly accurate and detailed portrayal of the scene. The low horizon allows the reproduction of the ship’s rigging in the finest detail.*&where=Netherlands&what=Etching&pos=27


For a different kind of portrait I am sure many would be interested in the following engraving by

Crispijn de Passe (b1564, Arnemuiden,  d  1637,Utrecht)


This depicts Euterpe, one of  The Muses. She is known as the muse of lyric poetry and is usually (as here) depicted holding a flute. She is shown here in contemporary dress which is beautifully produced and with a serene look on her face.*&who=Crispijn+de+Passe%2c+I&pos=14



For those seeking a classic rendition of a religious theme then I would suggest

Pieter Soutman (b Haarlem c 1600)

Soutman’s depiction here of The Last Supper is relies heavily on the work of Peter Paul Rubens and of Leonardo da Vinci. This large etching is formed of two sheets. It offers an affordable way to obtain a print of the classic scene produced in fine detail and after the style of great masters.


Another etching with a narrative theme follows.

Dirk Volckertsz Coornhert (b Amsterdam c1520, d Gouda 1590)

This etching is titled Apollo and the Muses it is after Maarten van Heemskerck  (1498–1574).

Apollo was the teacher of the Muses and is depicted here playing his lyre surrounded by the muses. The bodies are beautifully proportioned and the composition of the scene is exquisite.*&when=A.D.+1400-1600&where=Netherlands&what=Etching|Prints&pos=127



Finally I am proud to present a stunning landscape by

Pieter Bruegel the Elder  (bBreda c 1525, d Brussels 1569)

Called The Rabbit Hunt this etching dates from 1560. The hunters are shown in the foreground, but it is the majestic scale of the landscape beyond that will appeal in this print. From the castle on the hilltop to the furthest church on the horizon the perspective and scale is superb.*&when=A.D.+1400-1600&where=Netherlands&what=Etching|Prints&pos=30




Chilvers, I. (2009) Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists, 4th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Murray, P. and Murray, L. (1997) Dictionary of Art and Artists, 7th Edition. London: Penguin


Website Bibliography

The British Museum, London

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Annotate Two 17th Century Art Works

For the first part of this project see the attached Annotation of The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio

The photograph has been removed for copyright purposes, the painting can be seen here;


For the second part I have chosen to annotate Rembrandt’s The Woman Taken in Adultery

Again the photograph has been removed for copyright purposes, the painting can be seen here;



Analyse a 16th century Italian Painting


See the attached analysis of the Rape of Europa by Paolo Veronese

The photograph has been removed for copyright purposes, the painting can be seen here;

Visit an Art Gallery

For this exercise I visited the National Gallery in London. I used the opportunity to study in detail a couple of paintings and these can be seen elsewhere on my Learning Log.

The gallery is very large and would require numerous visits to fully appreciate it and the work on display.

The paintings are grouped together by period and origin e.g. 16century Italian and are arranged in chronological order so that it is possible to either walk through the whole gallery to get an impression of how painting has changed over time, or to seek out particular rooms if you are interested in a specific painting or period. A plan of the gallery is available for £1 donation and is very helpful in finding your way around. Each painting has a small description next to it and an audio guide is available to hire. More detailed gallery guides are available to purchase in the gallery shop.

All the paintings are well displayed and easy to study as you are allowed to get close enough to see the detail in them  and also get some distance on them, which is just as important for some of the larger paintings. Sadly photography is not allowed anywhere in the gallery.

Lighting in the gallery is generally good with a mixture of natural light through skylights in the roof and artificial lighting. The natural light did become a bit distracting at times. On the day that I visited it was cloudy but with sunny spells, whenever the sun broke through the clouds the lighting on some of the paintings changed significantly which was a little distracting.

Seating was available in most of the rooms, though in some it could be rather busy with all the seats taken. I was fortunate to get a seat right in front of Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne which was one of the paintings that I wanted to study. I was even more fortunate a few minutes later when a gallery tour leader came along and proceeded to comment on the painting!

Grouping the paintings chronologically and by style does make it easy to find specific works but it gives problems of how to deal with paintings of widely differing sizes. The gallery appears to have addressed this by placing smaller paintings either side of, or between larger ones. You do not get a group of large paintings then a lot of smaller ones, they are well integrated.

The later rooms in the gallery, particularly the Impressionists and Post Impressionists, were noticeably busier than the earlier rooms – it would seem that tourists are more interested in the later paintings.