SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
David V Barrett

Sorry, no search matching search results found. Please try again.
November 18, 2020
Gentileschi’s turbulent life was the background to her remarkable art, says David V Barrett
September 18, 2020
Aubrey Beardsley’s work is instantly recognisable: sweeping, sinuous black lines, sensual, mythological, with a haunting beauty all of its own. The new exhibition of his work at Tate Britain is the first there in almost a century, and the largest anywhere in 50 years. And it’s a delight to see. As well as covering his
February 08, 2020
The curators' aim was 'to marry the art with the profound changes happening in Britain'. So how well did they succeed?
January 16, 2020
Venus and Aphrodite By Bettany Hughes Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 241pp, £12.99/$17 Whether we know her as the Roman Venus or the Greek Aphrodite, the goddess of love and lust is as powerful today as she has always been. Bettany Hughes traces Venus/Aphrodite back to her beginnings and follows her career over millennia, right up to
November 28, 2019
I applaud the reasoning behind the National Gallery’s exhibition Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece. People often spend just seconds in front of a great painting; here is an opportunity to spend some serious time. The National Gallery is celebrating the 700th anniversary of Leonardo’s death by focusing on its version of the Virgin of the Rocks,
November 21, 2019
Fairies: A Dangerous History by Richard Sugg, Reaktion Books, 279pp, £9.99/$16.95 Do you believe in fairies? Many of us would say no, then perhaps sigh and say, “But I wish…” Richard Sugg’s book provides dozens of stories of people encountering fairies, or at least accepting their existence as a given. A good number of the
November 21, 2019
The Tutankhamun exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, near London’s Sloane Square, is on its third stop on a 10-country tour. It’s the last time these items will leave Egypt, and in some cases the first. The familiar face and figure on all the posters is not Tutankhamun’s famous death mask, which is too delicate to
October 31, 2019
William Hogarth shone a bright light on the human condition in the mid 18th century. His social commentaries focused on immorality and hypocrisy, vice and corruption at all levels of society, from the aristocracy to the lowliest commoner. His best-known work is probably Gin Lane, which shows a baby tumbling from its gin-soaked mother’s arms.
September 19, 2019
William Blake lies in Bunhill Fields cemetery in London, a couple of hundred yards away from the Catholic Herald’s office. His grave was recently rediscovered, and a new memorial stone laid a year ago, bearing lines from his poem Jerusalem. Touchingly, there is always a vase of freshly cut flowers at his grave. The new
August 08, 2019
Buckingham Palace is both a home and an office for the monarch. But before Queen Victoria’s time it was an unloved and fairly rundown building. The 18-year-old Victoria ignored her advisers and moved into Buckingham Palace within weeks of becoming Queen in 1837 – and set about transforming it into the magnificent building it is
June 06, 2019
This year is the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci – and if you’re planning a visit to London this summer, check out the exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Forget Dan Brown’s execrable books and films. Leonardo completed fewer than 20 paintings that we know of, but he would have
April 18, 2019
Most people assume that the figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream is screaming. It’s not. It’s reacting to an event: “I felt a great scream pass through nature,” Munch wrote. He created several versions of The Scream; it’s the 1895 lithograph which is in the excellent exhibition of prints at the British Museum in London,