Note: This page has not been seriously updated since 2001, which means many of the links no longer work. You may still find something useful here. Here is a link to my essay on another page: Towards a new art which is a reasoned rant about modern art and what might be done about it.
Links to beautiful sites devoted to art, geometry, the ancient Greeks and anything related to my quest for a new art which will copy the best of the past yet still be itself. (skip to contents)
(Some of the links on this page have moved or disappeared. I am working to restore all the links on this page to valid destinations.)
Modern art is often disappointing. I have identified three broad categories: art which consists of a gimmick, art which is merely pretty, and art which genuinely connects to something authentic. Of these, the last named is the best, but because we live in a depressing age such art is often depressing or at any rate neurotic. Art that is not warped in some way is frequently inauthentic. So living in an age that has lost heart, artists have a problem.
These links are intended to inspire and provoke thought. I hope you will see that past art is not merely old and conservative, but on the contrary artists in past ages often expressed things which would be shocking if painted today. Real artists are, as William Blake would have said, of the devil's party.
(Here is a young winged lad showing what he thinks of Young British Art (detail from Mars and Venus by Saraceni). If you click on him he will take you to a review of the past exhibition of Roman baroque painting at the Royal Academy, London.)
If I have seen farther than the rest, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants - Isaac Newton
to home page.
(A growing selection of things I like.)
The Muscle Page for Kids, a charming and award winning introduction to the important surface muscles, useful for artists as well as children studying the body, has been removed for who knows what reason. There is still a list of muscles with some illustrations. Sic transit gloria mundi.
The figure drawing lab. Various useful guidelines about human proportions in relation to drawing, and some suggestions for drawing exercises. I wish the anatomy diagrams were not quite so visually repellant!
Leonardo and after him Durer both did work on the geometrical proportions of the human body. Leonardo's findings look elegant and simple whereas Durer's Dresden sketchbook shows increasing complexity, although his idea of notionally dividing the body into moveable blocks foreshadows some computer body simulations, and is practical for the artist. Does anyone know of any good websites related to this theme, or a source for Durer's book?
Is this one off the wall or brilliant? I don't know, but I'm thinking of sending for this book (called Geometrical Anatometry). Comes from California.
This section is devoted to high-quality links connected with the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
The ancient Egyptians:
The ancient Greeks:
The ancient Romans:
The British Library.
The British Museum.
The Fan Museum in Greenwich is worth a visit. The centre of Greenwich on a weekday is surprisingly quiet, and you can spend a happy time looking round all the bric-a-brac stalls in the covered market, and look around the craft shops displaying ceramics and prints by local artists, as well as oriental rugs and many other things. There's a good sandwich bar in the covered market, and a pub. The Fan Museum is just round the corner in Crooms Hill, opposite the theatre. You are also walking distance from The Queen's House, the National Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark and the Greenwich Observatory set in the Royal Park which has deer and... - Greenwich BR station or Cutty Sark station (Docklands Light Railway).
Goldsmiths' Hall. Exhibitions are held from time to time, and it is worth going even if only for the excuse to gape in awe at the entrance hall, lined with floor to ceiling real marble, the staircase decorated with delightful marble statues of girls and boys representing the four seasons, and best of all there is on the ground floor a group showing Mentor advising the young Telemachus about to set out in search of his lost father Odysseus. (Can anyone tell me who the woman in the group is supposed to represent? She's too young and not noble enough to be Penelope.) Check out their home page for some rather fine heraldry.
The Mall Galleries. Frequently changing exhibitions of work by portraitists, watercolourists and in general artists whose work makes you feel happier that you've seen it. The gallery is easy to find: it is situated in the Mall, which runs between Admiralty Arch (nearest tube and rail Charing Cross) and Buckingham Palace; the gallery is very near the Admiralty Arch end of the Mall.
The National Gallery.
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
The National Portrait Gallery.
The Royal Academy.
The Tate Gallery.
The Victoria and Albert Museum should get a prize for the most confusing website. The museum itself is fabulous.
The Wallace Collection.
Lewisham Art House, 140 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6PD (020 8244 3168) runs many art courses at reasonable prices, including life drawing. Whatever kind of artist you are, it is hard to avoid the necessity of presenting what William Blake called "the human form divine". The Art House website is currently under reconstruction.
Here is a picture of a king of Dacia, taken from Costumes of the Greeks and Romans by Thomas Hope, published in 1812 and hence presumably copyright-free. The book has been reprinted by Dover and is full of beautiful drawings of ancient costumes.
One Michael Dace emailed me from the USA enquiring about the Dace name. He told me there are lots of Daces in the USA, and that his branch of the family emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland in 1805 and settled in Illinois in 1810. My best information is that in the UK the name is common in Cannock, Staffordshire (where my grandfather was brought up), but I have not come across it elsewhere. Michael was disappointed that I had not come across any definitely authentic heraldry relating to the name. If anyone knows anything about this subject, particularly if it is edifying or amusing, please email me.
The Rosyside Dace.
It also turns out that Dace is a Latvian girl's name. I didn't paint this picture but I would be happy with it if I had. I emailed the owner of the site but maybe it didn't get through to the artist.
Coming soon: links to odd websites.
The links on this page are to sites over which I have no control, and content may change without my knowing about it. Therefore although I thought they were fine when I put them on, I take no responsibility for anything you find that you may not like, nor for where the links may lead you. However, if you find anything of doubtful quality or a broken link please let me know!
searchers for beauty since 5 December 1999.
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