Film director & art historian Phil Grabsky and art-lover Laura Bentham meet each week to talk about paintings that inspire or excite them. Listen to their ‘Painting of the Week’ and explore some of the world’s most amazing art.
Season 2 Ep 18: Jo Hopper, Edward Hopper, Railroad Gates
This week, Phil and Hopper House curator Elizabeth Thompson Colleary discuss not one but two paintings, both entitled ‘Railroad Gates’ - one by Edward Hopper and one by his wife Jo - and uncover a fascinating story in the process…
Season 2 Ep 16: Rembrandt, The Night Watch
This enormous masterpiece is one of Rembrandt’s finest works, and one of the most famous of the Dutch Golden Age. Brimming with life, it has a fascinating history which includes being wrongfully identified as a night scene during the 19th century and multiple attempts at vandalism!
Season 2 Ep 15: Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas
On this date made entirely of twos - 22/2/22 - we are celebrating 2 weeks until the release of our film exploring the life and art of international icon Frida Kahlo and so, rather fittingly, this episode of Painting of the Week focuses on The Two Fridas, with special guest Ali Ray, the director of the upcoming film.
Season 2 Ep 14: Duncan Grant, The Room with a View
In this episode, Phil & Laura journey to Charleston House in rural Sussex to explore an excellent Duncan Grant exhibition, selecting his fascinating ‘The Room with a View” to discuss, and, more broadly, the Bloomsbury Group and its remarkable cast of characters.
Season 2 Ep 12: Kaixuan Feng, Filtres a cafe (130)
In honour of Chinese New Year today, our Painting Of The Week is by Chinese artist Kaixuan Feng, who has trained in both traditional Chinese painting and contemporary art, bringing the two together in her unique series of beautifully decorated coffee filters…
Season 2 Ep 11: Henry Raeburn, The Skating Minister
For this special Burns' Night edition of Painting of the Week, Phil & Laura are looking at an iconic and decidedly unusual Scottish painting by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756 - 1823) - his charming depiction of the Rev. Robert Walker gliding across Duddingston Loch on his skates…
Season 2 Ep 10: Jacopo Pontormo, The Deposition from the Cross (altarpiece)
Sitting between High Renaissance and Baroque styles, this 16th century altarpiece from the Capponi Chapel in Florence brings together two of the most luxurious art periods in history…
Season 2 Ep 9: William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott
A painting based on a drawing based on a poem based on a legend… this week Phil & Laura discuss Hunt’s rendition of the legend of the Lady of Shalott, an Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem used with great enthusiasm by the Pre-Raphaelites.
Season 2 Ep 8: The Great Bookcase
Worked on by fourteen leading nineteenth century artists and taking 3 years to complete, the stunning ‘Great Bookcase’ is so much more than a piece of furniture. Join Phil in his discussion with Matthew Winterbottom, Curator of Sculpture & Decorative Arts at the Ashmolean as they discuss one of the museum’s most intriguing pieces…
Season 2 Ep 7: Alfred Sisley, The Bridge at Argenteuil
This week Phil and Laura take a look at The Bridge at Argenteuil, painted in 1872 by Impressionist Alfred Sisley. A prolific artist who painted numerous riverscapes and seascapes both in England and France…
Season 2 Ep 6: Mary Cassatt, In The Loge
Listen in this week to find out more about Mary Cassatt - a key figure in the impressionist movement who has been frequently overlooked - and her 1878 painting ‘In The Loge’, an exploration of the act of ‘looking’…
Season 2 Ep 5: John Constable, The Gleaners
In this episode, Phil and Laura look at one of the greatest of all British artists: John Constable. He is known best for his Suffolk (eastern England) landscapes but this painting is Brighton on the south coast. Why was he there? What does the painting reveal?
Season 2 Ep 4: Utagawa Kunimasa IV, Dept Store Game
An absolute treat this week – from the 5-star exhibition The Art of Tokyo at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK. Is it a painting or is it a board game? Phil talks to Clare Pollard, Curator of Japanese Art at the Ashmolean.
Season 2 Ep 3: Edvard Munch, Four Girls on the Bridge
This painting by Edvard Munch depicts girls standing on a bridge wearing bright clothes and with a bright blue sky overhead, perhaps suggesting that it’s summer. However, the sketchy forms and puzzling nature of the figures suggest it is equally a depiction of Munch’s psychological state, a somewhat darker place.
Season 2 Ep 2: John Everett Millais, Portrait of John Ruskin
This portrait of Victorian art critic John Ruskin was painted by Millais in 1853-4. Ruskin was an early advocate of the pre-Raphaelites and part of their success was down to his efforts. Phil is joined this week by Matthew Winterbottom, Curator of Sculpture & Decorative Arts at The Ashmolean where the painting hangs…
Season 2 Ep 1: L.S. Lowry, Going to the Match
In this famous scene, painted by Lowry in 1928, we see countless fans hurrying towards the turnstiles to see a football match. As with so many of his industrial landscapes, the picture is a composite of the actual and the imagined…
Season 1 Ep 20: Edouard Manet, The Railway
Painted in 1873, The Railway is the last painting by Manet of his favourite model, fellow painter Victorine Meurent. We see her sitting with a sleeping puppy, a fan, and an open book in her lap, while a little girl watches the white clouds of steam as a train passes beneath them. But actually, we are seeing far more than that…
Season 1 Ep 19: Andrea Mantegna, Triumphs of Caesar
In this episode of the Painting of The Week Podcast, Laura and Phil take a look at 'Triumphs of Caesar' a series of nine large paintings created by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna
Season 1 Ep 17: Bridget Riley, Uneasy Centre, 1963
Bridget Riley is one of today’s most prominent artists, having made her name in the 1960s with black and white paintings that explored the dynamic effects of optical phenomena. This week Phil and Laura look at Uneasy Centre from 1963… and somehow manage to mention the rock band Black Sabbath!
Season 1 Ep 16: Berthe Morisot, Girl in a Boat, with Geese
Phil and Laura this week look at a painting by Berthe Morisot, one of the leading French Impressionists. The vivid oil painting features a lady rowing a boat, with geese standing on the edge of a river… or does it? Time to take a closer look…
Season 1 Ep 14: The Alexander Mosaic
A one-and-a-half-million-piece marble mosaic that is as stunning as it is fascinating. Found in Pompeii and now in the wonderful archaeological museum in Naples. Phil & Laura take a closer look at both the history and the art…
Season 1 Ep 13: Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring
Created by Johannes Vermeer in 1665, this painting is among the most popular ever painted. Phil and Laura look a little closer at this enigmatic portrait to try to understand why that is...
Season 1 Ep 12: Henri Matisse, The Snail
This week Phil & Laura explore one of Matisse’s most famous works, created towards the end of his life when he was confined to bed due to ill health… His materials? Coloured paper and a large pair of scissors. The result: for many, a masterpiece.
Season 1 Ep 11: Edward Hopper, People in the Sun
Among the greatest of all American painters, Hopper frequently focusses on humans in different forms of isolation. His People in the Sun may seem to be 5 men and women happily sun-bathing – but look again…
Season 1 Ep 10: Howard Hodgkin, Mrs Acton in Delhi
Hodgkin was one of Britain’s foremost contemporary painters and is hugely popular. India was a place very close to his heart, and the fascinating Mrs Acton in Delhi was painted there between 1967 – 71.
Season 1 Ep 9: Pieter Bruegel, The Hunters in the Snow
The wintry scene painted by Bruegel in 1565 is one of a series depicting rural life at different times of the year. The three hunters are seen returning from what appears to be an unsuccessful trip…
Season 1 Ep 8: Otto Dix, Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden
This portrait, painted in 1926, came about when German artist Otto Dix passed the journalist in the street and exclaimed ‘I must paint you! I simply must! You are representative of an entire epoch!’…
Season 1 Ep 2: Claude Monet, Bouquet of Sunflowers
In this episode we explore Monet’s Bouquet of Sunflowers, painted in 1881. A work that was revered by critics and artists alike, and was the inspiration for Van Gogh’s later sunflower paintings…