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Podcast of the week
Podcast of the week

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 3 Ep 02: Rene Magritte, The Promenades of Euclid

This week, Phil and Laura discuss a surrealist painting that plays with the idea of reality and perception…

Season 3 Ep 01: Laura Knight, Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring

Season 3 begins with Phil and Laura discussing an important wartime work which reveals much about the previously untapped skills of British women...

Season 2 Ep 20: Maxfield Parrish, Daybreak

To celebrate the clocks going forward here in the U.K. and the return to 'British Summer time', this Painting of the Week is Maxfield Parrish's Daybreak - the most popular print of the twentieth century!

Season 2 Ep 19: Giotto, Kiss of Judas

This week, Phil and Laura discuss one of Phil's favourite paintings to feature in the Exhibition on Screen film ‘Easter in Art’: Giotto’s Kiss of Judas.

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 17: Piero della Francesca, The Madonna del Parto

Painted in just seven working days, this extraordinary fresco only narrowly escaped total destruction in 1785…

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 13: Jan van Eyck, The Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele

This 1436 tomb decoration brings Jesus and the Virgin Mary into the contemporary world, and right in front of the man who commissioned the painting…

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 18: Diego Velázquez, Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Painted by the extraordinary Spanish artist Diego Velázquez in Rome in 1650, Pope Innocent X considered this portrait to be ‘too true’… Laura and Phil take a closer look.

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 15: Shamsia Hassani, Money Art

This week’s Painting of the Week is by the young female Afghan graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani. The work is called Money Art and has literally just been painted. This podcast is one not to be missed.

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 7: Peter Paul Rubens, The Descent from the Cross

This masterpiece, painted by Rubens in 1612-1614 for Antwerp Cathedral is this week’s Painting Of The Week. What makes it so famous? Phil & Laura take a closer look…

Season 1 Ep 6: Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Originally titled The Brothel of Avignon (renamed The Ladies of Avignon), this large oil painting created in 1907 by Pablo Picasso was deemed immoral at its first exhibition in 1916…

Season 1 Ep 5: Eric Ravilious, Train Landscape

Eric Ravilious’s Train Landscape is one of his best-loved watercolours. Painted in 1939 it shows the Westbury Horse in Wiltshire as seen from the window of a train carriage…

Season 1 Ep 4: Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat

The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David in 1793 depicts the body of Jean-Paul Marat lying dead in his bath after his murder, and is one of the most famous images of the French Revolution…

Season 1 Ep 3: Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas

Frida Kahlo’s painting The Two Fridas is the subject of this episode of Painting of the Week. It was completed shortly after her divorce and shows two very different personalities…

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…

Season 1 Ep 1: JMW Turner, The Fighting Temeraire

Welcome to the first episode of our Painting of the Week podcast! In this episode Phil and Laura look at Turner’s 'The Fighting Temeraire', which was once voted ‘The Greatest Painting in Britain’…