Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

One of my new-year resolutions includes ‘getting out of Melbourne to enjoy art on offer in regional Victoria’. This promise began to materialise just before Christmas when I contacted an ‘old’ pal who lives in Geelong and shares my love of art. I’m ashamed to say that I have never stepped foot inside the Geelong Gallery (GG) so it was […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Walking through the National Gallery of Victoria’s rooms displaying fifteenth-to-sixteenth-century European art recently, I was pleased to see the Gallery’s 2011 purchase of the painting by Correggio (Antonio Allegri, 1489–1534), ‘Madonna and Child with Infant John the Baptist’ (1514-1515), included in the ‘hang’. At the time of purchase the painting was identified as a valuable work of art with qualities that […]

Categories: Musings on Art

We’ve all deleted or manipulated photos of ourselves if we don’t like the way we look. So do we really care if our ‘self-portraits’ are just constructions, images of ourselves that we want to convey, at a particular place and moment in time? Self-portraits that mask the identity of the artist are often slammed as being pretentious and gimmicky, disallowing […]

Categories: Musings on Art

It’s those jaw-dropping moments we just happen upon as we drift through foreign places that make travel so exciting, and addictive. The heat was sizzling in Florence on the afternoon of 18 July 2007 when I flew through the door of the rather non-descript and gloomy Santa Felicità; it was 4.50pm, 10 minutes before closing. There it was to the […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Traditionally, the first day of January challenges us to take a critical look at ourselves and reflect upon who we are, or who we’d like to be. Our sense of identity is important to us. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror, like I have, and thought about drawing, or even painting a self-portrait? How would you depict […]

Categories: Musings on Art

The cast of characters in the Christmas story is as extraordinary as it is ordinary: a spectacular archangel, a modest mother, a holy baby, a protective ‘father’, rustic shepherds, exotic wise men and adoring animals. I’ve chosen four of my favourite Renaissance and Baroque paintings of the main events; they date from around 1445 through to 1622. There is little […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Cavernous interiors with staircases spiralling through claustrophobic space, and derelict buildings, are often described as communicating a Piranesian mood. You can be forgiven for not having heard of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778).  He was an Italian etcher, architect and printmaker, who achieved fame for his revolutionary etchings of real and imaginary buildings that featured ancient Roman ruins and fantastical underground […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Written in his passionate and robust style, Lord Byron described the majesty of Rome’s Pantheon (“pride of Rome!”) in his lengthy narrative poem, ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ (1812-1818): Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime— Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods, From Jove to Jesus—spared and blest by time; Looking tranquility, while falls or nods Arch, empire, each thing round […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Paradoxically, works of art are wordless meditations on life which highlight the inadequacy of language and frequently testify to the ideas of the sublime and the beautiful. Two months ago I was on a return visit to London’s National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. I first saw the sizeable (292 x 246.4 cm) George Stubbs painting, ‘Whistlejacket’ (c.1762; image below), two […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Melburnian notable, Barry Humphries, always gives his honest opinion—often through the sharp tongue of his alter ego, Dame Edna Everage. He was less than flattering when he described the bold geometric façade of Melbourne’s Federation Square (built to commemorate Australia’s centenary in 2001) as “getting used to leprosy”. Others consider Fed Square to be a dynamic meeting place on the […]

Categories: Musings on Art