Is “Fine Art” all it’s cracked up to be


I like this one by Piper of the Bristol Cross which can be viewed in the collection at Stourhead House.


He does a nice line in windows :wink:


There is a good example in Nettlebed Church.

I think there is a well of strong feelings underlying his work.

The red skull above is surprising for its colour, as well as being an iconic symbol of death.

It grins cheerfully, and is a jolly cartoon, but there’s a mad energy and tension in that face too.

It’s a shame Basquiat died aged 27 - he was not ready for the wave of fame that took him so high so fast.


Regarding John Piper

This film was regularly broadcast on BBC2 when the first colour TVs went on sale in the UK as a Trade Test Transmission.

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Modern stained glass is often wonderful - here are some of my favourites:

Last Supper (1984), Durham Cathedral:

Baptistery Window (?1961), Coventry Cathedral:

Prisoners of Conscience Window (1980), Salisbury Cathedral:


They are lovely. I’ve only ever seen the Coventry ones. Chichester Cathedral, local to us, has this beautiful window by Marc Chagall.

The whole question around what constitutes fine art, or any art, is fascinating. We have this in our stairwell. It’s by Jeremy Deller and I love it, but many don’t, including my beloved.


Ah yes, Chagall is excellent. Although they look great on photos, it’s even better when you’re really there on a sunny day - you feel like you’re bathing in coloured light; floating, even.

And of course, given the mention of John Piper above, there is also his tapestry in Chichester Cathedral.


Appalling philistine here!

I walked the halls of the National Gallery but despite being presented with seemingly endless masterful paintings, nothing appealed.

There are paintings I do like, such as Holman Hunt’s “The Light of the World” which I saw at Keble College in Oxford, but having queued years ago to see the Mona Lisa, I came away disappointed. When I lived in NY and visited the Guggenheim it was to experience the building itself, not the paintings.

I won’t get away with this but I’d like a fully-dressed pristine, polished Jaguar XK engine in the living room as a conversation piece, or some of the sailing vessels over on the ‘HMS Resolution’ thread. Or even an LP12.

A friend of mine had a Ford GT40 in his drive-in living room. And petrol pumps…

One for IB :wink:

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In Reading, Berkshire, there is, or was, a shop called “But is it art” selling, erm, art…

Meh, I have one in the study…



He used a camera obscura to create his paintings which probably explains the lack of emotional engagement with his works. Like photo realists (technically great but what’s the point),

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The Marc Chagall ‘Mecca’ is the Church of All Saints in Tudeley where each window in the church is a Marc Chagall masterpiece.


One of my favourite artists who portrays people caricatures is Bruegel I … although stylised he really grabs the essence of the characters as if each character has a story to tell. A good example is the the Peasant Wedding Dance…

A favourite Bruegel of mine is the Tower of Babel, which is superb to see in the Kunst Historisches museum in Vienna when on closer inspection shows a wonderful illustration of 16th century construction techniques and yet more characters of the era.


I’m a big fan of art. Although if you are looking for photorealism then you may be disappointed.

A wander around the National Gallery should give you a few things to make you think.

Turner is great but definitely not like looking at a photo. Stubbs on the other hand…

… is like looking at a photo of a horse.

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Worth the visit for anyone in Kent.