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Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

The New Mauritshuis

The restored Mauritshuis in The Hague, “the jewel box among Holland’s museums”, reopens after a two-year closure with “a fresh hang, subtle decor and sympathetic extensions”. It may well be the “most alluring small museum” in Europe, if not the world, thanks to its quiet charm and perfect compact collection, which includes Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson; and Vermeer’s View Of Delft and Girl With A Pearl Earring (1,100 words)

Breakfast With The FT: Nicholas Penny

Interesting and intelligent conversation with the director of London’s National Gallery, “the leading art historian of his generation”. Topics include scholarship, contemporary art, blockbuster exhibitions. “If you said to someone 20 years ago that you were going to the National Gallery this weekend, they would have assumed you meant you were going to see the permanent collection. Today, it will elicit the question: What’s on?” (2,435 words)

Picasso: Room For Greatness

Review of Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica a “thrilling” new critical and biographical study by T.J. Clark, Marxist and professor of art at UC Berkeley. “The World, for the bourgeois, is a room. Rooms, interiors, furnishings, covers, curlicues are the individual made flesh. And no style besides cubism has ever dwelt so profoundly in these few square feet, this little space of possession and manipulation” (Metered paywall) (1,077 words)

Breakfast With Sir John Richardson

Gorgeous throughout. All interviews should be like this. You can hear the voice of the arts-world grandee, author of A Life of Picasso — “the greatest, most compelling biography of an artist ever written” — booming in your ears. “The chance is that I won’t be able to get to the end of the Life, not because of my health or my eyes but because, well, I know too much. I know where the bodies are buried” (Metered paywall) (2,216 words)

Lunch With Frank Auerbach

Painter at 81, immobilised by a hip operation. Conversation over Marks & Spencer sandwiches in Finsbury Park. Poor until his 50s, now his works fetch £2m. “I’ve been influenced by everyone, the past is the compost in which we grow”

Lunch With François Pinault

Billionaire luxury goods mogul turned influential art collector on his life and passions. “Art has become my religion – others pray in Church. It’s a banality, but you don’t possess art, it possesses you. It’s like falling in love”

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