The more paintings I see by the Yorkshire painter Frederick William Elwell (1870-1958) the more underrated I think he is. I haven't been able to get the date of "In a Bar" but I guess from her clothes it's the 1940s. There's something of the "I've got a date with a Yank pilot" about her.
'Glorious Morning' by the very talented Henrietta Stuart, from her recent show @AandDGallery in London which was called Dancing Light. These are life-affirming paintings in which (she writes) " the natural world is modulated by time and season, disclosed by visual texture and colour".
A fairly typical example of a landscape by Gerardo Dottori painted in 1931. He was from Perugia and unlike many Futurists spent much time painting rural scenes. To do so, like the younger Tullio Cralli (but much more calmly) he took to the air. Dottori can be seen right now flying solo at the Estorick Collection in London and also as part of the Futurist exhibition at Guggenheim NY
Here are four of Ernst Barlach's nine Listeners, an enigmatic series of 110 cm figures carved in oak 1930-1935. I greatly admire Barlach, who was born in 1870 near Hamburg. His direct figure carving produces, I once wrote, a 'loving, but lonely, vision of humanity'. Barlach was hated by the Nazis, especially his 1914-18 war memorials, which they destroyed as over-emphasising compassion over heroism. (Ernst Barlach Haus, Hamburg).
Eric Ravilious 1903-42 was killed on active service during WW2 at only 39. He was a watercolour master in the great tradition of British landscape specialists like John Sell Cotman, Samuel Palmer & Paul Nash. Much of his work as war artist was done around the British coastal defences and the sub-arctic ocean – as here, where HMS Ark Royal engages the enemy at night in 1940 off Norway. Ravilious is on show until 31 August 2015 at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
"In the Air" by C.R.W. Nevinson. This image must have startled viewers in 1917 when hardly anyone had experienced flight for themselves. It anticipates the later "Aeropittura" paintings of Italian Futurists such as Gerardo Dottori and Tullio Crali.
This lovely oil painting, which I saw recently at the New Walk Gallery in Leicester, was once thought to be a Vermeer, but is now attributed to the Flemish Michiel Sweerts (1624-64). He was a very interesting painter who worked mostly in Rome, but also visited Aleppo in Syria, and died in Goa. Grove Art says he was "unstable and undisciplined" but neither of these characteristics is apparent in this tranquil image.
Floor Polishers (1911) by Casimir Malevich is in the current exhibition at Tate Modern, a good survey of a Ukrainian-born artist not well known in Britain. He was the inventor of "Suprematist" abstract art which flourished in Moscow at the time of the revolution. At other times he was an interesting figurative painter, much occupied by the theme of work. This is one of my favourites.
Cimon and Pero aka Roman Charity painted about 1622 by the Dutch caravaggist Dirck van Baburen. This painting on a curious theme is now in the v. good show Beyond Caravaggio at London's National Gallery. The image (quite a common subject in 16th-18th century art) is of an imprisoned starved old man being suckled by his own daughter to keep him alive. The idea is to illustrate Filial Piety but its treatment is so sexualised as to draw out extraordinarily Freudian confusions.
Tygers at Play by Stubbs (leopards were traditionally classed as among the "tygers") is due to be sold at Sotheby's on 9 July. The idea of portraying wild beasts not as savage and frightening but playful was new in the 1770s when this was painted. It foreshadows much Victorian sentimentality in animal art, but the Stubbs's picture is not heavy with sentiment: just delightful. Yours for +/- £5 million.
I was very surprised by this Yorkshire landscape by David Hockney, in his current show at Tate Britain. The works on display show Hockney's extreme versatility across his whole career. Here he conjures up a sharply surrealist effect that looks more like another planet than the East Riding.
I photographed this Virgin and Child by the Florentine Neri di Bicci (1419-91) at the Petit Palais museum, Avignon. Grove's Dictionary of Art says Bicci was an uninspired and conservative painter for his time, but I find this a lovely and harmonious work, sensitively coloured and particularly rich in the use of gold. The Virgin's fingers are absurdly long, I suppose, but the bare-bottomed pudgy-faced child pulling at the trailing end of his mother's veil is the Christ child at his most…
Rene Magritte The Art of Conversation (1955). This small gouache (6 1/4 X 8 1/4 in) was on sale at Christies in London on 23 June 2015. Wonderful to see it before it disappears again. Note the 2 Magrittean figures in lower foreground (raincoats, bowlers, rolled umbrella) perhaps having the conversation referred to.
This image by Veronese of Livia da Porta Thiene her daughter Deidamia is one of the most delightful Venetian portraits I know. I first saw it 15 yrs ago at the Walters Museum in Baltimore & much enjoyed seeing it again in the National Gallery's Current Veronese show.