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Charles Josefson

Posts by Charles Josefson

Géricault, Raft of the Medusa, oil painting

Disability Depicted: The Old Masters, Part 3

Some of the greatest Old Master artists, through the centuries, have portrayed disability. In the third and final part of Charles Josefson's series of essays, he considers works by William Kent, Goya, Millais and Géricault. William Kent William Kent was the leading architect and designer of early Georgian Britain, the era’s supreme ...

Portrait of Gregor Baci with a lance running through his right eye and through to the back of his head

Disability depicted: the Old Masters, Part 2

Some of the greatest Old Master artists, through the centuries, have portrayed disability. In three articles, Parts One, Two and Three, Charles Josefson explores twelve of these portrayals. In Part Two he considers the Spaniards Ribera and Velasquez, works from the collection at Ambras Castle, and Rembrandt. In recent decades there ...

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1568) The Blind Leading the Blind

Disability depicted: the Old Masters, Part 1

Some of the greatest Old Master artists, through the centuries, portrayed disability. In three articles, Parts One, Two and Three, Charles Josefson explores twelve of these portrayals. In Part One he considers the Luttrell Psalter, Duccio, Mantegna and Brueghel the Elder. Galleries, auction houses, and some art historians speak of the ...

Sepia drawing of a young man with a spinal impairment

The Encounter at the National Portrait Gallery gives rise to moments of disability history

Displaying portrait drawings by some of the outstanding masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery explores the creative encounter between individual artists and sitters. Charles Josefson reviews the exhibition and describes an intriguing encounter with a disabled man of the sixteenth century, as ...

Henri Matisse after ‘the Fall of Icarus’

The current Sackler Wing exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts invites us into the studio of Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Reflecting on the glimpse of the  artist's inner life afforded by the exhibition, Charles Josefson recounts the story of Matisse's latter years and the innovation of his 'cut-out' technique. A green, ...

Yinka Shonibare: Nelson's Ship in A Bottle

The Fourth Plinth: raising disability issues (part II)

Following on from his reflection on the issues raised by Marc Quinn's Fourth Plinth commission, 'Alison Lapper Pregnant,' Charles Josefson considers the impact of the first (and so far only) Fourth Plinth piece actually by a disabled artist; Yinka Shonibare's Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle. Marc Quinn’s sculpture showing Alison Lapper Pregnant ...

Marc Quinn Alison Lapper Pregnant

The Fourth Plinth: raising the issue of disability

Charles Josefson explores the politics behind the exhibition of Mark Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant in Trafalgar Square between 2005 and 2007, reflecting on how it impacted the public perception of disability. Surrounded by pigeons and knots of tourists, who never tire of taking photos by the fountains or clambering up on ...