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The paper cutters of Mathura

    You could snip through an artery in a trice if you owned a priceless pair of scissors like the ones in the picture belonging to Ram Soni, eldest of four paper cutting artists. “The blacksmith makes ten and only two will be fit for purpose. They must have the right balance and grip, […] Read more

Simon Digby’s Collection at the Ashmolean

Simon Digby   In a small room below the major space devoted to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore,  is a selection of delightful miniature paintings collected by my friend Simon Digby and bequeathed by him to the Ashmolean Museum where, in the eighties, he was Assistant Curator (the only paid job he ever had). The […] Read more

The Yellow House in Arles

  Nobody has been able to determine why Vincent van Gogh got off the train at Arles. Almost equidistant from Montpellier and Aix-en-Provence it was known for its Roman ruins and the magnificent amphitheatre in which bull fights attracted the local Arlesiennes. The painting by Vincent is more about the people in the audience and […] Read more