Charles Cecil

London Calling

The Joy of Portraiture

By From the July 2009 - August 2009 issue

Painting the human face and form, the most difficult and precious of the fine arts, reached its maturity in 15th-century Florence and 16th-century Venice. Thereafter it was elaborated and varied by a succession of great masters for 300 years, until in the late 19th century it went into sudden and irrational decline. The 20th century was a catastrophe for fine art, and at the beginning of the 21st we live in a wasteland dominated by the most brutal form of commercialism, ephemeral fashion, and cynical abuse of talent.