The Courtauld quizzers come a cropper

19 March 2020

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Your correspondent has been on tenterhooks while following the beaux-arts boffins from the Courtauld Institute on their quest to win the current series of University Challenge. Wins against the London School of Economics and Glasgow University meant that, by the time it reached the quarter finals, the Courtauld team had outquizzed by quite some way its forebears in the competition.

Alas – spoiler alert – the Courtauld’s trivia journey came to an end this week, as its team was knocked out in the quarter finals by Jesus College, Oxford. Our heroes correctly answered questions on subjects as varied as the chemical symbol for iron, Apollinaire, Penelope Fitzgerald and the White City of Tel Aviv. But it was their art history that let them down: they could only answer correctly one of three bonus questions on French tapestries (Gobelins escaped them). And to Rakewell’s regret, they attributed to Georges Seurat a portrait of Félix Féneon by Paul Signac that appeared only last July on the cover of Apollo!

Time for some remedial lectures at the Courtauld, then. And for art history students to stop peering at the periodic table and catch up with their back issues of Apollo!

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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