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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

9 May 2017

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

Prince Philip has long been a devotee of oil painting. Only last winter, his portrait of his friend Edward Seago was unveiled at the Queen’s Gallery to much fanfare. And, as revealed in a feature in last weekend’s Sunday Times, it seems that the Duke of Edinburgh’s interest in the visual arts goes back to his childhood. According to his biographer, Philip first intimated his artistic leanings at kindergarten, when he swapped a gold trinket given to him by George V for ‘a state-of-the-art three-colour pencil’.


Christine Macel, the curator of this year’s Venice Biennale, has been busily touring the press. Speaking to Rachel Donadio in the New York Times, she declared that this edition will be ‘a Biennale designed with artists, by artists and for artists’. Which has the Rake wondering what all the previous editions were about…


It seems that France’s newly elected president Emmanuel Macron has heeded the advice of philosopher Bérénice Levet, who – after the then candidate announced that he had never seen French art – advised him to visit to the Louvre. Having secured his victory over Marine Le Pen, Macron did precisely that, striding through the Napoleon Courtyard to the strains of the ‘Ode to Joy’ before delivering his victory speech. His choice of venue, says the Guardian, was ‘a message about the style in which he intends to govern’. Let’s just hope it’s not the recent queues, striking and ticketing debacles he has in mind…


A waggish student at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University who left a £1 pineapple in an exhibition at the university’s Sir Ian Wood building has had his discount shopping promoted to the status of contemporary art. Thinking it might fool a couple of visitors, business IT student Ruari Gray left the fruit on a vacant stand in the facility’s ‘Look Again’ exhibition – only to return four days later and find that it had been encased in a vitrine.

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

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