The Good Tutor

"Oath of the Horatii" by Jacques-Louis David, source: Wikimedia Commons

I have never forgotten her passionate account of the “Oath of the Horatii”, her petite form taking on the pose of the triplet brothers as they made their patriotic vow. “Oath of the Horatii” by Jacques-Louis David, source: Wikimedia Commons

I was deeply moved to read the obituaries of art historian and author Anita Brookner earlier this week. Dr Brookner was teaching at the Courtauld Institute in the mid-1980s and as an undergraduate student there I took her course on eighteenth century French painting. She cut a slightly distanced figure at the time, poised to lead the seminars in her study at the top of a narrow staircase above the Witt Photographic Library in the Courtauld’s Portman Square building. With her bouffant red hair, thick mascara, pressed cashmere sweaters and pencil skirts she appeared like an elegant vision from two decades previously, wreathed in expensive perfume. Continue reading