I must say I like Brian Sewell – he’s a first class iconoclast, incredibly articulate and very, very funny – without actually intending to be. He’s a master of the whithering put-down.
He has described Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery’s £10.3m collection (amongst others) as a ‘lucky dip’ which should be sold off to protect public services. He couldn’t say more in case he put the lives of council workers in Iraq and Afghanistan at risk or embarrassed Prince Andrew with injudicious remarks, although it is expected that Wikileaks will provide a full and unexpurgated version of Sewell’s interview with Hello Magazine in its next leak.
The Victoria Gallery’s website currently shows a picture by John Calcott Horsley, RA, an eminently forgettable artist who went down in history as the creator of the first Christmas card. It caused uproar when first produced as it showed a small child being force-fed wine - and had Wikileaks known it could have risked the lives of our boys in the Crimea or Sudan.
It’s not the kid engaged in binge drinking that worries me, but the one in the cartouche on the left performing a hideously unspeakable act on an old bloke; kind of sums up a ghastly Dickensian Utopia to which the Conservatives have an inexplicable yearning to return us.