Going Back to the Classics

first_imgThis week visual arts in Oxford was nowhere near boiling-point. The new exhibitions in the Ashmolean such as Spectacular Impressions and An Englishman’s Travels in Egypt, despite their promising titles, were more lukewarm than usual. The former, showcasing prints from the 15th to 17th centuries by artists such as Mantegna, Durer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, was definitely enlightening. Every one of the images on display has been recognised internationally as to be of the highest quality, and each could probably inspire an exhibition in itself. However, to the untrained and uninformed eye, they were impressive more in terms of technical skill than emotive power. Similarly, the Englishman’s Travels in Europe though interesting in its revival of the story of Edward Lane, a renowned Arabic scholar and fine draughtsman, invited only a passing glance.In the same way, Ornamentation: drawings for the decorative arts, running in the Christ Church Gallery from 30 April to 30 July, seemed to me to be pleasant but entirely insipid, drawing on the College’s existing collection of graphic art and featuring particularly prominently the designs of Giulio Romano. Apart from a slight physical resemblance to Punch cartoons, the collection was unremarkable, offering plenty of faint drawings of ornamental vases, curlicues and seals.In comparison to these, the permanent collection of paintings in Christ Church seems much more impressive. Needless to say, the 300 odd Old Master paintings and almost 2 000 drawings are definitely overwhelming in their grandeur and scope. I particularly enjoyed the detailed work in paintings such as The Devil, where a certain Abba Moses the Indian (i.e from Ethiopia) is painted a lurid shade of green, with sagging breasts, a beard, tails, winds and bird feet in one of the Nine Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits (Tuscan Schoolc.1440- 1450). Other gems include the Fragment from a Lamentation by Hugo van der Goes (the tears on the Virgin’s face glisten with tangible emotion), and Filippino Lippi’s The Wounded Centaur, which beautifully depicts the dangers of playing with love.These, of course, are just a few examples of the wealth of delights provided by this small gallery, mentioned in every tourist guide, but under-utilised by the members of the University to whom, after all, admission is free (on presentation of a Bod card). In fact, I would recommend any bored visual arts buff to go spend an afternoon at Christ Church. More often than not, the permanent collection of the  college shows more dynamism and promise than newer arrivals to the city.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

EA and FIFA announce FIFA eWorld Cup 2018

first_imgEA in association with football giant FIFA has announced the upcoming FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 competition set to begin on November 3.“Last year was a pivotal achievement for competitive FIFA, engaging millions of competitors and spectators through world football and global competition,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the Competitive Gaming Division at EA. “In partnership with FIFA, we’re accelerating the growth of competitive gaming through the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Global Series on The Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018, producing more competition, attracting more competitors and connecting with more fans than ever before.”Players will be able to participate in a total of six qualifiers, with the first two dubbed “Ultimate Team Champions Cups” and the third being the eClub World Cup. 256 players will play in the first two cups, from which only 32 will be chosen. 32 players will take part in the eClub World Cup from which 4 will be chosen. The remaining three qualifiers are in a TBA status.Image courtesy of EAThe two companies will pick 128 top-ranked competitors to advance to the Global Series Playoffs where 32 will advance to the eWorld Cup Grand Final ’18.“Competitive FIFA is a global entertainment phenomenon that maximizes the combined power of world football and competitive gaming in unprecedented fashion,” said Philippe Le Floc’h, Chief Commercial Officer at Fédération Internationale de Football Association. “We’re thrilled to partner with EA in creating the Global Series as the Road to the eWorld Cup 2018 will increase the ways millions of fans consume football.”Esports Insider says: EA continues to push its FIFA esports agenda. No mention of a financial reward for the winner is a little strange but perhaps this will be announced later.last_img read more