Sewell sounds off

Art critic Brian Sewell was on top form when he spoke at an evening event at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London earlier this month, promoting the second volume of his autobiography ("Outsider II", published by Quartet). He began by recounting his encounter with Salvador Dalí, sparing the audience the anatomical details of the sexual act he performed, but entertaining them by recalling how he inadvertently attracted the master’s attention by butchering the entrails of a sheep for a local dog he had befriended. Moving on in his life, he did not mince his words about the National Gallery. He recalled being a lone voice accusing the gallery of buying a misattributed Dürer of St Jerome in 1996—and then revelled in The Art Newspaper’s revelation that it is now being questioned by German specialists (September 2012, p3). And, Sewell added, the gallery’s Madonna of the Pinks is not by Raphael.

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