Until last weekend, I had never taken a picture in Central Park. The idea just never occurred to me. I suppose there's no urgency to capture something that's always there, always essentially the same. Sure, the Park changes slowly over the seasons and over the years. There's the Philharmonic on the Great Lawn in summer and ice skating at Wollman Rink in winter. Caretaking fluctuates along with the city's fortunes.
"Raphael: From Urbino to Rome" is now on exhibition at the National Gallery in London. It is a show I truly long to see not only because there are so few Raphaels in America that it is difficult to experience firsthand the oft-described transcendent force of "the immortal Raphael," as Vasari called him, but also because for a number of years now I have been working on a book in which the place of Raphael in the aesthetic imagination has become a central concern of my story.