Leading article: The right art

Share
Related Topics

It's tough being a Conservative culture minister. Essentially, your job is to rub along with people who are often awkward to start with, on top of which they frequently profess profound contempt for your politics while at the same time demanding your patronage. All credit to Ed Vaizey for being so upfront about this, and for cheerfully admitting to
The Independent that at least one of the artists whose works decorate his ministerial office was "horrified" to discover where his painting had ended up.

Mr Vaizey is right to admit that the relationship between Tories and artists, as a genre, is often a difficult one. In recent decades art and Conservatism have not made natural bedfellows. They haven't done so since royal courts ceased to be great patrons.

Other Tory ministers can get round this problem, of course, enlivening their walls with the works of painters who, from the grave, cannot protest. But a culture minister must honour the living, not the dead, even if it means enduring their scorn. Mr Vaizey might draw comfort from some of the stickier relationships between patrons and artists in the past; Michelangelo's notorious rudeness to Pope Julius II comes to mind. Yet Julius put up with it. So, it seems, will Mr Vaizey.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Campaign Manager, Stevenage

£34000 - £36000 per annum: Charter Selection: This market leading organisation...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

SSIS Developer Required - Leading Media Company

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A world leading media organisation is cu...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Day In a Page

Read Next
People hold the iconic rainbow flags at Pride  

Let's stop LGBT people 'coming out of the closet'

Chris Godfrey
Tulisa Contostavlos arrives to face drug charges at Southwark Crown  

How was Tulisa's case ever allowed to proceed?

Ben Rose
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform