Faces of a Queen: The Armada Portraits of Elizabeth I Exhibition at the Queen’s House in Greenwich from 13 February 2020 to 31 August 2020

The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, circa 1588 © National Maritime Museum, London

The three surviving versions of the famous Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I are to go on public display together in a free exhibition at the Queen’s House in Greenwich. The exhibition, entitled Faces of a Queen: The Armada Portraits of Elizabeth I, is the first time the paintings have been displayed together in their 430-year history.

Considered to be, one of the most iconic images in British history, the Armada Portraits commemorates the most famous conflict in Elizabeth’s reign when the Spanish Armada failed in their attempt to invade England in 1588. Royal Museums Greenwich showcases its own version of the Armada Portrait alongside the two other surviving versions, from the collections of Woburn Abbey and the National Portrait Gallery.

The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. From the Woburn Abbey Collection

All three versions of the Armada Portrait are believed to have been painted shortly after the event, circa 1588. The paintings were once attributed to the Queen’s Sergeant-Painter, George Gower but many experts have suggested that three different artists or studios could be responsible for the three principal Armada Portraits.

Queen Elizabeth I by Unknown English artist, circa 1588 © National Portrait Gallery, London

This historic exhibition presents an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to come face-to-face with three iconic depictions of Elizabeth I. In all three versions, the Queen is shown in a rich gold-embroidered and jewelled dress, presenting her as a powerful, authoritative and majestic figure with seascapes showing different episodes of the Spanish Armada story. In both the Greenwich and Woburn Abbey versions, Elizabeth I’s right hand is resting on a globe showing the Americas, an imperial covered crown on the table behind, a fan made of ostrich feathers in her left hand, and beside her a chair of state.

The portraits will be united on public display in the Queen’s House, part of Royal Museums Greenwich. The 17th century Palladian villa, designed by Inigo Jones, is situated on the site of the original Greenwich Palace complex, which was a major political centre of the Tudor dynasty and the birthplace of Elizabeth I herself.

Faces of a Queen: The Armada Portraits of Elizabeth I will be open from 13 February – 31 August 2020 at the Queen’s House in Greenwich and is free to visit.

For more information , visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website here

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London Sculptures : Allies by Lawrence Holofcener in New Bond Street

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

‘Allies’ is a popular statue of Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt in New Bond Street, the sculpture was a gift from the Bond Street Association to the City of Westminster and the people of London to commemorate 50 years of peace. It was unveiled in 1995 by Princess Margaret and shows the two statesman enjoying a chat on a bench. Since it was unveiled it has become a popular tourist attraction with visitors sitting on the bench between two politicians.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture was created by Lawrence Holofcener who was an American-British sculptor, poet, lyricist, playwright, novelist, actor and director.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Holofcener who died in 2017 at the age of 91 had a varied career, writing Broadway stage scores, acting in Stop the World – I Want to Get Off and Hello, Dolly! plus writing books.

Holofcener had his first art exhibition in 1979 and commisions include “Faces of Olivier”, Queen Victoria and Thomas Paine.

He is best known for the  ‘Allies’ sculpture which was so popular that he was asked to makes some small copies to sell to collectors. He agreed, but did not have anything to work from in his studio and had to spend five days in front of his own work in the street in order to make the replicas.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Exhibition Review: Young Bomberg and the Old Masters at the National Gallery from 27 November 2019 to 1 March 2020

In the latest small free exhibition at the National Gallery, a number of revolutionary early paintings by the British modernist artist David Bomberg (1890–1957) are displayed alongside National Gallery pictures that had a great influence on him.

The exhibition illustrates the parallels between Bomberg’s early works and the work of Old Masters and how the artist embraced the art of the past in order to develop his own particular style of early 20th-century Modernism.

David Bomberg moved to the East End of London in the 1890s before studying under Walter Sickert and attending the Slade School of Art. He developed his draughtsmanship and technique by spending a great deal of time copying the Old Masters in London’s major galleries including the National Gallery before developing his own distinctive style, influenced by the works of the Post-Impressionists and Italian Futurists. He was expelled from the Slade in 1913 because of his radical approach, but later taught celebrated artists like Frank Auerbach.

Botticelli’s Portrait of a Young Man (probably about 1480-5) is placed next to Bomberg’s Self Portrait (1913–14) and illustrate how the young British artist was confident to use his knowledge of the Old Masters to undertake large paintings that bought together themes that represented the past and present. Bomberg’s The Mud Bath (1914), Vision of Ezekiel (1912), Ju-Jitsu (c.1913), and In the Hold (c.1913–14) show the artist looking towards the future with some enthusiasm.

His war painting in the exhibition is the controversial Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi (c.1918-19) which suggests this vision of the modern world was fast becoming a nightmare.

The painting by Studio of El Greco’s The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (1590s) echoes the feeling of despair. For Bomberg, this despair was real with his harrowing experiences in the trenches during the First World War where he lost his brother and several close friends.

After the war, Bomberg went to work in Palestine, Spain, the Soviet Union until returning to the UK during the Second World War. Despite inspiring a generation of new British artists with his work and teaching, Bomberg struggled for recognition and financial security and died in London in 1957.

This fascinating small free exhibition offers the opportunity to consider the radical and exciting early work of David Bomberg. The British artist was on the cusp of national and international recognition until the First World War destroyed his faith in Modernism and the modern world. It is perhaps appropriate that it is within the National Gallery where the artist spent many hours drawing from the Old Masters painting that we are reminded of the dynamic and innovative talent of the early Bomberg.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Cars: Accelerating the Modern World at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 23 November 2019 to 19 April 2020

The V&A presents an exhibition looking at the car as the driving force for change in the 20th and 21st century. The exhibition brings together a wide-ranging selection of cars that have never been on display in the UK, each telling a specific story about their impact on the world. This includes the first production car in existence, an autonomous flying car, a converted low-rider, and a 1950s concept car.

Showcasing 15 cars and 250 objects across three main sections, the exhibition examines how the car changed our relationship to speed, how it changed the way we make and sell, and how it altered the landscape around us, from countryside to cityscape.

‘Going Fast’ opens the exhibition, exploring the role of the automobile in imagining a future world of liberated movement and technological progress. Bringing together a range of 20th century concept car designs, magazine illustrations, and film, the display references popular culture, science-fiction and novel technologies to show the central role of the automobile in a imagined future.

The section continues with the first-ever production car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen 3, introduced to the public in 1888. The idea of ‘speed’ quickly grabbed the fascination of the public, inspiring a worldwide racing culture, pushing the design and technology of cars to go ever faster.

Hispano-Suiza Type HB6 ‘Skiff Torpedo’, Hispano-Suiza (chassis), Henri Labourdette (body), 1922. Photo by Michael Furman. © the Mullin Automotive Museum

‘Making More’ explores the car as the archetype of modern manufacturing, the object that developed contemporary consumerism and turned production companies into global brands. On display, a Ford Model-T from 1925 traces the origins of the assembly line, its widespread impact on other areas of production and its evolution into the high-tech automated factories of today. As a contrast to the Model T, a custom-made Hispano-Suiza Type H6B car from 1922 will provide a close-up look at the luxurious and crafted world of early automotive design.

An advert for the GM LaSalle from a series showing the car in various European locations. Illustrated by Edward A. Wilson, about 1927. © Courtesy of General Motors Company, LLC

An exploration of General Motors’ early history will examine the establishment of their Art and Colour Studio turning cars from utilitarian machines into objects of desire. They did so by releasing annual model upgrades and colour ranges, making old cars redundant and new cars more desirable.

A specially-made film for the exhibition will also explore the powerful role of the car in shaping local subcultures by profiling five different subcultures: including South African spinners, California low-riders, Emirati dune racers, and Japanese truck drivers.

The final section of the exhibition, ‘Shaping Space’, explores the vast impact of the car on the world’s landscape, nations, and cities. It looks at how the petrol engine beat early electric and steam-powered competitors by promising the ability to travel the world. On display, global surveys of road conditions published by Michelin and a look at the special off-road cars called Auto-Chenille by Citroen to undertake a publicised treks across Africa and Asia, demonstrate the new market for cross-country adventure.

Messerschmitt, KR200 Cabin Scooter Bubble Top, 1959. © Louwman Museum – The Hague (NL)

The exhibition looks at the geography of petrol extraction, how it was celebrated early on as a miracle resource through products like Tupperware and nylon, and how the 1970s oil crisis inspired a new environmental movement. Early cars from the 1950s that attempted to address fuel scarcity such as the Messerschmitt KR200 bubble car, and the Ford Nucleon, a nuclear-powered concept car will be on display. It will also include a new film shinning a light on the landscapes of extraction, from ageing American oil fields, to the booming lithium fields in Chile, promising to fuel a new electric future.

PopUp next © Italdesign

Returning full circle to the fantasy images of a future world, the exhibition ends with the Pop.Up Next autonomous flying car co-designed by Italdesign, Airbus and Audi. On display for the first time in the UK, the car combines the four major innovations transforming the future of driving: electric power, autonomous driving, service-oriented, and flying.

Around the object, a newly commissioned film will juxtapose imagery referencing the original promise of the car (freedom, speed and efficiency), with its unintended consequences (traffic jams, pollution and social tensions). As the world faces another major turning point in automotive design, the exhibition examines how the car in a 130 years has shaped the world we know today.

For more information and tickets, visit the V & A website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Beautiful Books: Dickens and the Business of Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum from 20 November 2019 to 19 April 2020

The Charles Dickens Museum present a new exhibition exploring how Charles Dickens created became a victorian publishing phenomenon and how his string of Christmas books redefined Christmas and looks at their influence more than 170 years after they were written. The exhibition entitled Beautiful Books: Dickens and the Business of Christmas runs from 20 November 2019 to 19 April 2020 at the Museum at 48 Doughty Street, the London residence where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.

The modern idea of Christmas emerged in the first half of the nineteenth century as technological advances revolutionised the work of bookbinders, printers, typesetters and illustrators. The transformed publishing industry began to produce beautifully-designed books to a growing market.

Against this background, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in six weeks in the winter of 1843 and was published just before Christmas with a short, small and handsomely bound cover and costing less than half the price of the Christmas annuals. 6,000 copies were sold in the six days between its release and Christmas Eve that same year – and it has never been out of print since.

Every year for the next 24 (with only two exceptions), Dickens published books, stories and special texts for his readers at Christmas time.

Over time, A Christmas Carol became staple Christmas fare and the exhibition features letters from Dickens to publishers and illustrators that reveal his scrutiny of the design, illustration and production of his books. The exhibition features the earliest sketches and illustrations of Scrooge, Fezziwig and the Christmas ghosts by John Leech that would adorn the 1843 first edition of A Christmas Carol, an early ‘trial’ edition of the book in green and red and the first edition, inscribed by Dickens to his friend William Macready on New Year’s Day 1844.

One of the star exhibits of the exhibition is the world’s first printed Christmas card, alongside its proof copy. The hand-coloured lithographed card, made in 1843 by Henry Cole, Joseph Cundall and John Calcott Horsley features a family celebrating Christmas, flanked by images of Christmas charity. 1,000 copies were printed and sold for one shilling per card. In spite of its originality, the card was not an instant success and the next card designed for Christmas would not appear for another five years.

Publishers began to compete by producing extravagantly decorated editions, stamped, cloth-bound books illustrated with woodcuts and steel plate engravings, gift books, almanacs such as Forget-Me-Not and The Keepsake, and even a collection of tiny books.

Christmas consumerism expanded so quickly that, by the 1860s, Dickens was complaining that the market was flooded with material and began to consider that the spirit of Christmas was being diminished. Later stories, such as Great Expectations and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, grew darker in tone and subject when discussing the subject of Christmas.

The Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX
Exhibition dates: 20 November 2019 – 19 April 2020
Museum admission prices (inc. exhibition): Adults £9.50; Concessions £7.50; Children (6-16) £4.50;
Under 6 free. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm); closed on Mondays.

Visitors to the exhibition are free to explore the Charles Dickens Museum, The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material, including the desk at which he wrote Great Expectations.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Exhibition Review – Troy: myth and reality at the British Museum from 21 November 2019 to 8 March 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The British Museum presents a major exhibition entitled Troy: myth and reality which is the first major Troy exhibition in the UK. The exhibition explores the lasting legacy of stories from the Trojan War, from early poets such as Homer and Virgil and retold and reinterpreted right up to the present day.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition is the first to feature finds from Schliemann’s excavations at the site of Troy, since they were displayed in London in the 1870s. Schliemann’s rediscovery of Troy and his work at the site between 1870 and 1890 made him famous and a large number of his original finds, including pottery and silver vessels, bronze weapons and stone sculptures, have been loaned by the Berlin Museums to the UK for the first time in nearly 150 years.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition features nearly 300 objects that explore the story of Troy and its enduring legacy including a rare Roman sarcophagus lid with a wheeled wooden horse.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A ‘Portrait’ of Homer, Roman, AD 100–200 sets the scene in the exhibition for an overview of the ancient story, Achilles is the greatest of all the Greek fighters but dies after an arrow from the Trojan prince Paris shoots through his heel, the only part of his body not protected by his divine mother.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Filippo Albacini’s (1777–1858) marble sculpture The Wounded Achilles captures the fateful moment.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Central to the legend of Troy are a number of characters from Helen, Odysseus, Priam and Achilles and the exhibition features a number of objects that portray scenes from the legend like Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553), ‘The Judgement of Paris’ 1530–35, Ceramic amphora showing Achilles killing the Amazon queen Penthesilea, Athens, c. 530 BC and Trojan King Priam kisses the hand of Achilles on  a Roman silver cup found in a chieftain’s grave in Denmark.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the section about the archaeologists and adventurers who sought to prove the reality of ancient Troy, this exhibition showcases the discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann in Turkey in the 1870s that provided evidence that the legend has some basis in reality. Towards the end of the exhibition is the famous photograph of Schliemann’s wife bedecked in jewellery.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

However, the enduring popularity of the legend is illustrated by the large number of books, films and art that have retold the story of Troy. The exhibition features a small selection of works that have been inspired by aspects of the story.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the causes of the Trojan war was the kidnapping of Helen by Paris, This exhibition examines how Helen has been portrayed from beautiful victim to femme fatale and how the role of women in the legend has been constantly changed over the centuries.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition provide plenty of evidence of the enduring appeal of Trojan cycle of myths over the last 3,000 years, the myths provide universal messages of war, love and loss that each generation is able to relate too. The exhibition attempts to provide some understanding of the myth and reality of Troy and how archaeology has provided some evidence of the historical truth behind the ancient myth.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Troy has inspired many artists and writers from antiquity into the 21st century and the way the exhibition has been designed allows the many objects in the exhibition to retell the stories on a variety of media and provide a coherent narrative for visitors to follow.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 
For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: Dora Maar at Tate Modern from 20 November 2019 to 15 March 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tate Modern presents the first UK retrospective of the work of Dora Maar (1907–97) whose career spanned more than six decades and work included Surrealist photographs and photomontages, commercial photographs, social documentary photographs, and paintings, The exhibition entitled Dora Maar features over 200 works and explores her artistic career from her early days in advertising and illustrated press to her later experiments with camera-less photographs.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Born Henriette Théodora Markovitch, Dora Maar grew up between Argentina and Paris and studied decorative arts and painting before moving to photography. Maar was part of a generation of women who took advantage of professional opportunities offered by advertising and illustrated press.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition opens with examples of these commissioned works, many of the photographs illustrate Marr’s Maar’s innovative approach to creating images through photomontage and collage. Around 1931, Maar set up a studio with film set designer Pierre Kéfer specialising in portraiture, fashion photography and advertising.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Marr was one of early women photographers to create nude studies such as that of famed model Assia Granatouroff, her nude studies provide a female perspective that was very rare in this period.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Outside of the studio, Marr in the 1930s became active in a number of left-wing revolutionary groups led by artists and intellectuals. She began to use street photographs taken in Barcelona, Paris and London to show the grim reality of Europe’s economic depression and political turmoil.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Maar became one of the few photographers to be included in the surrealist movement’s exhibitions and publications. Some highlights of the exhibition are Portrait d’Ubu 1936, and photomontages 29, rue d’Astorg c.1936 and Le Simulateur 1935.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In 1935–6 Maar met Pablo Picasso and began a relationship that lasted around eight years, when they met Marr was already a successful photographer and Picasso was having something of a crisis of confidence. Marr documented the creation of his most political work Guernica 1937 and Picasso immortalised Marr in the painting of the ‘weeping woman’.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Picasso and Maar combined in a series of portraits that combined experimental photographic and printmaking techniques such as La Conversation 1937 and La Cage 1943.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

After the Second World War, Maar divided her time between Paris and the South of France and often created abstract paintings of the landscapes surrounding her home. She exhibited these works to acclaim in London and Paris into the 1950s before Maar gradually withdrew from artistic circles until the 1980s.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the 1980s, Maar created a series of camera-less photographs, decades after giving up photography she experimented in the darkroom with hundreds of photograms. Dora Maar died in 1997, at the age of 89 years old.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition provides an opportunity to explore the works of Dora Maar, although she is mainly known for her relationship with Picasso, this often obscures a long and varied successful career especially in photography. Maar’s work was often radical, political and innovative and the exhibition provides plenty of evidence that in the first half of the 20th century, her work was widely respected by the public and other artists. Her disappearance from public view from the 1950s may explain why Marr is not more widely known and often overlooked by art galleries. This exhibition offers visitors a chance to reassess her long career where she never stopped trying out many different styles and techniques in a number of different kinds of media.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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