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Monthly Archives: October 2017

Exhibition Review – Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond at the British Museum from 2nd November 2017 to 8th April 2018

The British Museum explores the practice and expression of religious beliefs in the lives of individuals and communities around the world and through time with this exhibition entitled Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond.

The exhibition considers that almost every culture in the world or in history has some form of religious beliefs. However, this worldwide phenomenon has many different practices and the exhibition displays objects from all around the world. The exhibition includes everyday objects relating to world faiths, traditional indigenous, archaeological and modern civil practices.

The exhibition begins with an object that provides evidence that even in the last Ice Age, there were people who worshipped the natural and the supernatural. The Lion Man is a 40,000-year-old, 31 centimetres tall sculpture made from mammoth tusk that has the head of a cave lion with a partly human body. The image is strange and mysterious and provides a link a world beyond the natural word. The Lion man is the oldest known representation of a being that does not exist in physical form but symbolises ideas about the supernatural.

Other highlights of the exhibition are a Mosque lamp from Aleppo, Syria, c. 1300–1340, Zoroastrian tiles from Gujarat India, 1990, Ibeji figures from Nigeria, probably early 20th century. From Tibet is 19th century Painted textile (thangka) with the wheel of life, a Model of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 1750s and a ‘Hundred Bird’ coat from China, 1950–1990.

One of the largest objects is a large wooden model of a juggernaut for bringing deities out of a temple into the community. India, 18th century.

Unfortunately, belief are often associated with conflict and a Japanese notice board rewarding information about Christians from 1682 illustrates how authorities in Japan turned against Christianity, having initially allowed conversions by Jesuit missionaries.

Belief is not always associated with gods, posters relating to Soviet scientific atheism, and a Chinese badge celebrating ‘Mao’’ are examples of 20th-century political veneration.

This interesting exhibition indicates that belief is a key aspect of human behaviour and plays an important part in all human societies. Although there is great variation in what is believed, human beings tend to express belief in powerful and mystical ideas that are used to define cultural identities and strengthen social bonds.

The British Museum has taken a new, experiential and innovative approach to the design of this exhibition. It incorporates the sounds, music and silence associated with religious practice, achieved with atmospheric lighting effects.

The exhibition is part of the fourth collaborative project between the British Museum, the BBC and Penguin Books. It builds on a Radio 4 series of 30 daily programmes over six weeks presented by former Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Recommended

For more information or to book 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: Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile at Tate Britain – 2nd November 2017 to 29th April 2018

Tate Britain present over 100 works by Monet, Tissot, Pissarro and others in the first large-scale exhibition to chart the stories of French artists who sought refuge in Britain during the Franco-Prussian War. The exhibition entitled Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904) explores some of the artistic networks, the French artists built in Britain, and consider some of the ways that London inspired the artists during their stay.

One of the main themes of the exhibition is how the French painters’ were influenced by their observations of British culture and social life. For many of the French artists who were used to the café culture of the French capital, London presented a number of attractions. Camille Pissarro was fascinated by London’s suburbia and green spaces such as Kew Green.

Other artists such as James Tissot were fascinated by British high society and painted a number of paintings which portray the younger members of society at play. He was particularly fascinated by the military officers entertaining the ladies illustrated by The Ball on Shipboard c.1874.

Whilst in London, many of the French artists looked for patrons who could provide support both careerwise and financially. The exhibition looks at the relationship between  Charles-François Daubigny and Monet and considers the role of opera singer and art patron Jean-Baptiste Faure. One of works that Faure owned, Sisley’s Molesey Weir, Hampton Court, Morning 1874 is displayed.

Ironically it was to be chance meeting at this time between French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, Monet and Pissarro in London that would lay the foundation for a collaboration that would financially underpin the careers of many impressionist painters.

The exhibition examines how a number of French artists began to influence the British art establishments, Alphonse Legros was influential as Professor of Fine Art at the Slade School in London from 1876 to 1893 and introduced a number of French artists to potential patrons. The exhibition also displays the work of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s whose visits to London were fairly regular in this period.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the works dedicated to representations of the Thames. This section features the largest grouping of Monet’s Houses of Parliament series in Europe for over 40 years. Monet in particular was fascinated by the Thames, a theme that would taken up by many other artists including Whistler.

In the final room, there is a number of André Derain’s paintings of London landmarks, which were a direct response to Monet’s work but with a colourful twist.

This fascinating and informative exhibition illustrates a short period in time when a number of French artists moved to London due to the Franco-Prussian War. Many of the artists had been attacked in France for their impressionistic paintings and probably welcomed a respite from the criticism. The exhibition provides evidence that the artists became fascinated by different aspects of London life and the Thames in particular became a favourite subject. Perhaps a largely unknown aspect of the artists exile was the role they played in academic circles providing expertise and inspiration for a new generation of British artists.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Britain 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.
To find out more visit the website
here

All You Need To Know About the Remembrance Sunday Ceremony 2017 in London – 12th November 2017

In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, which is the Sunday nearest to 11 November Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. Remembrance Sunday is held “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts”.

There will be ceremonies all over London and the rest of the country but the national ceremony is held in London at the Cenotaph and the Women’s Memorial on Whitehall. Wreaths are laid by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and other major politicians and representatives of the Armed Services.  Two minutes’ silence is held at 11 a.m., before the laying of the wreaths. The silence represents the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, when the guns of Europe fell silent. This silence is marked by the firing of a field gun on Horse Guards Parade to begin and end the silence, followed by Royal Marines buglers sounding Last Post.

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On Sunday 12th November, the National Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London. Starting at 11am, the service will commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts. Taking place during the centenary of the First World War, this year’s Remembrance Sunday memorials will have an added poignancy.

The event consists mainly of an extensive march past, with army bands playing live music, each year following the list of the Traditional Music of Remembrance.

No tickets or passes are needed for the event and the public are welcome to watch the ceremony from the pavements along Whitehall and Parliament Street. There will be video screens north of the Cenotaph, near the green outside the main Ministry of Defence building and mounted outside the Scotland Office and south of the Cenotaph on the corner of King Charles Street. 

Programme

08:00: Whitehall opens to the public. The public are advised to arrive early to secure a good view, as space is limited. Please allow time to clear the police security procedures and you are advised not to bring suitcases or large bags

09:00: Royal British Legion (RBL) detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade and in Whitehall

10:00: All detachments march out from Wellington Barracks

11:00: Two minutes silence marked by the firing of guns from Kings Troop, on Horse Guards Parade. Cenotaph Service commences

11:25: Cenotaph Service concludes and Royal British Legion detachments disperse past the Cenotaph

 

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.
To find out more visit the website here

 

 

Bonfire Night ( Firework Displays) in London – 3rd to 5th November 2017

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Bonfire Night is also known as Fireworks’ Night or Guy Fawkes’ Night. It’s a British tradition dating back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605,  when on the 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives, the plotters had placed beneath the Houses of Parliament. To celebrate the thwarting of the plot to blow up parliament and kill King James I,  people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act was considered an annual public day of thanksgiving.

Part of the tradition that developed was the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes on top of the bonfire. However in the 20th Century, Bonfire Night is usually celebrated at large organised events, centred on a large bonfire and firework displays. Although traditionally Bonfire Night was only celebrated on November the 5th, in recent years the displays are often on the weekend nearest to the date.

London has a large number of displays often centred around parks and sports grounds, some which charge to enter and other ones that are free. Here are a list of the larger displays that take place in London.

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival

Alexandra Palace

Dates: Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November 2017

 

Blackheath Fireworks

Blackheath Common

Dates: Saturday 4th November 2017

 

Battersea Park Fireworks

Battersea Park,

Dates: Saturday 4th November 2017

 

Crystal Palace Fireworks

Crystal Palace Park,

Dates: Sunday 5th November 2017

 

Hammersmith and Fulham Fireworks

Bishops Park,

Dates: Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November 2017

 

Lambeth Fireworks

Brockwell Park,

Dates: Saturday 4th November 2017 – 5pm-10pm

 

Morden Park Fireworks

Morden Park,

Dates: Sunday 5th November 2017

 

Wimbledon Park Fireworks

Wimbledon Park

Dates: Saturday 4th November 2017

 

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.
To find out more visit the website here

Lord Mayor’s Show 2017 in the City of London – 11th November 2017

The Lord Mayor’s Show is one of the oldest and most important traditions of London, its origins go back to 1215 when King John was in trouble with his Barons looked to the City of London for support. In 1215 the King was persuaded to issue a Royal Charter that allowed the City of London to elect its own Mayor, but there was an important condition. Every year the newly elected Mayor must leave the safety of the City, travel upriver to the small town of Westminster and swear loyalty to the Crown. The Lord Mayor has now made that journey for 800 years, despite plagues and fires and countless wars, and pledged his (and her) loyalty to 34 kings and queens of England.

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The Mayor was a power equal to any of John’s unruly Barons, and only two months later the first elected Mayor would put his signature to the Magna Carta. He was no doubt responsible for the wording of part 13:

13. The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs.

For the next few hundred years, Lord Mayor of London was by far the grandest position to which a commoner could aspire, and the Mayor’s journey was the celebrity spectacle of its day. Over the centuries it grew so splendid and so popular that by the 16th century it was known everywhere as the Lord Mayor’s Show. It features in the plays of Shakespeare, the diaries of Pepys and the adventures of James Bond and of course in the pantomime story of Dick Whittington, who was the Mayor of London three times. In the 20th century the Lord Mayor’s Show was the first outside event ever to be broadcast live and it still attracts a TV audience of millions.

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The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey to Westminster. The state coach is 350 years old and the show features the City’s businesses, Livery Companies, charities, Her Majesty’s Forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life come together to enjoy a celebration of the City’s ancient power and prosperity. The new Lord Mayor is Charles Bowman who will become the 690th Lord Mayor. He will take office after the Silent Ceremony on Friday 10th November at the Guildhall in the heart of the Square Mile with the annual Lord Mayor’s Show taking place on Saturday 11th November 2017.

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The show itself is in three main parts, the River Pageant, the Lord Mayor’s Procession and the Lord Mayor’s Fireworks. Each have their own attractions and for those who want to find out more about the City of London there will be Guided Walks  in the afternoon. The timings are as follows:

The 2017 Lord Mayor’s Show is on Saturday 11th November. There are events all day and many other family activities and special exhibitions will be laid on in the area. From the Lord Mayor’s arrival by river to the fireworks finale, the Lord Mayor’s Day is packed with spectacle.

09:00: River Pageant

The original Lord Mayor’s journey was always taken by river. The modern Lord Mayor celebrates that history by travelling to the City in a splendid flotilla of traditional Thames barges and small boats, including the famous QRB Gloriana. Tower Bridge opens in salute at 09.25 and the new Lord Mayor alights at HMS President ten minutes later.

11:00: Lord Mayor’s Procession

This is a procession unlike any other in the world: last year there were over 7000 participants, 20 bands, 150 horses, hundreds of other carriages, carts, coaches and other vehicles including vintage cars, steam buses, tanks, tractors, ambulances, fire engines, unicycles, steamrollers, giant robots, helicopters, ships, penny farthings, beds and bathtubs.

The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11am. It pauses at the Royal Courts while the Lord Mayor gives his oath and then returns up the Victoria Embankment at about 1pm. The Lord Mayor will get back to Mansion House just after 2.

15:00: Guided Walks

In the lull between procession and fireworks you will find the remarkable City of London Guide Lecturers giving walking tours around the strange old streets of the City of London. The walks are easy and free, but we hope you will make a donation to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

17:15: Lord Mayor’s Fireworks

The new Lord Mayor completes his first day in office with a magnificent fireworks display over the Thames. The launchpad floats in the river between Blackfriars and Waterloo and all the roads in that area are still closed, so you can walk freely around either bank of the river and find a good spot to enjoy the end of the Show.

It’s one of London’s most spectacular annual displays  but for the best view head down to the riverside between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges, either on Victoria Embankment or on the South Bank. The display will last about 15-20 minutes.

The procession will set off from Mansion House at 11:05am. It is led away by the Band of the Coldstream Guards and at a steady marching pace they will take 27 minutes to get to the Royal Courts. The procession that follows is over an hour long, so the City’s sanitation department (who always bring up the rear) will reach the courts at around 12.30. The return leg leaves Temple Place at 1.10pm and the tail of the procession arrives back at Mansion House at 2.30.

Crowds

The busiest parts of the route are around St Paul’s and Mansion House. If you’re at all concerned about the crowds, or might be a bit unsteady on your feet, please avoid those areas. In quieter places like Fleet Street the crowd should be much more manageable and you should be able to use folding chairs. There is also less of a crush during the return leg of the procession.

Two of the most interesting aspects of the show is the magnificent State Coach which is over 250 years old and the wicker giants are Gog and Magog, the traditional guardians of the City of London. They first walked at the head of the Lord Mayor’s procession around five hundred years ago.

For more information, visit the Event 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.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Exhibition Review – Monochrome: Painting in Black and White at the National Gallery from 30th October 2017 to 18th February 2018

The National Gallery presents a world of dark and light in its exhibition entitled Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. The exhibition explores how artists have used the power of black and white with more than fifty painted objects created over 700 years.

Paintings and drawings by Old Masters such as Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres appear alongside works by contemporary artists including Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close and Bridget Riley.

The exhibition takes visitors through five rooms which explore how artists have used painting in black, white and grey, also known as grisaille for a variety of reasons.

The earliest surviving works of Western art made in grisaille were created in the Middle Ages, often for devotional purposes. For many religious orders, simplicity and austerity was favoured and paintings in black and white took on a profound spiritual element. The first room is dominated by the large Agony in the Garden painted in 1538.

For centuries, artists have made drawings in black and white to find ways of how light and shade worked in particular compositions before committing to a full colour painting. From the Middle Ages, paintings in grisaille began to be produced as independent works of art. Generally these type of paintings were prized for the skill of the artist and their use as devotional pieces. The exhibition shows one of the most outstanding examples of grisaille oil painting with Jan van Eyck’s Annunciation Diptych (1433-35) . The Figures painted in white tones on black backgrounds resemble sculptures standing within stone niches. Other highlights in this section include works by Pablo Picasso, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Alberto Giacometti and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Other artists produced paintings that provided decorative 3D illusions that took on the appearance of stone sculpture. Jacob de Wit excelled at this type of painting and his Jupiter and Ganymede (1739, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull) could easily be mistaken for a three-dimensional wall relief.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, painters began to respond to the new developments in printmaking with works that looked like a print but was actually a painting. The exhibition shows one of the finest examples of this type of painting with the exceptionally rare grisaille work by Hendrik Goltzius, Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus Would Freeze (1606) .

The invention of photography in the 19th century led to painters imitating some of the qualities of the media. Gerhard Richter employed a press photograph of a prostitute who had been brutally murdered as the foundation of his painting Helga Matura with Her Fiancé (1966).

Perhaps the purest form of Black and White paintings has been undertaken by Abstract and Installation artists. In 1916, Russian artist Kazimir Malevich took this to its ultimate with his revolutionary work, Black Square (1929) . A black square floating within a white-painted frame was declared  to be a new kind of non-representational art. Other artists in the exhibition who have been attracted to this type of abstraction include Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly and Bridget Riley.

At the end of the exhibition, Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale, immersive light installation, Room for one colour (1997) suppresses all other light frequencies and allows visitors to enter a monochrome world.

This unusual and interesting exhibition offers the opportunity to explore an artistic world full of black, white and grey. The works on display illustrate the great strength of working with a limited palette enabling artists to experiment with the various forms, textures, light and shade. This explains why many artists create black and white drawings before committing to a full colour painting. Perhaps more surprising is that religious orders from the Middle Ages onwards saw the lack of colour as somehow more sacred. However it is probably within Abstraction that Black and White find its purest expression.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, 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.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Exhibition Review : Cézanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery – 26th October 2017 to 11th February 2018

The National Portrait Gallery presents the first exhibition which is devoted entirely to portraits by Paul Cézanne. The exhibition entitled Cézanne Portraits, will bring together for the first time over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works never before on public display in the UK.

Cézanne painted almost 200 portraits during his career and the exhibition explore the many themes associated with Cézanne’s portraiture including complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject. One complementary pair is the artist’s Self Portrait in a Bowler Hat which offers a rather different view of the artist.

The exhibition  explores the chronological development of Cézanne’s portraiture and examine the changes of his style and method. From a realistic representation he moves gradually to impressionistic approach that concentrates on form and colour to illustrate the sitter’s exterior and interior states.

Like many artists he initially relied on family and friends to be his sitters and the exhibition features a number of portraits featuring his wife and Uncle Dominique. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the painting of the artist’s father reading a newspaper. Another highlight is the artist’s wife dressed in red in three large paintings.

However it is the self-portraits that give some insight into the characteristics and nature of the artist. His first self-portrait presents the artist as a serious, almost obsessive young man with a piercing stare. His last self-portrait illustrates that the artist had mellowed with age as he looks wistfully into the distance.

It is with some surprise to learn that Cezanne’s portraiture has received surprisingly little attention. This fascinating exhibition provides evidence that the artist constant experimentation with portraits underpinned his whole approach to art that transcended impressionism and paved the way for Cubism and avant-garde artists. His considerable influence was recognised by Matisse, Picasso and many others.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like to find out more about the exhibition, visit the National Portrait 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 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.
To find out more visit the website here