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Exhibition Review- Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 29 February to 21 June 2020

 

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The V&A presents Europe’s first major exhibition on kimono. Considered one of the symbols of Japan, the kimono is seen as traditional and unchanging. This exhibition challenges this conception, by presenting the garment as a dynamic and evolving icon of fashion.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition explores the social significance of the kimono from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and in the rest of the world. Rare 17th and 18th century kimono are displayed for the first time in the UK, together with fashions by major designers and iconic film and performance costumes. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan by an exciting new wave of contemporary designers and stylists is also considered.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Almost 300 works are featured in the show, including kimono especially made for the show, some from the V&A’s collections and the rest loaned by museums and private collections in Britain, Europe, America and Japan.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition begins by looking at the origins of the kimono in mid-17th century Japan. Wealthy merchant classes looked at the kimono as a status symbol to express their affluence and taste, leading actors and famous courtesans wore the latest Kimono styles and became the trend-setters of the day.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The simple structure of the kimono allowed for the creation of complex patterns using sophisticated techniques. The first section of the exhibition explores some of these designs and how fashion in the period was fed by a cult of celebrity and encouraged by makers, sellers and publishers.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Kimono were first exported to Europe in the mid-17th century and foreign fabrics were also brought to Japan and incorporated into kimono. The exhibition features rare survivors from this early period of cultural exchange, including garments made in Japan for the Dutch and kimono tailored from French brocade and Indian chintz.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The late 19th century saw a worldwide craze for Japanese art and design and Kimono could be bought from department stores such as Liberty & Co. in London. Japanese designers began to make bold embroidered ‘kimono for foreigners’, while the Japanese market experimented with European textile technology and chemical dyes.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The kimono’s biggest impact on western fashion came in the early 20th century, when the fascination with East Asia led to designers used the regions symbols and designs in clothes, jewellery and dress-accessories.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The final section of the exhibition provides evidence how the kimono has continued to inspire fashion designers around the world. The potential of the garment to be transformed is seen in designs by Thom Browne, Duro Olowu and Yohji Yamamoto.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The kimono’s universal quality has made it a popular costume for film and performance. The display includes the outfit worn by Toshirō Mifune in Sanjūrō, Oscar-winning costumes from Memoirs of a Geisha, and the Jean Paul Gaultier ensemble worn by Madonna in her video Nothing Really Matters, the dress designed for Björk by Alexander McQueen and worn on the album cover Homogenic, and original Star Wars costumes modelled on kimono by John Mollo and Trisha Biggar.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Japan is currently witnessing a resurgence of interest in kimono. Jōtarō Saitō designs kimono couture for the catwalk, Hiroko Takahashi bridges the divide between art and fashion, and more casual street styles are created by small, independent studios such as Rumi Rock and Modern Antenna.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This visually stunning exhibition tells the history of the Kimono, although the garment has its origins in the Japanese merchant classes, it has developed in many ways for the Japanese and global market over the centuries. The exhibition provides evidence of that development and how a relatively simple costume has been recreated in a myriad of ways. It is interesting that a garment that has featured as a part of cultural exchange since the 17th century provides endless fascination with designers and the general public.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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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Exhibition Review – Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age at the National Gallery from 22 Feb 2020 to 31 May 2020

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The National Gallery presents the first-ever monographic exhibition devoted to Nicolaes Maes (1634 – 1693) in the UK. The exhibition entitled Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age explores the career of one of the most successful artists of the period, and shows how a favourite pupil of Rembrandt made his name in the Dutch ‘Golden Age’.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition brings together 48 works, comprising paintings and drawings, from a range of private and public collections. The three rooms reflect three distinct periods in the artist’s career and illustrates how Maes started out as a painter of historical and biblical scenes but soon moved on to paintings of everyday life for which he is now best known, during the last decades of his career he became one of the most sought-after portrait painters in 17th-century Holland.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Maes was considered one of Rembrandt’s most talented pupils and the master’s influence can be seen in Maes early paintings of historical and biblical scenes, which are displayed in the first room. Highlights include Christ Blessing the Children, Adoration of the Shepherds and the Sacrifice of Isaac.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

If the first room shows Rembrandt’s influence, the second room features some of Maes’s most well known compositions. Having left Amsterdam to return to his native city of Dordrecht, Maes began to focus on scenes of everyday life or ‘genre’ paintings as they were known. One of his most famous themes was the eavesdropper. In these paintings the central character in the scene ‘breaks the fourth wall’ and looks directly at the viewer. The eavesdropper stands at the foot of a staircase, finger raised to her lips, imploring secrecy. Maes began to construct inventive compositions in which the viewer is able to spy on the scene that the eavesdropper is intruding on.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Although the eavesdroppers are among his most famous works during this period, the exhibition also shows Maes interest in portraying daily tasks. Many of these pictures focused on women carrying out duties like seamstresses and lacemakers carrying out their domestic duties.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In 1673 Maes returned to Amsterdam and began a very prolific period in which he became one of the most sought-after portrait painters of his time, he was said to have produced some 900 portraits becoming a very wealthy man.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The third and final room is dedicated to these portraits, showing how his style developed to reflect the fashion of the late 17th century. He used extravagant backgrounds to complement the poses of his sitters.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Some of the portraits in the final room are displayed in their original frames which is unusual, it is rare for the original frames of 17th-century paintings to have survived. This room reunites four portraits from the same family – Portrait of Simon van Alphen, Portrait of Beatrix van Alphen, Portrait of Dirk van Alphen and Portrait of Maria Magdalena van Alphen, all in their original frames. Painted around 1677 they show how the wealthier classes in 17th-century Holland like to be portrayed and why Maes was so popular as a portraitist.

This interesting free exhibition introduces the viewer to the work of Nicolaes Maes who despite being one of the most successful artists of the period is little known today. In many ways he was the victim of his own success, the popularity of his genre pictures and portraits in the 17th, 18th and 19th century meant that he is considered as a rather superficial painter compared to the likes of Rembrandt. This is rather unfair because his paintings of interiors was a theme picked up the next generation of Dutch artists, especially Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer.

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.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – David Hockney: Drawing from Life at the National Portrait Gallery from 27 February to 28 June 2020

The National Portrait Gallery presents the first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years. David Hockney: Drawing from Life explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to now, by focussing on his depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and friends, the curator, Gregory Evans, and master printer, Maurice Payne.

The exhibition features around 150 works from public and private collections across the world, as well as from the David Hockney Foundation and the artist, the exhibition shows evidence of the artist’s different styles and how he has portrayed these five subjects over a period of five decades. The intimate portraits are rendered in pencil, pastel, ink and watercolour, using both traditional and non-traditional drawing equipment including coloured pencil, pen, the Polaroid camera and apps found on the iPhone and iPad.

The exhibition features new portraits of some of the sitters and previously unseen early works, including working drawings for his A Rake’s Progress etching suite (1961-63), inspired by a series of prints by William Hogarth, and sketchbooks from Hockney’s art school days in Bradford in the 1950s.

David Hockney made his name in the the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and is considered one of the most acclaimed British artists of the late twentieth and early twenty first century.

Throughout the exhibition is evidence of the way that Hockney uses drawing to make sense of the world around him, but also as a way to experiment with ideas and visual expressions which are often used in his paintings or in other mediums.

Hockney from the early days of his artistic career has experimented with a variety of styles and has been influenced by many artists like Holbein, Matisse, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso and Ingres.

However, despite the different styles and influences, Hockney has developed his own artistic path that often explores intimacy and closeness between individuals.

It is rare that you are faced with drawings and paintings that explore fifty years of the artist himself and a small group of his closest sitters. This intimacy and closeness gives a wide range of psychological insight as the sitter moves from young person to old age. It gives the viewer a visual reminder of how things change but in some ways stay the same.

This fascinating exhibition offers the opportunity to enter the world of David Hockney, many of the works in the exhibition illustrate his curious and playful nature and his relentless experimentation to illustrate the human condition. The portraits of himself and his friends never flinch from the realities of getting old but show a warmness and acceptance that reflect their relationships. Hockney may be ‘drawing from life’ but also finds enjoyment recording his life and the life of those closest to him for posterity.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, 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.
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Exhibition Review – French Impressions: Prints from Manet to Cézanne at the British Museum from 20 February to 9 August 2020

For the first time in over 40 years, the British Museum presents a major display of its collection of French prints, one of the best collections of its kind in the world. The exhibition entitled French Impressions: Prints from Manet to Cézanne, features nearly 80 important works by artists including Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibition covers the last four decades of the 19th century and includes rarely seen artworks by some of France’s most famous artists.

The period from 1860 to 1900 in France was one of great creative and artistic activity, many artists produced what are now considered some of the world’s most famous paintings. Part of this artistic revolution was the creation of prints, many by celebrated artists from this time who used printmaking to experiment with often radical approaches producing some of their most unusual and unique compositions.

The exhibition also examines the role of illustrated print journals that proliferated in the 1890s, and how these first helped establish the reputation of many French artists. On show will be a selection of prints from the hugely influential La Revue Blanche (acquired by the British Museum in 2018 and on display for the first time) as well as other significant artworks from L’Estampe Originale and L’Estampe Moderne.

Highlights of the exhibition include Les Baigneurs (grande planchet) by Cézanne, one of only 8 prints ever made by the artist.

Other works include two examples of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s colourful prints of actresses and Parisian music-hall stars.

There are unusual works by Gauguin and Van Gogh, Camille Pissarro has a series of prints included.

The last time the British Museum exhibited its French prints collection on this scale was in 1978, this exhibition provides a much more varied selection of works including works from female artists such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt and Suzanne Valadon.

This attractive and interesting free exhibition is a reminder of how the artistic revolution in France from 1860 to 1900 changed the art world, whilst many people now enjoy this type of art, it was not always the case. Prints provided an opportunity for artists to be radical and creative showing their work to a mass audience, this extensive display captures the spirit of the time when anything artistic seemed possible.

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 – Piranesi drawings: visions of antiquity at the British Museum from 20 Feb 2020 to 9 Aug 2020

 

The British Museum celebrates the 300th anniversary of Piranesi’s birth in 1720 with an exhibition that includes the Museum’s complete collection of his drawings, all the work of the Piranesi himself.

Neoclassicist printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi is best known for his grand depictions of ancient Rome, his recordings of the newly-discovered ruins of Pompeii and displaying his celebrated Carceri (‘Prisons’) series.

Piranesi was born in Venice and raised in Rome, from 1740, he worked in Rome as a draughtsman for Marco Foscarini, the Venetian ambassador of the new Pope Benedict XIV. He often returned to Venice where he was friendly with Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a leading artist in the city.

In 1748–1774 he created a long series of drawings of the city which established his fame. Piranesi devoted himself to the measurement of many of the ancient ruins and this led to the publication of “Roman Antiquities of the Time of the First Republic and the First Emperors”.

It is the work of Piranesi as a draughtsman, that is the focus of the exhibition and offers viewers the opportunity to scrutinise the drawings in close detail. Within the drawings, Piranesi manages to engender a poetic aspect of the ruins, whilst providing an accurate representation. A number of the views depict human figures whose poverty and human frailties appear to suggest not only the decay of the ruins but of human existence.

These views of antiquity, not only provided a visual record of ruins that often disappeared over time but provided Piranesi with a source of income. Increasingly, these types of views were becoming popular with those on the Grand Tour, Rome became an intellectual capital of Europe and Piranesi catered for these ‘tourists’ with his own print workshop and museum of antiquities.

This fascinating small free exhibition provides some insight into the world of Giovanni Battista Piranesi who provides a record of ancient Rome with the creative ability to make the buildings and geometry come alive. This mix of fantasy and reality was popular amongst a new type of collector who enjoyed the bringing together of the modern and ancient worlds.

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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Nightingale in 200 Objects, People and Places at the Florence Nightingale Museum from 8 March 2020 to 7 March 2021

A new exhibition opening this March will explore the true character, obsessions and achievements of Florence Nightingale. The exhibition entitled Nightingale in 200 Objects, People & Places runs from 8 March 2020 to 7 March 2021 at the Florence Nightingale Museum on London’s South Bank in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital.

The exhibition aims to go far beyond the mythical ‘Lady with the Lamp’ tale to present a more fully-rounded picture of a visionary reformer, tireless campaigner and inspirational leader in her field. The exhibition explores Florence’s role during the Crimean War, which saw her propelled to fame and looks at the next thirty years of her life, during which she revolutionised nursing while suffering from physical illness and depression.

The exhibition will draw on the Museum’s collections, along with loans from national and private collections to present 200 items that explore the reasons for Florence Nightingale’s international fame and enduring influence.

Among the key exhibits:

The ‘lamp’ (actually a Turkish lantern) carried by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War

Florence Nightingale’s medicine chest, containing glass jars of ‘domestic’ remedies.

Her highly-decorated writing case used in the writing of 14,000 letters and 200 publications

The door knocker from her Mayfair home

Family album belonging to Florence’s cousin, Henry Nicholson, containing unseen sketches of Florence and the Nightingale family

The first nursing uniform, featuring the Scutari Sash designed by Florence

An audio recording of Florence Nightingale’s voice

Florence’s copy of Oliver Twist. Charles Dickens was a friend, who sent supplies to Scutari.

The exhibition is part of Nightingale2020, a year-long celebration including a national touring pop-up exhibition, a lamp-lit wreath-laying at the Florence Nightingale statue in Waterloo Place, a celebratory Evensong service at St Paul’s Cathedral and new programmes of schools events and family activities at the Museum.

As well as the exhibition at the Museum, there will be an online version which will show additional insights into Nightingale’s life and influences, and include extra content such as videos which can’t be included in the main exhibition.

Florence Nightingale Museum,
2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW

For more information and tickets , visit the 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: Woburn Treasures at the Queen’s House in Greenwich from 13 February 2020 to 17 January 2021

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Queen’s House in Greenwich in partnership with Woburn Abbey presents a new exhibition entitled Woburn Treasures which features significant works from the private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford on show in the Queen’s House. The collaboration marks the first time that significant parts of the Woburn collection have been on public display in a national museum since the 1950s.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford is considered to be one of the most important art collections still in private hands and the Woburn Abbey loans comprise of over 20 works by artists such as Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Poussin and Canaletto. The artworks will hang alongside important works from the national collection of Royal Museums Greenwich.The collaboration has been made possible due to the 18-month closure of Woburn Abbey as it undergoes the biggest refurbishment and conservation project since it first opened to the public in 1955.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Highlights from the Woburn Treasures include a full length portrait of Anne of Denmark by Flemish artist Gheeraerts the Younger. Anne, queen consort of James I commissioned Inigo Jones to build the Queen’s House, the first Palladian villa in England.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

There is a large full length portrait of Lady Elizabeth Keppel by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition includes Canaletto’s large-scale Regatta on the Grand Canal, one of 24 paintings by the Italian artist commissioned for Lord John Russell, the Fourth Duke of Bedford, following his visit to Venice in 1731.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

There is an intimate portrait of Daniel Mytens and his wife by Sir Anthony van Dyck.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A wonderful pastoral scene is shown in Woodcutter and the Milk Maid by Thomas Gainsborough.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the more unusual portraits is that of Queen Mary I and Phillip II of Spain by an unknown artist, 1558.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Alongside the paintings is a selection of sculptures, ceramics and a silver-gilt toilette set spanning the 17th to 19th century. Many of the artworks showcased in the exhibition have been collected over many generations of the Russell family.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating Woburn Treasures exhibition is a rare opportunity to understand themes related to British country house collecting within the beautiful and architecturally important Queen’s House. To see many of these works of art before, you would have needed to go to Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire and pay an admission fee, this exhibition is an opportunity to access this outstanding collection for free in the capital.

The Woburn Treasures exhibition runs from 13 February to 17 January 2021 alongside Faces of a Queen: The Armada Portraits of Elizabeth I which is open from 13 February – 31 August 2020 at the Queen’s House in Greenwich , both are free to visit.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Royal Museums Greenwich 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

Review – 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

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The three surviving versions of the famous Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I are 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.

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

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. Despite their iconic status, the origins of the paintings are shrouded in mystery with experts  suggesting that three different artists or studios could be responsible for the three principal Armada Portraits working from a single template.

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 and majestic figure with seascapes showing different episodes of the Spanish Armada story.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The paintings relate to an important part of British history, England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada was considered one of the greatest military victories in English history and Elizabeth was celebrated in portraits, pageants, and the literature of the day. The Elizabethan era provided important stability for the country and helped forge a sense of national identity. These portraits were more than just paintings, they were part of a ‘personality cult’  that represented the monarch as a strong and charismatic leader.

The portraits  are 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 is open from 13 February – 31 August 2020 at the Queen’s House in Greenwich alongside the Woburn Treasures exhibition that runs from 13 February to 17 January 2021, both are free to visit.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Royal Museums Greenwich 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

Steve McQueen at Tate Modern from 13 February to 11 May 2020

Steve McQueen, Charlotte 2004, Film still © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

Tate Modern presents the first survey of Steve McQueen’s work in the UK for over 20 years, it features 14 major works spanning film, photography and sculpture, and explores McQueen’s visual art career since he received the Turner Prize in 1999.

McQueen is also a critically acclaimed filmmaker creating Hunger (2008), Shame (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Widows (2018). The exhibition reveals how McQueen’s pioneering approaches to filmmaking have influenced how other artists work with the medium.

Steve McQueen, Exodus 1992-97, Video still © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

Highlights of the exhibition include one of McQueen’s earliest films shot on a Super 8 camera, Exodus 1992/97, which reflects on migration and multiculturalism in London, and 7th Nov. 2001, in which the artist’s cousin Marcus recounts the tragic day he accidentally shot and fatally injured his own brother.

Steve McQueen, Static 2009, Video still© Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

These intimate works are in contrast to large-scale video installations such as Western Deep 2002 and Static 2009. Western Deep presents an intense exploration of the labour conditions of gold miners in South Africa, while Static’s aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty shows a different aspect of a familiar and heavily symbolic figure.

Steve McQueen, Caribs’ Leap 2002, Video still© Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

As part of the exhibition McQueen has chosen to display one of the screens of the two-channel film Caribs’ Leap 2002 on the river façade of Tate Modern. Shown on a giant 7 metre screen Caribs’ Leap traces a day on the Caribbean island of Grenada, portraying the cycle of life and death.

Steve McQueen, Ashes 2002-2015, Video still © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

More recent work includes the haunting two-channel video installation Ashes 2002–15, offering a moving tribute to the memory of a young fisherman the artist met and filmed in Grenada in 2002, who was killed by drug dealers the following year.

For the first time in the UK, audiences can view End Credits 2012–ongoing, McQueen’s homage to the African-American singer, actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson (1898–1976) who, after a successful career as a performer, was blacklisted in the 1950s and put under surveillance by the FBI. The work consists of rolling slides of the FBI’s reports on Robeson with a soundtrack of voices reading from the heavily-redacted documents.

The exhibition also features Weight 2016, a sculpture first exhibited at the recently closed Reading Gaol, where Oscar Wilde had been imprisoned and wrote De Profundis. A gold-plated mosquito net draped over one of the prison’s metal bedframes create a shimmering apparition.

Steve McQueen at Tate Modern runs from 13 February to 11 May 2020

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.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review – British Baroque: Power and Illusion at Tate Britain from 4 February to 19 April 2020

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tate Britain presents a new exhibition which is the first exhibition to focus on baroque culture in Britain. The exhibition entitled British Baroque: Power and Illusion covers the period from the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the death of Queen Anne in 1714. The exhibition includes many new discoveries and works displayed in public for the first time, many on loan from the stately homes for which they were originally made.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The baroque is more often associated with the mainland European courts, like that of Louis XIV, but the movement also thrived in Britain but under very different circumstances. Whilst the European royal courts tried to outdo each other in extravagance and splendour, in Britain it was the Restoration that provided the opportunity to assert the power of the monarchy.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition begins by exploring art’s role in the construction of a renewed vision of monarchy, the room including portraits of Charles II by Sir Peter Lely and Antonio Verrio, dominating this room is Verrio’s The Sea Triumph of Charles II c.1674 which represents the king as a mythical hero.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Lely was a popular painter with the King and the court, a series of portraits of court beauties by Lely is on display, including Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland with her son, as the Virgin and Child 1664. The Queen favoured the artist Jacob Huysmans who painted Catherine of Braganza c.1662-4, giving her a different visual identity from her husband.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition explores some of the issues related to the religious differences of the period, Protestant and Catholic worship dominated the period. On display are altarpieces from the Catholic chapels of Mary of Modena and James II and beautiful carvings by Grinling Gibbons and Thornhill’s designs for the painted dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One style that attracted the royal courts were the novelty of trompe l’oeil paintings, these visual illusions were very popular and the show including works by Samuel van Hoogstraten, Chatsworth’s famous violin painted as if hanging on the back of a door, and the hyper-real flower paintings of Simon Verelst.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Baroque architecture is represented with works by the great architects of the age: Wren, Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh. A number of architectural designs, lavish prints and wooden models provide insights into some of the most significant buildings of the age, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace and Blenheim Palace.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

If the exteriors were spectacular, the painted baroque interiors of palaces, country houses and public buildings were on a scale seldom seen before with mythological and ancient history mural paintings by Antonio Verrio, Louis Laguerre, Louis Cheron and James Thornhill.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In all this splendour, the idea of beauty became a valuable quality for women, this is illustrated by Michael Dahl’s Petworth Beauties, a series of portraits of young women in their prime.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

War and politics dominated the reigns of William III and Anne. The exhibition includes a number of heroic equestrian portraiture and panoramic battle scenes that reinforced the idea of Britain being a major player on the European stage.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the final room, there is evidence of the shift in power from the royal court to party politics. Some of the new political elite is seen in Kneller’s depiction of the Whig Kit-Cat Club and John James Baker’s large group portrait The Whig Junto 1710.

This fascinating and unusual exhibition offers the opportunity to study British Baroque through outstanding paintings by the leading artists of the day, including Sir Peter Lely, Sir Godfrey Kneller and Sir James Thornhill. In many ways, British Baroque was a reaction against the dour puritan years of Cromwell’s reign and an assertion of the authority of the monarchy. However, all over Europe, the extravagance and decadence was to be a final act before revolution and political power changed this world forever. The grand buildings and large works of art may have expressed power and status at the time but to the modern viewer they represent elites out of touch with the reality of religious and political turmoil.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

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

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