Home » Exhibitions

Category Archives: Exhibitions

Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen at the National Gallery – 28th November 2018 to 3rd February 2019


One of the world’s best known animal paintings, Edwin Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen, will be displayed at the National Gallery this autumn for the first time since 1851. The large painting of a stag, which is also on show for the first time in London since 1983, has been loaned by the National Galleries of Scotland, who acquired the work in 2017 following a public fundraising appeal. The picture will be the centrepiece of a free exhibition that will reveal the close connections between Landseer (1802-73) and the National Gallery.

While The Monarch of the Glen is usually associated with Scotland, it is less well-known that it was originally commissioned for the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Sir Charles Eastlake, the Gallery’s second Keeper and later first Director, was closely involved in this project. The painting was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1851, which was then housed in the National Gallery building. Landseer designed the lions for Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square and the exhibition will also include paintings and drawings connected with these famous sculptures. 

As well as highlighting the artist’s close relationship to Queen Victoria, whom he tutored in etching and accompanied to the Scottish Highlands, Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen will include other paintings and drawings by Landseer of Highland scenes showing how he developed his distinctive approach to the representation of the stag as hero.  

A representation of the painting made in 1966 by former National Gallery Associate Artist Sir Peter Blake will provide a living artist’s response highlighting The Monarch of the Glen’s enduring appeal.  

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

 

Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens at the Charles Dickens Museum – 28 November 2018 to 22 April 2019


Food is often an important ingredient in Dickens’s stories and a new exhibition entitled Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens investigates Dickens’s relationship with food and the epic menus of dishes and drinks served by the Dickens family to their many guests. It shows his dinner parties full of activity, wit, comedy and people and their peculiarities were essential food for his imagination.

The exhibition also examines the deep-lying reason for Dickens’s need to entertain and share food, his hidden childhood memories of hunger and his belief, made clear in his stories, that rich and poor alike had the right to enjoy food and drink and that children deserved the security of proper meals.

The Food Glorious Food exhibition will be displayed throughout the rooms in which Charles Dickens and his family lived, entertained countless friends and hosted dinner parties for some of the most influential and interesting members of Victorian society.

The exhibition will feature household culinary items used by Dickens and will draw on letters and first hand accounts by Dickens’s dinner guests to build a vivid picture of the experience of enjoying dinner with Dickens.

Among the exhibits is a previously-unseen letter from 1849, written by novelist Elizabeth Gaskell giving a detailed description of a dinner at Dickens’s home.

Other exhibits include:

A groaning Victorian dining table, set for dessert and featuring items used by Dickens and his family when hosting social gatherings at home 

Charles Dickens’s large wooden lemon squeezer used to prepare his favourite punch recipes

Hand-written dinner invitations from Dickens to his friends

Dickens’s hand-written 1865 inventory of the contents of his wine cellar at Gad’s Hill Place (among the items to be found in Dickens’s cellar in 1865 were ‘one 50 gallon cask ale’, ‘one 18 gallon cask gin’, ‘one 9 gallon cask brandy’ and ‘one 9 gallon cask rum’. The cellar also included dozens of bottles of champagne, Chablis, Sauterne, Metternich hock, claret, L’eau d’or and Kirsch)

An extremely rare early edition of a fascinating cookbook written by Catherine Dickens – wife of Charles – in the early 1850s, entitled What Shall We Have For Dinner? filled with meals and menus (‘bills of fare’) created by Catherine to put before gatherings of between two and twenty people, all aiming to answer the title of the book

A silver-plated samovar owned by Dickens and used at his home at Gad’s Hill Place

Dickens’s heavy silver fish-knife, engraved with a fish design and the monogram ‘CD’

A set of 6 silver punch ladles presented to Dickens to celebrate the completion of Pickwick Papers, each featuring a character from the novel

Dickens’s wooden bread board

The exhibition’s guest co-curator is Pen Vogler, author of Dinner with Dickens: Recipes inspired by the life and work of Charles Dickens, published by CICO books. The book celebrates Victorian food and recreates the dishes which Dickens wrote about and served.

Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Charles Dickens moved with his family in 1837. 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.
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 – Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855 at The Queen’s Gallery from 9 November 2018 to 28 April 2019


The Queen’s Gallery presents the first exhibition of Roger Fenton’s Crimean works in London since 1856, the exhibition entitled Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855 explores how the photographer brought the stark realities of the Crimea war to the public through more than 60 photographs from the Royal Collection.

Roger Fenton was already a respected photographer (Queen Victoria had commissioned Fenton to produce portraits of the royal family in 1854) when he travelled to the Crimea.

He had been commissioned by the publishers Thomas Agnew & Sons to photograph people of interest in the Crimea for use as source material for a painting by the artist Thomas Barker. However, Fenton’s photographs of bleak terrains and exhausted soldiers would have a profound impact and marks one of earliest examples of war photography.

When Roger Fenton arrived in the Crimea in March 1855, the war had been fought for 12 months and many of the major battles of the campaign had already been fought. Fenton spent three months producing approximately 360 photographs, travelling and working in a mobile darkroom that he had converted from a wine merchant’s van. To a public that had been given selected information about the ‘great’ campaign and the famous Charge of the Light Brigade, Fenton’s photographs were a stark reminder of the horrors of war.

In his most famous photograph, Valley of the Shadow of Death (23 April 1855), he places the viewer at the bottom of a barren ravine littered with cannonballs leaving it to the viewer’s imagination to create a picture of past events.

Britain sent 98,000 men into the conflict and Fenton spent several weeks photographing the key figures of the war. One of his best-known portraits, The Council of War (June 1855), shows the three commanders of the allied armies – Lord Raglan, Maréchal Pélissier and Omar Pasha preparing for an assault on the Russian fortifications. An exhausted looking Lord Raglan died shortly after the image was taken.

One of Fenton’s more haunting images in the exhibition is Lord Balgonie (1855), who seems to be suffering from some kind of psychological problem associated with the conflict.

The majority of Fenton’s portraits depicted senior officers, however he did photographs troops on the frontline usually around the cooking facilities or showing the after effects of battle.

Although Fenton did not produce scenes of battle and death, he photographs were a stark contrast to artistic depictions of battle which tended to glorify the conflict. Fenton returned to Britain in July 1855, and in September his Crimean photographs went on display at the Water Colour Society on Pall Mall. The images raised awareness of the conditions endured by soldiers and Queen Victoria took a personal interest in the conflict and the welfare of the troops. The exhibition features a 1856 painting by John Gilbert which shows Queen Victoria meeting wounded soldiers in Buckingham Palace in 1855.

This interest was translated into practical action when she became the first British monarch to meet and support wounded soldiers in public, personally greeting troops at Buckingham Palace and during visits to hospitals. She also instituted the Victoria Cross, which remains the highest award for gallantry in the British Armed Forces.

This thought-provoking exhibition provides some insights into how the advent of photography changed many of preconceptions of how war was presented to the public. Fenton’s photographic technical and practical skill created a body of work which amazes the modern viewer. It is important to remember that photography was still in its earliest development when Fenton travels to the Crimea and yet he produces portraits of considerable psychological depth and landscapes that live long in the memory.

Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855 is at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 9 November 2018 – 28 April 2019, with Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection 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

Exhibition Review – Russia: Royalty and the Romanovs at The Queen’s Gallery from 9 November 2018 to 28 April 2019


The Queen’s Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs which explores the relationship between the two countries and their royal families through works of art in the Royal Collection.

In 1698 Tsar Peter I, known as Peter the Great became the first Russian ruler to visit England and had meetings with the British King, William III. When he departed, Peter presented the King with his portrait, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller.

This portrait in the exhibition and coronation portrait of Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great) by Vigilius Eriksen, c.1765–9, thought to have been given to George III are indications of the rise of Russian power and how the rulers of Russian empire were looking to the west for inspiration to modernize the country.

The ties between Russia and the United Kingdom grew in the early 19th century when the allied forces, including those of Great Britain and Russia finally saw victory in the Napoleonic wars. George IV commissioned Sir Thomas Lawrence to paint portraits of the central figures in the defeat of Napoleon for the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. The paintings in the exhibition of Matvei Ivanovitch, Count Platov and of General Fedor Petrovitch Uvarov, recognised Russia’s important contribution to the defeat of Napoleon.

After the Napoleonic wars, the ties between the Royal Families of the UK and Russia increased and the exhibition includes evidence of the closer ties.

Empress Maria of Russia sent the Prince Regent’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, the insignia of the Order of St Catherine which was the most prestigious award for women in Imperial Russia. The Princess is shown wearing the badge on a Russian-style dress in a portrait of c.1817.

Gradually family ties were consolidated by marriages, in 1874, Queen Victoria’s second son Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, married Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, daughter of Emperor Alexander II, this event is recorded in Nicholas Chevalier’s painting of the ceremony.

Other marriages followed and the English, Russian and Danish royal families regularly visited one another and marked these occasions in paintings and photographs, and through the exchange of gifts which are featured in the exhibition.

The Danish artist Laurits Regner Tuxen was commissioned to record significant family events, including The Marriage of Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia in 1894 and The Family of Queen Victoria in 1887, celebrating the Queen’s Golden Jubilee that year.

Many of the gifts could be lavish, it was around this time that a great number of works by Carl Fabergé entered the Royal Collection. Among them are a framed portrait miniature of the Empress and a gold cigarette case, given to King Edward VII as a 40th wedding anniversary present in 1903.

Although connections between the two countries were never the same after 1918, in 1923 the Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) commissioned a portrait of herself from the Russian artist Savely Sorine. Twenty-five years later she commissioned Sorine to paint a portrait of her daughter Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, the future Queen Elizabeth II in 1956.

First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and Premier Nikolai Bulganin presented Her Majesty The Queen with a number of gifts, including the oil painting A Winter’s Day by the prominent painter, Igor Grabar.

This fascinating and decorative exhibition illustrates the ever-changing relationships between the UK and Russia. From the early contacts with Peter the Great and Catherine the Great through to the close family ties in the 19th century and finally the tragic end of the Imperial family in 1918.
The remarkable collection of paintings and other gifts provide considerable insights into the ties that bound many of the royal families of Europe. These ties would be undone by many of the events of the 20th century especially the fall of the Romanovs which changed the political landscape of Europe forever.

Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855 is at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 9 November 2018 – 28 April 2019, with Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection 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

 

Disease X : London’s next epidemic? at the Museum of London from 16 November 2018 to February 2019

One hundred years after the outbreak of the deadliest wave of ‘Spanish Flu’, an epidemic that killed 5% of the world’s population, the Museum of London in a new display will look to the future for the next unknown lethal disease that might hit us and explore the deadly epidemics of past centuries.

This year, the World Health Organisation declared an unknown pathogen (micro-organism causing disease), they have named ‘Disease X’, one of the great potential risks to life and a top priority for research. The next international health crisis may be caused by something unknown to doctors and with no known cure.

The new display uses the museum’s collections to show the effect of historic epidemics on London and how we might learn from the past should we be visited by ‘Disease X’.

In the early 1890s, the ‘Russian Flu’ epidemic killed a million people across Europe. Among the victims was a man whose demise changed the course of history, threw Britain into a state of shocked mourning and created major public awareness of the danger that had been visited upon the country. Prince Albert Victor known as Prince Eddy, brother of the future King George V and grandson of the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, was second in line to the throne. In January 1892, shortly after his 28th birthday, Prince Eddy was hit by influenza, developed pneumonia and died at Sandringham. His sudden death, when apparently fit and healthy, shocked the nation. It became brutally clear that nobody was immune to the threat of Russian Flu. The fact that Russian Flu would strike down people across society, caused widespread alarm.

Among the key exhibits in the new display will be the outfit worn by Queen Victoria in the very earliest period of mourning for her grandson. Never previously displayed in public, the outfit features a thick band of black crepe, designed to display the depth of the Queen’s sadness.

The display also features previously untold stories of Londoners struck down by disease. Among these is that of William Leefe Robinson of the Royal Flying Corps. Awarded the Victoria Cross for shooting down a Zeppelin airship on its way to bomb London, Robinson was an acknowledged hero, who later survived being shot down, captured and imprisoned in France. After making three attempts to escape, he eventually made it home to Middlesex in December 1918, just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family, only to be killed by influenza on New Year’s Eve.

It also includes the skeleton of a 9 month old infant who died from smallpox. While epidemics rarely leave any trace in the human skeleton, smallpox did affect the bones of growing children and this can be seen in the elbow joints of this baby, who was buried in the early 1800s at the Crossbones Cemetery in Southwark.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London 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

Exhibition Review: I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria at the British Museum from 8 November 2018 – 24 February 2019

The British Museum presents an exhibition which explores the world of ancient Assyria through its last great ruler, King Ashurbanipal. The exhibition entitled I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria is the first ever major comprehensive exhibition to explore the life of Ashurbanipal.

Over 200 objects from all corners of the Assyrian empire are featured, the British Museum’s world-renowned collection of Assyrian treasures are complemented by loans from around the world. Many of these objects have never been seen in the UK before.

The exhibition begins by charting the rise of Ashurbanipal in ancient Iraq in the 7th century BC. From his capital at Nineveh, he ruled a vast and diverse empire from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the mountains of western Iran. Ashurbanipal’s palace in Nineveh was the centre of a large and sophisticated metropolis, the exhibition provides insights into the life at the great Assyrian court. Massive stone sculptures, intricately carved reliefs, painted glazed bricks and rare wall paintings illustrate some of the splendour of the cities and palaces.

Smaller items like carved ivories, intricate metalwork, cosmetic vessels and gold ornaments show how the elites of the city like to be surrounded with objects that portrayed their wealth.

Ashurbanipal was an unusual leader for the period because he understood that in many ways ‘knowledge is power’ and assembled a great library during his reign. Ashurbanipal claimed he could read, write and debate with expert scholars on a variety of subjects. The exhibition has a large wall full of the British Museum’s world-renowned collection of documents dating to Ashurbanipal’s reign to give some indication of the king’s great library.

Some of the most remarkable objects in the exhibition are a series of carved reliefs in the British Museum that depict Ashurbanipal’s prowess as a warrior undertaking a royal lion hunt. Lion hunts were often public spectacles staged within the hunting grounds at Nineveh.

One of the high spots of Ashurbanipal’s reign was when he conquered Egypt, however like many empires, trouble began closer to home when he was challenged by his older brother.

After Ashurbanipal death, the mighty Assyrian empire fragmented and declined, the rise and decline of empires is a reoccurring theme in history and an example from the more recent past is included in the last part of the exhibition.

Many of the objects featured in the exhibition come from archaeological sites in Iraq such as Nineveh and Nimrud that have been systematically targeted and destroyed by Daesh (IS). The final section of the exhibition highlights the challenges faced in protecting Iraqi cultural heritage under these threats and showcases the work of the ‘Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme’ which is run by the British Museum.

This fascinating and well designed exhibition tells Ashurbanipal’s story, often through his own narratives recorded on his palace sculptures. His words like ‘king of the world, king of Assyria’ indicates little modesty but he did rule a large area and had great influence. For all his power, once he dies he vanishes from history until the last two hundred years when the wealth of objects discovered by archaeologists working in the region allows his fascinating story to be told again.

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Highly Recommended

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

Exhibition Review – Lorenzo Lotto: Portraits at the National Gallery from 5 November 2018 to 10 February 2019


The National Gallery presents the first-ever exhibition of portraits by the Italian Renaissance artist Lorenzo Lotto (1480–1557). The exhibition entitled Lorenzo Lotto: Portraits brings together many of Lotto’s most important portraits spanning his entire career from collections around the world.

Lotto was born in Venice but travelled extensively and worked in different parts of Italy, most notably Treviso, Bergamo, Venice, and the Italian Marches. He spent his final years as a lay member of the confraternity of the Holy House at Loreto (1549–56). The exhibition is quite unusual for a National Gallery exhibition with objects related to those that Lotto depicted being displayed.

Room one explores Lotto’s work from his time in Treviso (1503–6) and includes the Allegory (1505) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the  Assumption of the Virgin with Saints Anthony Abbot and Louis of Toulouse (1506) from the Chiesa Prepositurale e Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, Asolo.

Focusing on his time in Bergamo (1513–25), Room two contains the symbolic Lucina Brembati (about 1520–3) and The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, with Niccolò Bonghi (1523) both from Bergamo’s Accademia Carrara; as well as the Portrait of a Married Couple (1523–4) from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. It was at this time that Lotto’s reputation increased with compositions full of symbolism and psychological depth.

Room three is dedicated to works produced in Venice (1525–49) such as the famous likeness of the Venetian collector Andrea Odoni from the Royal Collection (1527), the National Gallery’s own Portrait of a Woman inspired by Lucretia (about 1530-2) which is full of expression and power and the Portrait of a Young Man with a Lizard (1528–30) from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice.

The final room celebrates the late works which is noticeable for their darker elements, Lotto found himself in financial trouble and became disillusioned. The later portraits show a melancholic side that were missing from the early works.

Works include the Portrait of a Man with a Felt Hat (1541?) from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, as well as the altarpiece of The Alms of Saint Antoninus of Florence (1540–2).

Throughout the exhibition, a number of objects similar to those in the paintings are shown including a carpet, sculpture, jewellery, clothing, and books. Lotto used these items to help to tell the sitters story and gives clues to their character.

Although admired in the Italian Renaissance period, Lotto’s reputation was never to reach the heights of his contemporaries like Titian and he has been largely forgotten. However a monograph on Lotto by art historian Bernard Berenson in 1895 generated some interest over the 20th and 21st century.

This fascinating and extensive free exhibition will introduce the work of Lorenzo Lotto to a wider audience and gives an opportunity for visitors to consider his most notable portraits in one place. His portraits of a wide range of people are generally full of personality and give considerable insight into the period and the artist.

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