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Exhibition Review – Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life at Tate Modern from 11 July 2019 to 5 January 2020

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

Olafur Eliasson returns to Tate Modern following his Turbine Hall installation The weather project in 2003, for an exhibition of his career to date. The exhibition is the most comprehensive presentation of Eliasson’s work, and his first major survey in the UK.

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Olafur Eliasson work is well known for engaging the public with artworks which offer experiences that can be shared by visitors. Tate Modern has bought together over 40 works spanning the last three decades from early installations to new paintings and sculptures. The exhibition also examine Eliasson’s collaborations in a wide number fields such as sustainability, migration, education and architecture.

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Eliasson was influenced in his time in Iceland by natural phenomena such as water, light and mist and these have often been key themes in his work. On the terrace outside Tate Modern, visitors encounter Waterfall 2019, a new installation measuring over 11 metres in height.

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Works inside the exhibition include Moss wall 1994, a 20 metres wide wall entirely covered with Scandinavian reindeer moss.

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Beauty 1993, creates the natural phenomenon of a rainbow inside the exhibition

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and Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger) 2010 takes visitors on a disorienting journey through a 39-metre-long corridor full of dense fog.

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Eliasson throughout his career has created works that challenge accepted views of perception. Many of his installations play with light and shifting colours such as Your uncertain shadow (colour) 2010.

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Yellow mono-frequency lights are used within Room for one colour 1997 reduce viewers’ perception to shades of yellow and black.

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Kaleidoscopic sculptures include Your spiral view 2002 and the newly created Your planetary window 2019, create optical illusions that challenges visitors to see their environment in new ways.

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The exhibition explores the artist’s fascination with geometry with many works, such as Stardust particle 2014, Model room 2003, bringing together around 450 models, prototypes, and geometrical studies of various sizes that record Eliasson’s collaboration with his studio team and, Icelandic artist, mathematician and architect Einar Thorsteinn.

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The show concludes with The Expanded Studio, which explores Eliasson’s engagement with social and environmental issues. His projects have included Little Sun, which provides solar-powered lamps and chargers to communities without access to electricity. Green light – An artistic workshop, in which asylum seekers and refugees, together with members of the public, constructed Green light lamps and took part in accompanying educational programmes and Ice Watch, an installation of glacial ice from Greenland, recently staged outside Tate Modern which aims to increase awareness of the climate emergency.

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

This fascinating and interactive exhibition provides the opportunity to enter the various worlds of Olafur Eliasson. The artist takes the visitor on a journey that often challenges our views of reality by distorting colour, light and perception. He also considers how art can be used in dealing with social and environmental issues by considering how we interact and understand our environment.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and 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.
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Exhibition Review: Takis at Tate Modern from 3 July to 27 October 2019

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

The Tate Modern presents the largest exhibition related to Takis (Panayiotis Vassilakis) in the UK, the exhibition features over 70 works and includes the rarely-seen Magnetic Fields installation and a group of antennae-like sculptures called Signals.

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Over a 70-year career, Takis has been at the forefront of kinetic art and has pioneered new forms of sculpture, painting and musical structures to harness invisible natural forces. Takis was born in Athens in 1925 and as a self-taught artist moved to Paris in the 1950s and gradually became a well known figure in the artistic circles of Paris, London and New York. The exhibition is not chronological but is arranged around a number of themes that have fascinated the artist over his long career.

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In 1959, Takis moved from figurative work to experimentation with magnetic energy, the first room in the exhibition features Magnetic Fields 1969, on display for the first time since the 1970s, in which magnetic pendulums trigger movement from nearly a hundred small sculptures.

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Also in this room is Bronze Figure 1954-55 and Plastic Figure 1954-5 which shows that the artist was inspired by the work of Picasso and Giacometti.

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The next room entitled Magnetism and Metal includes works like Telesculpture 1960, Magnetron 1966 and Telepainting 1966. Takis experimented with metallic objects that float with the use of magnets to create a dynamic sculpture of movement.

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His inventions and the dialogues around the works drew praise from diverse artist circles from William S. Burroughs and the American Beat poets to artists like Marcel Duchamp. Takis travelled regularly to London in the 1950s and 1960s and his work was featured in Signals London gallery which was an important meeting place for the transmission of ideas about breaking down boundaries between the arts and sciences.

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The artist’s Signal series became known for their ability to respond to their surroundings, they often consisted of thin, flexible poles topped with objects or electric lights.

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In the 1960s, the artist began to include sound with the use of electromagnets that would vibrate instrument strings. Musicals 1984-2004 shows the whole process in action.

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It was not just sound but electric lights that began to interest Takis, the Light and Darkness room includes a Signal series that plays with light and energy.

The artist was influenced by a number of artistic and social movements in the 1960s and worked with scientific institutes to develop work into renewable energies. He was also one of the founders of the Art Workers’ Coalition which sought to widen diversity in museums and protect the rights of the creative community.

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In the 1980s, Takis began to build his research Centre for the Art and the Sciences, now known as the Takis Foundation. At the centre of the foundation is an open air theatre space organised around a central Gong. A group of these sculptures are featured in the final room entitled Music of the Spheres which incorporates some of the artist’s ideas of cosmic harmony and how energy and natural forces interact to create the universe.

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This intriguing exhibition introduces the work of Takis to a wider audience in the UK. Although better known in France, Greece and the United States, the artist’s work has generally failed to engage interest in the UK. This is somewhat surprising because there is often a fun element to the artist’s work which often has a very 1960s ambience when the cult of the ‘modern’ was in vogue. Although light and sound sculptures are now commonplace, it is worth considering that Takis was one of the early pioneers in this type of work and deserves wider recognition.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and 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
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Exhibition Review- Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet at the Royal Academy from 30 June to 29 September 2019

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The Royal Academy of Arts presents a survey of paintings and prints by the Swiss artist Félix Vallotton (1865–1925). This will be the first exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK since 1976. Although the artist is admired in his native Switzerland, Vallotton remains relatively little known elsewhere.

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

The exhibition features around 100 works from public and private collections across Europe and the U.S and includes representations from every period of the artist’s career.

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The first section of the exhibition presents a number of Vallotton’s work from the 1880s, following his arrival in Paris at the age of sixteen. Although he was influenced by contemporary movements such as Impressionism, the artist followed more closely artists of the Northern and Dutch traditions with works like his earliest known self-portrait, Self-portrait at the Age of Twenty, 1885 and the painting The Sick Girl, 1892.

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Vallotton at this time had yet to find his own particular artistic style, however in the early 1890s he formed ties with the Nabis, a group of avant-garde artists including Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. It was around this time that Vallotton began to experiment with print making especially Japanese woodblock printing. These type of illustrations were very popular in newspapers and magazines and Vallotton made a steady income from magazine illustrations, he became the principal illustrator for the influential journal La Revue blanche.

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Many of his prints were satirical, the series Intimités, 1897–98 and paintings of interior scenes, 1898–99, such as The Visit, 1899  exposes some of hypocrisies of the Parisian bourgeoisie.

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When La Revue blanche closed, Vallotton entered into marriage with a wealthy widow Gabrielle Rodrigues-Henriques in 1899 and concentrated on painting. His work from this time often featured psychological dramas in domestic interiors, the artist plays with perspective and lighting to create idea that behind the familiar lurks all kinds of dark secrets.

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This theme is carried on from around 1904  when the female nude became Vallotton’s principal subject. This section of the exhibition presents works such as Nude Holding her Gown, 1904 and Models Resting, 1905. The nudes seem consumed by shame and unwilling to play the game of being alluring, this style was very different from other painters of the period.

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Often the nudes are in pairs and look to be in conversation whilst in the background mirrors and reflections offer a dark background to the light foreground.

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A section focuses on paintings and prints produced during the First World War, the artist’s initial enthusiasm for the war was changed by a visit to the trenches and his portfolio This is War!, 1916 features splattered red ink on the cover, while the six images, in black and white, capture the danger and terror of the ordinary soldier fighting at the front.

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The exhibition concludes with a selection of Vallotton’s landscapes and still-life paintings. The landscapes like Sandbanks on the Loire, 1923 have a surreal quality with limited colour and simple compositions.

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This fascinating exhibition offers a rare opportunity to discover the often original and innovative work of Felix Vallotton, this often overlooked artist provides a very different perspective of Paris at the turn of the 20th century. Vallotton indicates with his work that it is a city that underneath its bonhomie harbours dark secrets. This psychological interplay plays a major part in Vallotton’s later works especially his nudes series. It is possible that the artist’s painting and prints were a little too close to the mark for the wealthy patrons from the Parisian bourgeoisie which exposed many of their less pleasing qualities. This may be part of the reason, why his work was not highly valued at the time and why it is only in recent years that his originality and innovation have been more widely recognised.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy 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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Messengers by Bridget Riley at the National Gallery

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Since January 2019, a new large-scale wall painting by the British abstract artist Bridget Riley has been on display at the National Gallery. The painting spans 10 x 20 metres and consists of a combination of coloured discs painted directly onto the surface of the Gallery’s Annenberg Court.

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The title of the work, Messengers, is inspired by a phrase of the landscape painter, John Constable, referring to clouds in the sky.

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

Bridget Riley is considered one of the most important artists of her generation and has long associations with the National Gallery. Riley studied at Goldsmiths’ College from 1949 to 1952, and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. In the 1960s she developed a style called ‘Op-art’ which explored different aspects of optical phenomena in paintings.

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She has had solo exhibitions all around the world and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1968. The National Gallery staged her exhibition Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work in 2010.

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.
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Display Review – Leonardo’s Legacy: Francesco Melzi and the Leonardeschi at the National Gallery from 23 May to 23 June 2019

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The National Gallery marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death with a display presenting the exceptional loan of the recently restored Flora (about 1520) by Francesco Melzi from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

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The painting is being displayed alongside ten other key works by the so-called ‘Leonardeschi’ from the National Gallery. The term ‘Leonardeschi’ has been used to identify artists centred in Milan who were taught by or associated with Leonardo, or whose work bears his influence.

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Francesco Melzi (1493–1570) was the favoured assistant and companion to Leonardo in his final years and was largely responsible for preserving Leonardo’s notebooks and drawings for posterity. The highlight of the display is a stunning painting by Melzi depicting Flora, the goddess of springtime and flowers.

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For many years it was assumed that the painting of ‘Flora’ was by Leonardo himself because of the female characteristics and the fine attention to detail in the depiction of the plants. The painting is symbolic in a number of ways with Flora’s exposed breast and how she inspects a sprig of aquilegia known as a symbol of fertility. On her lap she holds a spray of jasmine, signifying purity, beside anemones representing rebirth.

Few works by Melzi are known: only two works signed by him have survived (both in Milan), although he is known for his chalk portrait of Leonardo in the Royal Collection Trust.

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The display features works by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (about 1467–1516), Marco d’Oggiono (active from 1487–died 1524), Giampietrino (active about 1500–1550), Bernardino Luini (about 1480–1532), and Martino Piazza (active about 1513–1522), among others. Many these paintings show key elements of Leonardo’s work without the touch of the master, one particular Leonardo trait picked up by his follows was ‘sfumato’ in which true outlines of opaque bodies are never seen with sharp precision.

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Martino Piazza’s Saint John the Baptist in the Desert (1513-22), Follower of Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio’s Narcissus Probably about 1500, Marco d’Oggiono’s Portrait of a Man aged 20 (1494) and Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio’s The Virgin and Child probably about (1493-9) illustrate how some of his followers absorbed different characteristics of their master’s art.

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This small free fascinating display provides evidence that Leonardo da Vinci did not always work in isolation but had a number of followers who were willing to learn from the master. Melzi in particular played an important part in Leonardo’s latter life and deserves to be more recognised for his painting talents as well as earning plenty of gratitude for saving Leonardo’s notebooks and drawings.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: BP Portrait Award 2019 at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 June to 20 October 2019

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The BP Portrait Award, now in its 40th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 30th year of sponsorship by BP, is a highly successful annual art event aimed at encouraging artists to tackle the theme of painted portraiture within their work. The BP Portrait Award, one of the world’s most prestigious art competitions, has a first prize of £35,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition.

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The BP Portrait Award is popular with artists with 2,538 entrants  from 84 countries, it is also popular with the public, last year the BP Portrait Award exhibition received over 300,000 visitors.

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The entries were narrowed down to the final 44 works selected for the BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition, the winners were selected from the portraits chosen for the exhibition.

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

The prestigious first prize was won by Brighton based artist, Charlie Schaffer for Imara in her Winter Coat, a portrait of his close friend. The artist’s prize is £35,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £7,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist).

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

The second prize of £12,000 went to Norwegian painter, Carl-Martin Sandvold, for The Crown, a self-portrait in existential thought.

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The third prize of £10,000 went to Italian artist, Massimiliano Pironti, for Quo Vadis?, a portrait of his maternal grandmother, Vincenza, a former miller and factory worker now aged ninety-five.

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The BP Young Artist Award of £9,000 for the work of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by 30 year-old Brighton based artist Emma Hopkins for Sophie and Carla, a portrait that depicts the photographer Sophie Mayanne and her pet dog.

The winner of the BP Travel Award 2018, Robert Seidel’s portraits from along the Danube is displayed alongside the BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition.

Frank Bowling – Tedi Lena © 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Part of the attraction of this free exhibition is to enjoy the wide variety of portraiture which features some famous and not so famous faces. The standard is consistently high and it is fun when you wander around the exhibition to pick out your own particular favourites and decide whether you agree with the judge’s choices.

Self Portrait by Sheng Chieh Chou- © 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 13 June to 20th October 2019. Admission is free.

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.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Exhibition Review – Bartolomé Bermejo: Master of the Spanish Renaissance at the National Gallery from 12 June to 29 September 2019

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The National Gallery presents a select number of works by Bartolomé Bermejo (about 1440–about 1501), the artist was considered one of Spain’s most innovative and accomplished painters in the second half of the 15th century.

Bartolomé de Cárdenas was more commonly known as ‘Bermejo’ was born in Cordoba but was active in the Crown of Aragon, working in Tous, Valencia, Daroca, Zaragoza, and Barcelona. Very little is known about his life but it seems likely that he was a converso (a Jew converted to Christianity) which may expain his nomadic lifestyle where he often partnered with local artists to access painters’ guilds and obtain religious commissions.

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This small free exhibition includes six loans that have never been seen outside of Spain, including two of Bermejo’s masterpieces: Triptych of the Virgin of Montserrat (probably 1470–75), painted for the Italian cloth merchant Francesco della Chiesa, from the Cattedrale Nostra Signora Assunta in Acqui Terme, Alessandria (Italy), and the recently restored ‘Desplà Pietà’ (1490), named after the man who commissioned the work – Lluís Desplà, archdeacon of Barcelona Cathedral, where the painting has been since the 15th century.

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In addition, four panels depicting scenes from Christ the Redeemer (Descent of Christ into Limbo and Resurrection from Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), Barcelona; Christ entering Paradise and Ascension from the Fundació Institut Amatller d’Art Hispànic, Barcelona, all about 1470–5) are displayed.

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At the centre of the exhibition is the National Gallery’s own painting by Bermejo, Saint Michael Triumphant over the Devil with the Donor Antoni Joan (1468) which is considered one of the most important early Spanish painting in Britain, it is displayed here for the first time following its recent conservation. Painted in 1468, the Saint Michael Triumphant is thought to have once formed part of an altarpiece dedicated to Saint Michael in the church of the same name in Tous, near Valencia. It is the first of some twenty known works by Bermejo, produced over a career spanning just over thirty years.

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The first surviving document relating to the artist, in the form of a receipt for partial payment for the Saint Michael Triumphant, is displayed alongside the painting for the very first time in this exhibition.

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The painting shows an elegant archangel Michael covered in a embroidered, jewel-encrusted cape defeating the devil who depicted in the form of a grotesque being. Antoni Joan, lord of Tous and the donor who commissioned the work, kneels at the archangel’s feet and looks up from his prayer book to witness Saint Michael’s victory over the devil.

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The works on display demonstrate Bermejo’s considerable technical talent that was considered superior to his Spanish contemporaries. Such was his expertise, it was thought that the artist may have been trained in the Netherlands or had closely studied Dutch paintings of the period.

This fascinating exhibition is the latest of a series of exhibitions at the National Gallery where a certain artist or picture are showcased which allows the viewers to really understand some of the stories behind the artist or picture. The work of Bartolomé Bermejo is not widely known but the exhibition provides some insights into early Spanish painting and highlights the work of an artist who life and work still remains a mystery.

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