Exhibition Review: Giovanni da Rimini at the National Gallery – 14th June to 8th October 2017

The National Gallery is world-famous for its collections and exhibitions; however the Gallery often showcases individual paintings if they are considered of particular historical interest.

From the 14th June 2017, visitors to the National Gallery will have a unique opportunity to admire Giovanni da Rimini’s late Medieval painting, Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints.

The work was acquired by the National Gallery in 2015 with the assistance of a donation by the New York collector and philanthropist Ronald S. Lauder. The panel will reside with Mr Lauder during his lifetime but will be on display occasionally at the National Gallery.

This small exhibition explores the little known group of Rimini painters who began to produce paintings in which the subject matter is shown in much more realistic manner. Many of the painters were based in the town of Rimini which in the late Middle Ages was a prosperous port city, with good trade relations and cultural ties with the Byzantine Empire.

The exhibition brings together, for the first time in the UK, the three easel paintings attributed to Giovanni da Rimini: Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints with the very closely related Scenes from the Life of Christ from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome; and The Virgin and Child with Five Saints from the Pinacoteca Comunale, Faenza, Italy.

The exhibition includes other works by the leading artists of early 14th-century Rimini: Neri da Rimini; Francesco da Rimini/Master of Verucchio; Giovanni Baronzio; as well as the great Florentine painter and architect, Giotto, who worked in Rimini for a brief period.

The exhibition consists of 10 objects in total: seven panel paintings, including loans from the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin and the Courtauld Gallery, London; two ivory panels from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum; and one fragment from an illuminated leaf from a private collection.

Although little is known about Giovanni da Rimini, he was one of the most talented of a small group of painters active in the 14th century Rimini who were influenced by Giotto, one of the greatest artists of the late Medieval period to create a more naturalistic style in  Christian devotion painting. However there are still elements of Byzantine art in the paintings which suggest that the painters still wanted to appeal to both the East and the West.

This fascinating free exhibition provides some rare insights into the little known school of Rimini painters in the 14th century. These artists were part of a movement to introduce realism and more narrative into the art and provided inspiration for later Italian artists who took this approach to remarkable levels.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

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Exhibition Review : Fahrelnissa Zeid at the Tate Modern – 13th June to 8th October 2017

The Tate Modern presents the UK’s first retrospective of Fahrelnissa Zeid who is best known for her large-scale colourful canvases which often combines European approaches with Byzantine, Islamic and Persian influences.

This major exhibition brings together paintings, drawings and sculptures spanning over 40 years beginning with expressionist works made in Istanbul in the early 1940s, abstract canvases exhibited in London, Paris and New York in the 1950s and 1960s and finishing with the artist’s return to portraiture later in life.

Zeid was one of the first women to receive formal training as an artist in Istanbul and continued her studies in Paris in the late 1920s. However it was in the 1940s that the artist began to experiment and develop her own particular style blending European painting traditions with Oriental themes. In the exhibition, works from this period include Third-Class Passengers 1943, Three Ways of Living (War) 1943 and Three Moments in a Day and a Life 1944.

In 1945 Zeid and her husband, Prince Zeid Al-Hussein moved to the UK where he had been posted as Iraqi Ambassador. Her changing life experiences led to the development of her artistic career in London and Paris. Zeid’s exhibitions were generally well received by critics and she earned a growing reputation and was considered one of the most interesting female artists working at the time.

It was also at this time that Zeid’s work moved away from figuration to abstraction. Works such as Fight against Abstraction 1947, Resolved Problems 1948 and key pieces from her 1954 show at the ICA in London, such as My Hell 1951 and The Octopus of Triton 1953, represent the artist at her most productive creating large, vibrant and colourful canvases.

Unfortunately for Zeid, her privileged environment was to suddenly change when members of her husband’s family were assassinated in a military coup in Iraq in 1958, Zeid and her husband were forced to vacate the embassy and move into a modest flat. The change of circumstances led Zeid to experiment with painting on turkey and chicken bones, which she later cast in polyester resin panels, a selection of which will feature in the exhibition.

The shock of losing family and friends in the coup led to a return to figurative painting and especially portrait painting. For the last 20 years of her life, she painted portraits of her friends and family. The exhibition ends with a number of these portraits which includes Charles Estienne c.1964, Khalid Shoman 1984, Suha 1983 and Someone from the Past 1980.

Towards the end of her life, Zeid moved to Amman, Jordan, where she turned her home into an informal art school and taught a group of female students.

This fascinating exhibition introduces the extraordinary Fahrelnissa Zeid to a wider audience. Her remarkable career provides evidence of her ability to overcome numerous obstacles in the pursuit of her art. Whilst she did achieve success in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, since then her work has been generally overlooked and ignored.

Walking around the exhibition, it is difficult to understand why this should have happened? The large dynamic, colourful and intricate paintings are full of passion and drama. In many ways they are reflective of the artist who was a larger than life character. This Tate Modern exhibition considers Zeid as an important figure in the international story of abstract art and offers an opportunity to consider her considerable visual legacy.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

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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 : The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition at Burlington House – 13th June to 20th August 2017

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of the great English Art traditions, it is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition being established in 1768 whose long line of exhibitors reads like a Who’s Who of British Art. Some of the earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner, however the exhibition prides itself that it offers a snapshot of contemporary art.

This year, the exhibition features over 1,200 works on show, unlike many major exhibitions, many of the works in the exhibition will be on sale.

This year’s co-ordinator of the Royal Academy of Arts’ 249th Summer Exhibition is Royal Academician Eileen Cooper who explores themes of discovery and new talent. Cooper has taken on the considerable task of coordinating the exhibition, hanging over 1,200 works by artists in the space of just eight days.

This year the exhibition features work by internationally renowned artists Rosemarie Trockel, Julian Schnabel, Hassan Hajjaj, Secundino Hernández, Isaac Julien, Tomoaki Suzuki, Mark Wallinger and Sean Scully RA, as well as submissions by well known artists Gilbert & George, David Adjaye. Anselm Keifer, Cornelia Parker, Tracey Emin, Eileen Cooper and Yinka Shonibare.

Yinka Shonibare RA’s six metre high colourful wind sculpture dominates the RA Courtyard before you enter the exhibition. Part of the fun of wandering around the exhibition is trying to recognise pieces by the more well-known artists and discovering new artists from the wide range of works on display.

Each room offers a kaleidoscope of colour and images in a range of media, from painting, printmaking, film and photography to sculpture, architectural works and performance art.

The Summer Exhibition offers a platform for emerging and established artists and architects to showcase their work in front of a large international audience. The Summer Exhibition also plays a practical role in training young artists, it raises funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. The RA Schools is the longest established art school in the UK and offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe.

This fascinating exhibition has a large number of wonderfully eclectic works on display, there is really something for everyone regardless of your particular artistic taste. The Summer Exhibition is one of the highlights of the art world’s summer and attracts a wide range of visitors. It also offers a rare opportunity to buy works from well-known and not so well known artists with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand pounds.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

Burlington House

13 June — 20 August 2017

Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm

Friday 10am – 10pm

£15.50 (without donation £14). Concessions available. Friends of the RA, and under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free.

For more information or to book 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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Gladiator Games return to Londonium : Roman fun at the Guildhall – 25th to 28th August 2017

Photo © Museum of London

Beneath the historic Guildhall in the City of London is the site of London’s only Roman amphitheatre whose remains were uncovered by archaeologists over 30 years ago under the courtyard.

In August, new gladiatorial battles will commence at the very location where Roman gladiators fought 2,000 years ago. Eight thrilling afternoon and evening events will take place across the August Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday 25-Monday 28 August 2017.

Photo © Museum of London

Gladiators in full, magnificent battle dress will enter the arena before packed crowds and fight a series of powerful battles – intense clashes of steel swords, brightly decorated shields, spears and shining armour. The audience will become a big part of the action, taking sides and encouraging the emperor to save or spare each stricken fighter.

Photo © Museum of London

The Gladiator Games are performed by Britannia, the collective renowned for its work on the BAFTA-nominated CBBC programme, Horrible Histories, and the celebrated Ridley Scott film, Gladiator. Each performance is the result of research into events in the 1st century A.D., using images drawn from Roman coins, paintings, sculpture and mosaics, surviving commentaries and archaeological finds.

Photo © Museum of London

Accompanying the main event will be a special Roman festival, which will bring the audience closer to life in Londinium, the largest city in Britannia from around AD50 to 410 and a major international port. Musicians will perform, Roman clothes and equipment will be made, crafts demonstrated and explained, and the Museum’s experts will invite the audience to examine and handle real Roman artefacts. Below ground, close to the ruins of the amphitheatre, there will be a special small display of artefacts from the Museum of London that looks at representations of gladiators in Londinium.

Photo © Museum of London

The Games form part of a three-month festival that will celebrate the unique Roman heritage at the heart of the capital, hosted by the City of London Corporation. The festival, called Londinium, is made up of exhibitions, walks, talks, theatre, film and special events, taking place from 28 July – 29 October 2017.

For more information and tickets , visit the City 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 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 – Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction at the Barbican from 3rd June to 1st September 2017

The Barbican present an exhibition entitled Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction which is an exploration into the cultural significance of the Science Fiction genre. The exhibition is one of the most comprehensive held in the UK and will encompass literature, contemporary art, film, music, comic books and video games.

The show includes a large number of rare and iconic pieces with over 200 books from around the world, original manuscripts and typescripts, contemporary art commissions and existing art works, over 50 film and TV clips, featuring some of the most memorable cinematic moments in Science Fiction as well as rare, unseen footage, pulp magazines, adverts, concept art, film props, comics, video games and robots.

The main part of the exhibition is located in the Curve Gallery and is split into four sections.

Extraordinary Voyages

Extraordinary Voyages explores man’s fascination with the undiscovered and unknown parts of the earth. It was in this area that many of the first Science Fiction stories were published.

Some of the highlights of this section are original manuscripts and drawings from Jules Vernes, and dinosaur models by Ray Harryhausen. This section also includes original models and props from films such as Godzilla and Jurassic Park . Influential books featured include Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, H Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, Allan Quatermain and She, Thomas More’s Utopia, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan and the Lost Empire.

Space Odysseys

Space Odysseys is the largest section of the show and explores stories that began to look to space for adventure. Space travel, aliens and other worlds became the dominant force in Science Fiction.

Highlights of this section are a new interactive commission based on Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film The Martian, recreating a sequence from the film’s NASA Mission Control set.

A gallery of aliens features heads, masks, skulls, models and props from films including Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Aliens. There are also be props and models from Stargate, Star Trek, Interstellar, Independence Day and concept art from District 9, Alien and First Men in the Moon.

In this section are the original spacesuits worn by John Hurt in Alien, Sam Rockwell in Moon, Cillian Murphy in Sunshine, Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek with original Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars.

Brave New Worlds

The third section of the show, Brave New Worlds explores the way that the future of humankind was portrayed in Science Fiction with future cities with gigantic skyscrapers, vast networks and dystopian worlds that ended in disasters, wars and the occasionally the end of various worlds.

Highlights include books by JG Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Anthony Burgess, William Burroughs and George Orwell. Architectural plans and designs from Ben Wheatley’s recent film High Rise, other film and television clips include Akira, 28 Days Later, Brazil, Dark City, Metropolis and The Prisoner.

Final Frontiers

The final section, Final Frontiers looks at the future of humanity and explores identity, the transformation of the body, cyborgs, mutants, clones and robots. Artificial Intelligence offers a future but will we be slaves to machines or vice versa.

Highlights include Film and television clips in this chapter include Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Donnie Darko, ExistenZ, The Fly, Ghost in the Shell, The Terminator and Total Recall. This section also includes TARS from Interstellar, Robot B-9 from 1960s television series Lost in Space and a 3D model of Sonny from I-Robot as well as selection of robots from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China from the Mint Museum of Toys in Singapore.

This fascinating and entertaining exhibition provides plenty of evidence of the cultural significance of the Science Fiction genre. Walking around the exhibition, visitors will find the familiar and not so familiar heroes and villains of the genre and can explore many of the narratives that were often projections of humans hopes and fears about the future. It is easy to merely laugh at some of the ridiculous early stories, however these stories often opened people’s minds to alternative realities. It is these alternative realities that underpin much of the genre and provide much of its success.

Elements of the exhibition continue all over the building, in the foyers and in the Pit Theatre. There will be film screenings in the cinema, a pop up outdoor cinema on the Barbican’s sculpture court, music performances in the Barbican Hall, as well as a public programme of talks and events.

See Video Review here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican 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 : Canaletto and the Art of Venice at The Queen’s Gallery – 19th May to 12th November 2017

The Royal Collection presents an exhibition that features one of the world’s finest group of paintings, drawings and prints by Venice’s famous painter, Canaletto (1697-1768). The exhibition explores the work of Canaletto and his relationship with Joseph Smith who was British Consul in Venice and became the artist’s agent and dealer.

The exhibition also presents a wide selection of eighteenth-century Venetian art, with Canaletto’s greatest works shown alongside paintings and drawings by Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli, Rosalba Carriera, Pietro Longhi and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.

The first room in the exhibition sets the scene with Ludovico Ughi’s map called Iconographic Representation of the Illustrious City of Venice, first printed in 1729. Venice was unlike any other city in the world being built on a series of islands and sandbanks in a shallow lagoon. The wealth of the city had led to a series of palaces being built along the canals with attractive churches and squares.

Venice’s political power had been tied closely to their maritime power and  two paintings by Canaletto pays testament to this relationship. A Regatta on the Grand Canal c.1733-4 illustrates spectators cheering the elaborately decorated eight-oared barges belonging to prominent Venetian families. The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day c.1733-4 provides a view of the great Venetian festival of the Wedding of the Sea where The Doge drops a ring into the sea to symbolise Venice’s maritime power.

Canaletto was born in Venice in 1697, the son of Bernardo Canal (1674–1744) who was a painter of stage sets. The artist initially followed in his father’s footsteps, but soon began producing paintings which included the city of Venice as his principal subject. However these views were not just reproduced, Canaletto often moved buildings and changed perspectives to create a better dramatic effect. Many of the artists drawings are included in the exhibition including some of the most famous monuments of Venice—the Grand Canal, the square around the basilica of San Marco and its distinctive Campanile (bell tower).

Venice was considered an important place on the Grand Tour undertaken by wealthy Europeans, to cater for this clientele, the city provided places of entertainment. One of the most popular forms of entertainment in this period was Opera and Theatre, Venice had nineteen opera houses, and the opera season coincided with Carnival.

The exhibition illustrates how Canaletto transformed the cityscape of Venice into a profitable subject to sell to British Grand Tourists, but another popular subject in Venetian art was rural landscapes which were often used as a setting for episodes from biblical stories or classical mythology. Marco Ricci and Francesco Zuccarelli made many landscape paintings, drawings and etchings to cater for this demand.

The city of Venice had been an important centre for printing for many centuries. However in the eighteenth century, printing became a mini industry to produce prints for visitors and collectors. Many artists in the city were attracted by this lucrative sideline, Canaletto, Marco Ricci and Giambattista Tiepolo began to experiment with etching.

‘Capriccio’ paintings and drawings refers to landscape or architectural compositions that combine real elements with elements of fantasy or imagination. The genre became associated with eighteenth century Venice and was popular among Grand Tourists. Several Venetian artists, especially Canaletto, Marco Ricci and the painter Antonio Visentini made many paintings and drawings of capriccio subjects.

Although many artists catered for the visitor market, other Venetian artists worked in a variety of media and subjects in a more traditional type of Italian painting, the exhibition features works by Sebastiano Ricci and Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini who painted on a large scale, using subject matter taken from history, literature or mythology.

The final room features Canaletto’s paintings of Venetian views with which he made his reputation. Joseph Smith commissioned many paintings from Canaletto for his own collection including a series of 12 paintings of the Grand Canal. Smith also commissioned a series of monumental views of Rome and arranged for Canaletto to travel and work in Britain where he stayed for almost ten years. Eventually in 1762, Smith decided to sell his extensive collection to George III and the remarkable collection has been in the Royal Collection ever since.

This fascinating exhibition offers an opportunity to discover Canaletto’s work in the context of a Venice that was in decline politically but was a popular destination for visitors to Italy. In many ways, Canaletto’s reputation has been tarnished by the work he did for the Grand Tourists. It has often been seen as low quality in a genre that was not highly valued. This exhibition provides plenty of evidence that this view obscures Canaletto considerable talents of a draughtsman and the sense of drama in his paintings. Since the artist’s death, the paintings have also provided a remarkable historical and visual account of the Venetian maritime empire in decline relying on tourism to maintain its past glories.

See Video Review here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Canaletto & the Art of Venice is at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 19 May – 12 November 2017.

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.
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London Tree Week – 27th May to 4th June 2017

Perhaps it living in an urban environment, but most Londoners love the trees that are dotted around the capital.

The Woodland Trust and other partners will be celebrating trees and the environment with London Tree Week which takes place between the 27th May and 4th June 2017.

People can visit open events at Potters Fields Park, Waterloo Station and City Hall or book a place in one of the many walkshops and lectures taking place across London during half term week!

Audio trail – Listen to the Trees

Place: Potters Field Park, Southwark

Dates: Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June

Time: 10am – 4pm

Ancient Woodland Restoration yurt

Place: Potters Field Park, Southwark

Dates: Friday 2 June – Saturday 3 June

Time: 9am – 5pm

Exhibition for schools

Place: Cafe area at City Hall, Southwark

Dates: Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June

Time: 10am – 4pm

Meet the Woodland Trust

Place: St. John’s Church, nr Waterloo Station

Dates: Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June

Time: 10am – 4pm

This event, The Waterloo Festival, is being organised alongside The Conservation Foundation.

The Woodland Trust also highlights some of London’s most ancient and special trees with their London Tree Trail.

For more information , visit the Woodland Trust 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

 

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