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After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art at the National Gallery from 25 March to 13 August 2023

André Derain La Danse, 1906; Private Collection © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2023 / photo courtesy of the owner

A major new exhibition of around a hundred paintings and sculptures by artists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, Klimt, Käthe Kollwitz, Sonia Delaunay, Kandinsky and Mondrian opens at the National Gallery next March.

With loans from museums and private collections around the world After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art (25 March – 13 August 2023), includes some of the most important works of art created between 1886 and around 1914.

Paul Cezanne Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902-6; Gift of Helen Tyson Madeira, 1977 © Philadelphia Museum of Art

While celebrating Paris as the international artistic capital, the exhibition also focuses on the exciting and often revolutionary artistic developments across other European cities during this period. Starting with the achievements of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Rodin, visitors are able to journey through the art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries created in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna.

Paul Gauguin Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel), 1888 © National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

Highlights of this wide-ranging international survey include André Derain’s La Danse (Private Collection), Edgar Degas’s Dancers in the Foyer (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen); Paul Cézanne’s Grandes Baigneuses (National Gallery, London); Edvard Munch’s The Death Bed (KODE Art Museums, Bergen); Paul Gauguin’s Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) (National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh); Camille Claudel’s L’Implorante (Nogent sur Seine, Musée Camille Claudel); and Lovis Corinth’s Nana, Female Nude (Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis.).

Georges Seurat The Channel of Gravelines, Grand Fort-Philippe, 1890 © National Gallery, London;

The exhibition consists of around a hundred works, mostly paintings but also including a careful selection of innovative sculpture including Rodin’s (Auguste Rodin Monument to Balzac, 1898, plaster; and The Walking Man (L’Homme qui marche, 1905-7, bronze; Musée Rodin, Paris).

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

Nalini Malani: My Reality is Different at the National Gallery from 2 March to 11 June 2023

Nalini Malani, the recipient of the National Gallery’s first Contemporary Fellowship has created a deep black exhibition space with one monumental artwork, My Reality is Different, a format coined by the artist as an Animation Chamber.

Encompassing over 40 meters of wall, the 25 striking new animations immerse the viewer in a panorama of nine large video projections, played in a continuous loop.

These animations are based on an idiosyncratic selection by Malani from famous paintings in the National Gallery and the Holburne Museum, Bath, this year’s partner museum for the Gallery’s Contemporary Fellowship, and where the exhibition can be seen until 8 January 2023.

Classical stories have been transformed by hand-drawn animations, made using an iPad, that reveal and conceal different aspects of the paintings in both collections to rediscover them from an alternative, and critical point of view.

By overlapping the nine video projections and showing the animations of different length in a loop without syncing them, Malani has chosen to go beyond the Western linear view. As a result, there is an endless change of juxtapositions and interaction of the images, allowing the spectator to co-create their own meanings.

Nalini Malani

Malani in these animations challenges the view that traditional art history and its European figures are the only source of meaning. Integrated in each of the nine loops of the projections Malani has made a fictitious portrait of the marginalised in society. The faces of these people, whose labour underpins the economies that connect us across the globe, disappear behind colourful candlestick stock-market charts, and graphic examples of the complex financial systems.

The video is accompanied by a soundscape in which we hear the voice of Cassandra, a prophet from ancient Greek myth who foretells the truth but is never believed, amidst an undercurrent of a large sailing ship under the rain and storm of an ocean, combined with music references to the patriotic song ‘Rule Britannia!’ Cassandra’s brutal vision of the fall of Troy is voiced by Malani’s longtime collaborator and friend Alaknanda Samarth (1941–2021).

The title of the exhibition, is drawn from a phrase often associated with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in which the Cheshire Cat is claimed to have said: ‘I’m not crazy, my reality is different from yours.’

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

Winslow Homer: Force of Nature at the National Gallery from 10 September 2022 to 8 January 2023

The National Gallery presents the first in-depth exhibition in the UK of the art of Winslow Homer (1836–1910), one of the most celebrated and admired American painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The exhibition, which will display around 50 paintings and watercolours from public and private collections, spanning over 40 years of the artist’s career, and presents an opportunity for visitors this side of the Atlantic to discover an artist who, although a household name in America. Homer is not well known in Europe. There is no painting by Homer in a UK public collection.

The exhibition will be both chronological and thematic and focus on powerful imagery of conflict and its resolution. It will explore the complex social and geopolitical issues of his era as well as broader concerns with the fragility of human life and dominance of nature.

Winslow Homer: Force of Nature explores show how the artist’s ability to distil complex situations to the most powerful, yet simple, compositions led to many of his paintings and dazzling watercolours becoming emblematic of post-Civil War American life.

Largely self-taught, having begun his career as a commercial illustrator for US publications such as Harper’s Weekly, Homer was adept at graphic art and visitors will see how he skilfully captured moments of historical significance without creating overtly political statements.

Highlights of the exhibition include his paintings from the front lines of the American Civil War (1861–1865), where he sketched battle scenes and camp life. The Civil War is the subject of one of his most famous paintings from this period, Prisoners from the Front (1866), shown at the beginning of the exhibition. Prisoners will be displayed with other Civil War-era pictures such as Defiance, Inviting a Shot before Petersburg (1864).

A section of the exhibition will be devoted to Homer’s return to the United States when he continued to be interested in the lives of African Americans after the end of slavery in a period known as Reconstruction (1865–1877). Homer’s A Visit from the Old Mistress (1876), depicting an encounter between a group of newly emancipated women and their former mistress. The Cotton Pickers (1876), features two Black women silhouetted against troubled skies while working in the cotton fields. This ambitious painting was acquired in New York in 1877 by a British cotton merchant who exhibited the painting at the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 1878.

The exhibition will also focus on Homer’s time in England. In 1881, he docked at Liverpool before heading to London where he visited the museums, studying ancient Greek and Roman antiquities at the British Museum and British painting at the National Gallery, including Constable’s landscapes and Turner’s oils and watercolours of peaceful seascapes and tumultuous scenes of storms and shipwrecks alike. From London, Homer headed to Cullercoats, a small fishing community on the North Sea near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which provided him with poignant and inspirational motifs of the dangers and hardships of maritime life and of the power of the ocean. The exhibition includes paintings from this period such as Inside the Bar (1883) and The Gale (1883-1893).

Between 1884 and 1909, Homer travelled to the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, and Bermuda where he created many watercolours which suited the subjects of warm clear waters, lush vegetation, humid climate and dazzling light. Homer considered these works as integral and important parts of his art and legacy.

His fascination with the Caribbean increased alongside his life-long engagement with the charged subjects of racial prejudice, geopolitics and ecology. This culminated with his landmark tropical painting: The Gulf Stream (1899, reworked by 1906).

The exhibition will chart the final years of Homer’s life when he increasingly retreated from large urban centres, living in nature on the rugged coast in Maine, where he painted scenes of symbolic reflections on mortality. Paintings such as Driftwood (1909) and Right and Left (1909) will be on show.

Homer, Force of Nature is part of the National Gallery’s strategy over the last 10 years of introducing British audiences to American art.

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: Raphael at the National Gallery from 9 April to 31 July 2022

Marking the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death in 2020, the National Gallery presents one of the first-ever exhibitions to explore the complete career of one of the great names of the Italian Renaissance.

In his brief artistic career, spanning just two decades, Raffaello Santi (1483–1520) is considered one of the Italian Renaissance most influential artists. This exhibition examines not just his paintings and drawings but also his not so widely known work in architecture, archaeology and poetry, as well as his designs for sculpture, tapestry and prints.

The exhibition features over 90 exhibits, including loans from around the world, to join nine works from the National Gallery’s collection of paintings by Raphael. Among the lenders are: the Louvre, Musei Vaticani, the Uffizi, and the Prado.

The exhibition is broadly chronological and opens with a section devoted to the artist’s early works created in the Marche region of eastern Italy and his birthplace Urbino. These include Saint Catherine of Alexandria about 1507.

The exhibition then focuses on Florence where, as well as establishing himself within a new network of clients, Raphael continued to produce works for many other locations, including The Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Nicholas of Bari (‘The Ansidei Madonna’) 1505, The Madonna of the Pinks (‘La Madonna dei Garofani’) about 1506-7 and Portrait of a Woman (‘La Muta’) about 1506-7.

Madonna and Child were a favourite subject for Raphael and the exhibition has a number of his works in this genre including pictures dating to his time in Florence. One aspect of these paintings is the natural and realistic depiction of both mother and child. The paintings include The Madonna and Child with the Infant Baptist (The Garvagh Madonna) about 1510-11, The Holy Family with a Palm Tree (‘The Madonna of the Palm’) about 1506-7, and The Virgin and Child (‘The Bridgewater Madonna’) 1507-8.

From Florence, Raphael moved to Rome in 1508 to work under the patronage Pope Julius II (reigned 1503–13). The exhibition features the artist’s famous portrait of the world weary Julius II, (1511).

A room is then devoted to Raphael’s frescoes for Julius II’s private apartments. This included monumental compositions depicting biblical subjects, allegories of concepts such as Poetry and the great gathering of philosophers known as the School of Athens (1509–10).

Raphael’s years in Rome saw him using his skills and talents in a wide range of media. The artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) described him as a ‘universal artist’ in recognition of the mastery he developed across many media.

The exhibition explores his innovative work in media such as printmaking, decorative art and tapestry design, as well as his architecture and archaeological work as surveyor of ancient buildings.

Several of his original print designs, are displayed alongside his preliminary drawings, these include his Study for the Massacre of the Innocents (about 1509–10).

The exhibition also provides an overview of his work as an architect in Rome, including his most prestigious appointment as architect of the new St Peter’s, his designs for private townhouses are represented by a model of the façade of the Palazzo Branconio dell’Aquila.

Raphael as a designer for tapestries is represented by Saint Paul Preaching at Athens (Workshop of, or on behalf of, Pieter van Aelst, active about 1490–1533, after design by Raphael, about 1517–19, Brussels). This was part of his series on the Acts of the Apostles, designed to be hung in the Sistine Chapel under Michelangelo’s famous, frescoed ceiling.

The final room is dedicated to the portraits undertaken by Raphael’s in his last years. Portraits include Lorenzo de’ Medici (1518), Baldassare Castiglione (1519), Bindo Altoviti about 1516-18, Self-Portrait with Giulio Romano 1519-1520 and Portrait of a Woman (‘La Fornarina’)about 1519-20.

When Raphael was at the height of his fame, he was struck down by a fever and died aged 37. At this time he was acknowledged as one of the finest painters of the Italian Renaissance and has influenced many generations of artists over the centuries.

This fascinating exhibition seeks to go beyond previous Raphael exhibitions by exploring every aspect of his multimedia activity. The exhibition illustrates that towards the end of his short life, Raphael involved himself in a wide range of activities. To complete these works he relied heavily on a entourage of helpers which has led many to suspect that the “Raphael genius” was in some ways diluted. This perhaps explains why Raphael is not held in such high regard as Leonardo or Michelangelo. However, this exhibition allows visitors to have rare opportunity to judge the merits of Raphael for themselves. His Madonna’s and portraits in particular provide evidence of wonderful composition and his compassion for the human and the sacred.

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: Gainsborough’s Blue Boy at the National Gallery from 25 January to 15 May 2022

On the centenary of its last public appearance in the UK, The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough has returned to the National Gallery. This exhibition opens 100 years to the day since The Blue Boy was last seen in the country.

In 1921, the news that The Blue Boy was to depart permanently for the United States after being purchased by rail and property businessman Henry E. Huntington elicited a considerable public response because the painting was had been important part of British culture since it was created. The painting was owned by the Grosvenor family in the 19th and early 20th centuries and they often lent the painting to important exhibitions. The painting was exhibited to much public acclaim at the Great London Exposition in 1862, the Royal Academy and the South Kensington Museum in 1870, the Grosvenor Gallery in 1885, and the Royal Academy in 1896.

In addition to this, the painting appeared in publications and prints. It became a popular ceramic figure and showed up in advertisements. Children often pretended to be Gainsborough’s youth at fancy-dress balls, marriage ceremonies, pantomimes, plays, films and television.

The work is now owned by the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California where it has been on display for the past century.

The Blue Boy is a full-length portrait created during Gainsborough’s time in Bath between 1759–74, this was a period when Gainsborough changed his style to cater for his patrons’ changing tastes and expectations. He studied and copied the works of past masters in prestigious collections, particularly those by the Flemish artist Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641).

The free exhibition in Room 46 will see The Blue Boy shown alongside a select group of paintings that demonstrate Gainsborough’s ongoing interest in Van Dyck. Van Dyck popularised the full-length portraiture in Britain and became a ‘celebrity’ painter honoured by the royal family and in demand by other wealthy patrons.

The five works included in the exhibition are: George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Lord Francis Villiers (1635) and Lord John Stuart and his Brother, Lord Bernard Stuart, (about 1638) by Sir Anthony van Dyck; as well as The Blue Boy (about 1770); Elizabeth and Mary Linley (about 1772); and Mrs Siddons (1785) by Thomas Gainsborough.

For all the fame of the painting, we really do not know who the ‘Blue Boy’ is ? It was long thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall (1752–1805), the son of a wealthy hardware merchant, because of his early ownership of the painting. But other people have suggested it is Gainsborough’s nephew, Gainsborough Dupont.

The Blue Boy has never been lent since its departure from the UK until now and it probably be never lent again. Therefore this is rare opportunity to see this ‘British Icon’ in the classical setting of the National Gallery.

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: Dürer’s Journeys – Travels of a Renaissance Artist at the National Gallery from 20 November 2021 to 27 February 2022

The National Gallery presents a major exhibition entitled Dürer’s Journeys – Travels of a Renaissance Artist devoted to German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. This is the first significant UK exhibition of the artist’s works in such a wide range of media for nearly twenty years and explores Dürer’s career as a painter, draughtsman and printmaker. Most of the exhibited works are displayed in Britain for the first time.

The exhibition is based on the artists journal of his travels to the Alps and Italy in the mid-1490s; to Venice in 1505–7; and to the Low Countries in 1520–1. These journeys bought him into contact with a number of artists and important people and increased his fame and influence.

In the first room of the exhibition visitors can follow Dürer’s career progress in the years following his return to Nuremberg after travelling to the Alps and Italy in the mid-1490s. His Saint Jerome, about 1496, with its detailed landscape shows the influence of the Italian visit. Also included is the unusual Madonna and Child; Lot and his Daughters about 1496-9.

The second room includes some of Dürer’s early studies from his visit to Venice from 1505 to 1507, highlights of the room are three portraits by Dürer and the painting Christ among the Doctors, 1506,

In room three, includes many of the artist’s best-known engravings, we see Dürer return to Nuremberg, where he was employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, before embarking on a journey north to Aachen where the coronation of the new Emperor Charles V was to take place. He also visited the Low Countries in 1520–1.

The fourth room of the exhibition include Portraits, in chalk, charcoal and silverpoint. Dürer’s observations as he sketched people, animals and townscapes are explored in the fifth, which includes sheets from his silverpoint sketchbook.

The artists Dürer met on his travels are well represented such as Giovanni Bellini with his The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr
about 1505-7.

The final room is devoted to the period in Antwerp, where Dürer became friendly with the Portuguese merchants’ agent Rodrigo de Almada. Dürer painted a striking and innovative image of Saint Jerome, 1521 for Almada.

This fascinating exhibition offers the rare opportunity to explore a wide range of Dürer work and consider how Renaissance artists from Northern Europe differed from their Southern counterparts. Although influenced by the work of Mantegna, Leonardo and Giovanni Bellini, Dürer bought his own unique vision to the human condition and religion. He was more concerned with universal issues and the meaning and conduct of earthly life, rather than the treasures and rewards in heaven. If Leonardo da Vinci is the poster boy of the Southern Renaissance artists, Dürer is considered the archetypal Renaissance artist of Northern Europe with unique skills of observation, technique, painting, printing and drawing.

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: Poussin and the Dance at the National Gallery from 9 October 2021 to 2 January 2022

The National Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled Poussin and the Dance which explores the way the artist captured movement and the expressive use of the body.

For the first time in its 121-year history, the Wallace Collection has lent Nicolas Poussin’s painting Dance to the Music of Time (about 1634–6). This celebrated dance picture is the focus of the exhibition which features works by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) and Classical antiquities which inspired him.

The exhibition includes over twenty paintings and drawings from public and private collections in Europe and the USA, including the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (The Empire of Flora, 1630-31); The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (The Triumph of Bacchus, 1635-36); Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (Bacchus and Ariadne, 1625-1626); the National Galleries of Scotland (Study for A Dance to the Music of Time, ca.1634) and a series of drawings lent by Her Majesty the Queen.

The exhibition focuses on Poussin’s early career in Rome, from his arrival in the city in 1624 until about 1640 when he was called back to France to serve as First Painter to the King under Louis XIII. As a young man, Poussin was desperate to get to Rome, when he finally arrived he immersed himself into the Classical world he saw around him. He was particularly inspired by the dance sequences on antique sculptures. The exhibition includes the remarkable The Borghese Vase, first century CE and marble relief The Borghese Dancers, second century CE.

His early canvases in Rome reflected his admiration of the works of Titian. He gradually acquired the patronage of antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo and the art collector, Cardinal de Richelieu.

The exhibition explores how Poussin took on the challenge of capturing dance on paper and paint. When choreographing his compositions, he created wax figurines which he arranged in a kind of theatrical dance. The exhibition includes a reconstruction of some of these wax figurines.

The first room entitled Invitation to the Dance: Poussin’s Early Years in Rome includes Poussin’s The Realm of Flora 1630-1, Bacchus and Ariadne about 1625 – 1626, The Gaeta Vase first century BCE and a number of drawings.

The second room called Animating the Frieze includes Poussin’s A Bacchanalian Revel before a Term 1632-3, The Adoration of the Golden Calf 1633-4 and Relief with Five Dancers before a Portico (‘The Borghese Dancers’).

The third room celebrates the artist’s relationship with Cardinal de Richelieu with Poussin’s The Triumph of Silenus about 1636, The Triumph of Pan 1636, The Triumph of Bacchus 1635-6 and the Krater with a Procession of Dionysus (‘The Borghese Vase’) first century, CE.

The final room is dominated by Poussin’s masterpiece, Dance to the Music of Time (about 1634–6), the painting represents the perpetual cycle of the human condition: Poverty, Labour, Wealth and Pleasure, The dancers are accompanied on the lyre by the winged figure of Time. In this painting, Poussin finally achieves his goal of bringing the joy and movement of dance onto the canvas in a way that has inspired many people in subsequent generations. Poussin’s painting inspired Anthony Powell’s universally acclaimed 12-novel sequence of the same name, published between 1951 and 1975.

This fascinating exhibition explains some of the enigma about Poussin’s work, Nicolas Poussin is considered something of an artist’s artist. However his paintings are often overlooked by the public who often compare him unfavorably with Titian and others. Yet in his studies of Dance, Poussin could find his own voice and provide a visual representation of one of human beings most basic expressions of joy and goodwill.

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

THE END by Heather Phillipson on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square

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

THE END, a new artwork by artist Heather Phillipson was unveiled on Thursday 30 July, on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

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

It is the 13th Fourth Plinth commission since the programme began in 1998, it is also the tallest to date, measuring 9.4m and weighing 9 tonnes, and follows on from The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz. Both artists were selected in 2017 by the Fourth Plinth Commission Group, following an exhibition at the National Gallery where 10,000 people voted for their favourite shortlisted artwork.

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

Heather Phillipson’s sculpture tops the Fourth Plinth with a giant swirl of whipped cream, a cherry, a fly and a drone that transmits a live feed of Trafalgar Square. The sculpture Entitled THE END illustrates Trafalgar Square as a site of celebration and protest, the live feed of Trafalgar Square picked up by the drone’s camera is visible on a dedicated website giving a sculpture’s eye perspective.

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

Heather Phillipson was born in London, where she lives and works. Her works include video, sculpture, web projects, music, drawing and poetry.

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

THE END is the first fully accessible commission on the Fourth Plinth. There is a braille panel included on the plaque, a tactile image of the work, and an audio description of the work on the GLA’s website

The Fourth Plinth as it is known has quite an unusual history, it was intended to be used for a equestrian statue of William IV astride a bronze horse to match the statue of George IV which is on the other side of the square. However George IV spent so much money during his reign that there was not enough funds left for the statue.
Remarkably, considering the square is a major public area, the plinth was empty for more than 150 years. Eventually it was decided that temporary modern pieces of work would occupy the plinth. The final choice is often controversial but is a focus of interest which generates considerable media interest.

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 – Titian: Love Desire Death at the National Gallery from 16 March to 14 June 2020

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

Titian’s epic series of large-scale mythological paintings, known as the poesie, are brought together in its entirety for the first time since the late 16th century at the National Gallery. The series was painted between about 1551 and 1562 and are considered some of the most original visual interpretations of Classical myth for their rich, expressive and colourful rendition.

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

From the original cycle of six paintings, the exhibition reunites Danaë (1551–3, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House); Venus and Adonis (1554, Prado, Madrid); Diana and Actaeon (1556–9) and Diana and Callisto (1556–9), jointly owned by the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland; and the recently conserved Rape of Europa (1562) from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

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

Following its landmark decision to lend works on a temporary basis for the first time in its 119-year history, the Wallace Collection has loaned its painting from the cycle, Perseus and Andromeda, (1554–6), to the exhibition in Trafalgar Square.

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

The National Gallery’s Death of Actaeon (1559–75), originally conceived as part of the series, but only executed much later and never delivered, is also displayed.

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

All the paintings illustrate Titian’s remarkable talent to create a narrative in which mythological scenes contain a whole range of very human emotions like love, desire, guilt, surprise, shame, desperation, anguish, and terror. The paintings depict stories primarily drawn from the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Because Titian considered the paintings similar to poetry, he called them his ‘poesie’. The series was commissioned by Philip II of Spain and consolidated Titian’s reputation as one of the most famous painters of his period.

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

Titian’s six poesie for Philip II of Spain have had an incredible history, two remained in Madrid, Spain: Danaë and Venus and Adonis. Danaë remained longer, but was taken by Joseph Bonaparte in 1813 and seized by Wellington in the Battle of Vitoria, after which it came to England. Venus and Adonis was also in England, as Titian sent it to Philip when he was in London, having just married Mary Tudor (1516–58). The other four, Perseus and Andromeda, Rape of Europa, Diana and Callisto, and Diana and Actaeon, plus the unfinished The Death of Actaeon, passed by different routes into the collection of Philippe II, Duc d’Orléans (1674–1723). When this collection was auctioned in London in 1798, the five poesie were divided but remained in British collections throughout the 19th century. Perseus and Andromeda was unsold at the first sale, and then changed hands before being sold at the second Duc d’Orléans sale in 1805.

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

In 1896 Rape of Europa was sold to Isabella Stewart Gardner for her collection in Boston, USA. Perseus and Andromeda was secured for Britain the following year as part of the Wallace Collection bequest. In 1972, when The Death of Actaeon was offered for sale, the National Gallery successfully purchased the painting with the help of government funds and following a nationwide public appeal. In 2009, the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland jointly acquired Diana and Actaeon; and in 2012, Diana and Callisto, securing the last two of these masterpieces for the public.

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

This remarkable exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view in one room, Titian’s six poesie for Philip II of Spain painted in the mid 16th century. That all six paintings have survived the vagaries of war, destruction and political turmoil over four centuries is a miracle in itself and the small intimate exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity to study the paintings in some detail. Titian is one of those rare artists who was not only famous in his own time but has retained his reputation over the centuries, this exhibition illustrates why he is considered one of the most important artists in the history of European painting.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

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Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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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