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Exhibition Review: The Renaissance Nude at the Royal Academy from 3 March to 2 June 2019

The Royal Academy of Arts present a new exhibition entitled The Renaissance Nude which explores how nudes have been used in some of the world’s most renowned masterpieces. The Renaissance Nude exhibition features around 90 works in a variety of media including paintings, sculptures as well as drawings, prints and illuminated manuscripts from different regions of Europe.

The exhibition examines the emergence of the nude visual tradition and how it changed the character and values of European art. The exhibition feature works by artists including Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Dürer, Jan Gossaert, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.

Although nude sculptures have been common since ancient times, nude paintings have a less obvious history. Religious organisations in particular were keen that nudes should inspire belief and not titillate the congregation. The Renaissance Nude exhibition examines art made in North and Southern Europe and considers some of the contrasts between the two approaches.

The exhibition is organised around five main themes, The Nude and Christian Art focuses on episodes from the Old and New Testament. Humanism and the Expansion of Secular Themes is devoted to mythological stories and classical art. Artistic Theory and Practice explores life drawing and the study of anatomy and proportion. Beyond the Ideal Nude looks at the vulnerability of the human condition. The final section, Personalising the Nude highlights the role of Renaissance patrons.

Even though, the exhibition covers a relatively short period between 1400 and 1530, it quickly becomes apparent that the idea of the ‘Renaissance Nude’ is a little misleading. Many people would consider Titian’s Venus Rising from the Sea (‘Venus Anadyomene’), c. 1520 as representative of this view, however the exhibition provides evidence that nudes were much more diverse and often reflected ideas of beauty within a particular cultural group.

Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Adam and Eve, 1504, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s A Faun and His Family with a Slain Lion, c. 1526 and Jan Gossaert’s Hercules and Deianira, 1517 offers a more medieval view of the nude. The remarkable Jean Bourdichon’s Bathsheba Bathing take from the Hours of Louis XII, 1498/99 illustrates that even in sacred texts, visions of womanly beauty could be included.

It was probably in the depiction of mythological stories and classical art, that the nude was used most extensively and experimentally. Agnolo Bronzino’s Saint Sebastian, c. 1533, Jan Gossaert, Christ on the Cold Stone, c. 1530 and Pietro Perugino, Apollo and Daphnis, c. 1495 offer unusual depictions.

There were a number of artists who wished to go beyond the surfaces both literary and emotionally, the exhibition includes some of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings and drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo.

This intriguing exhibition gives viewers the opportunity to see the Renaissance Nude in a different light. As the nude became an increasingly dominant role in the visual arts, it was used in a variety of sacred and secular contexts. Whether used in small, intimate objects to large decorative projects that filled church interiors and palaces, the Renaissance Nude led to a series of developments that led to new ideas of humanity and the human form.

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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Exhibition Review – New Acquisitions: Gozzoli to Kara Walker at the British Museum from 4 October 2018 to 27 January 2019

The British Museum presents a new exhibition which displays some of the most important prints and drawings the Museum has acquired over the past 5 years.

These include rare artworks from its collection by some of the world’s most famous artists, including David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Jeremy Deller, Raphael, Edgar Degas and Phyllida Barlow.

In the exhibition is around 150 artworks which are a selection from the 3000 graphic works that the British Museum has added into its prints and drawings collection since 2013. These works highlights spans six centuries with the oldest work on show is by the Renaissance master Benozzo Gozzoli from around 1460, and the newest is Kara Walker’s 2017 monumental print Resurrection Story with Patrons, which depicts a giant statue of a black woman being erected.

Highlights of the exhibition are the British Museum’s first ever drawing by Andy Warhol, which depicts a study of a theatre set he designed in New York in 1959.

The exhibition will also show the Museum’s first ever work by Phyllida Barlow, which is a study for one of the sculptures in her British pavilion installation at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

Visitors will also be able to see five prints from one of Pablo Picasso’s greatest-ever graphic works. Suite 347 is a series of 347 etchings made in 1968 which show the remakable invention and ingenuity of the octogenarian artist.

The British Museum is the only UK museum to have a complete set, they are seen alongside a Picasso linocut and aquatint.

Many of the works, including those by Bridget Riley and Georg Baselitz, have been donated by the artists themselves or their families and estates,

This fascinating free exhibition provides an eclectic mixture of old and new classics which will delight visitors before the works are stored away or used for later exhibitions.

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review : Michelangelo and Sebastiano at the National Gallery – 15th March to 25th June 2017

The National Gallery presents the first ever exhibition which explores the creative partnership between Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Sebastiano del Piombo (1455-1547).

The exhibition features loans from some of the most prestigious art galleries in the world including the only marble sculpture by Michelangelo in Great Britain – The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John, also known as the Taddei Tondo from the Royal Academy, some of the paintings and objects have not left their collections for centuries. There are around seventy works in the exhibition including paintings, drawings, sculptures and letters related to Michelangelo and Sebastiano.

It was in 1511, Sebastiano, a talented Venetian painter, arrived in Rome. He met Michelangelo, who was working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling at the time and the two quickly became friends. The friendship developed into a working collaboration with Michelangelo providing drawings and conceptual ideas. The work produced by Michelangelo and Sebastiano rivalled the work of rival Raphael who had dominated painting in Rome in this period. The friendship between the two artists lasted over twenty-five years before they fell out apparently arguing over a painting technique

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as the Viterbo Pietà (about 1512–16). This painting was Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s first collaboration and represents their combined vision of a large-scale nocturnal landscape. The Lamentation will be united with Sebastiano’s Christ’s Descent into Limbo (1516) from the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and Francisco Ribalta’s 17th-century copy of Sebastiano’s lost Christ Appearing to the Apostles. The three paintings will be presented in their original triptych format for the first time since they were separated in 1646.

The success of the Viterbo Pietà led to two major commissions, both of which were completed with the help of Michelangelo, the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome (1516–24) and The Raising of Lazarus (1517–19).

The exhibition includes a three-dimensional reproduction of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome created using state of the art digital imaging and reconstruction techniques.

The Raising of Lazarus is an important part of the National Gallery history becoming part of the foundational group of paintings in the Gallery in 1824, where it was given the very first inventory number, NG1. Scientific research on The Raising of Lazarus suggests that Sebastiano’s contribution to be more substantial than previously assumed with Michelangelo revising drawing at a relatively advanced stage.

Among other exhibition highlights is The Risen Christ by Michelangelo, a larger-than-life-size marble statue carved by Michelangelo in 1514–15 lent by the Church of S. Vincenzo Martire, Bassano Romano (Italy). The Risen Christ will be shown with a 19th-century plaster cast after Michelangelo’s second version of the same subject (1528–21), which usually resides in the S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome.

Sebastiano’s Visitation from the Louvre, Paris, and the Lamentation over the Dead Christ from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, leave their collections for the first time to travel to the exhibition.

This fascinating exhibition charts the two artists friendship against the background of considerable political, religious and social turmoil in Italy. Whilst Michelangelo’s reputation is still strong , Sebastiano has been largely forgotten under the assumption that he played a minor role in the collaborations with his more well-known partner. This exhibition goes some way to reappraise the importance of an artist considered the equal of Raphael in his time.

Our Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review : Drawing in silver and gold, Leonardo to Jasper Johns at the British Museum – 10th September to 6th December 2015

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This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see around 100 remarkable drawings created using the metalpoint technique. It features works by some of the greatest artists working from the late 14th century to the present including Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Elder, Lucas van Leyden, Rembrandt, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Otto Dix, Jasper Johns and Bruce Nauman. Many of the works are drawn from the British Museum’s extensive collection of metalpoint drawings  alongside major loans from European and American museums as well as private collections, including four sheets by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection.

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At the beginning at the exhibition is a video which shows the metalpoint process in detail, metalpoint is a drawing technique which developed from medieval manuscripts where the artist uses a metal stylus, usually made of silver, on a specially prepared sheet  which leaves traces of the metal on the surface, resulting in a visible drawing. The fine point allows for precise lines so that detailed drawings can be achieved. However, the process is time-consuming and leaves little room for error.

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The technique was at its most popular during the early Renaissance, In Italy it was used to train artists in preparation of making pictures. Drawings by Filippo Lippi, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci show their mastery of the technique producing work of exquisite refinement.

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In northern Europe, early artists used metalpoint mainly for portraits , works by Petrus Christus, Rogier van der Weyden and especially Hans Holbein illustrate a high level of sophistication. Another master of the technique was Albrecht Durer whose drawings are some of the highlights of the exhibition.

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By the 16th and 17th century, the technique was in decline but was still used by Dutch artists in preparation for small portrait engravings. Works by Goltzuis and de Gheyn are on display together with drawings by Rembrandt.

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The 19th century saw a revival of  interest in Renaissance art techniques in Britain led by William Holman Hunt and Alphonse Legros, metalpoint drawings were produced that encouraged later painters to use the technique. In the 20th century, Otto Dix began to experiment with the process and more recently Jasper Johns and Bruce Nauman have used metalpoint for more abstract drawings.

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This fascinating exhibition is one where the close examination of the drawings is necessary to really appreciate the incredible skill of artists to master a difficult, unforgiving technique. The rare bringing together  of  a large number of metalpoint drawings is a unique opportunity to  consider the importance of this particular technique in the history of art.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book  tickets, visit the British Museum website here

Exhibition runs from 10 September to 6 December 2015

Tickets

Adults £8, under 16s free

Opening times

Monday–Thursday 10.00–17.30
Friday 10.00–20.30
Saturday–Sunday 10.00–17.30

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the 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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A Short Guide to the National Gallery

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In April 1824 the House of Commons agreed to pay £57,000 for the picture collection of the banker John Julius Angerstein. His 38 pictures were intended to form the core of a new national collection which would be housed in a new building.
In 1831, Parliament agreed to construct the building for the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square which finally opened in 1838. The National Gallery had free admission and wished to appeal all sections of society. However its success led to calls to expand the building and subsequent wings were added in 1876, 1907, 1975 and 1991.

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Although the collections of John Julius Angerstein and Sir George Beaumont provided the bulk of the National Gallery, in 1855 the new director Sir Charles Eastlake travelled throughout Europe to purchase pictures for the collection. Within 10 years  the Gallery’s collection of Italian painting was considered  one of the best in the world.

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When the artist Joseph Mallord William Turner bequeathed over 1000 paintings, drawings and watercolours to the collection in 1856, it was  decided to exhibit British works in a separate premises. Eventually a site was found at Millbank and the Gallery opened in 1897. The new gallery was officially known the National Gallery of British Art, changing its name to the National Gallery, Millbank in 1917. The wealthy industrialist, Henry Tate, offered his collection to the nation and funded the gallery which led to the gallery later becoming known as the Tate Gallery. Therefore ironically the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square only possessed a small selection of British pictures as the majority were transferred to the Tate which up to 1955 was under the administration of the National Gallery.

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The National Gallery Collection contains over 2,300 works, including many famous works, such as van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

All major traditions of Western European painting are represented from the artists of late medieval and Renaissance Italy to the French Impressionists.
13th- to 15th-century paintings
Duccio, Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, Dürer, Memling, Bellini
16th-century paintings
Leonardo, Cranach, Michelangelo, Raphael, Holbein, Bruegel, Bronzino, Titian, Veronese
17th-century paintings
Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Claude, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Vermeer
18th- to early 20th-century paintings
Canaletto, Goya, Turner, Constable, Ingres, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh

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Highlights

A Young Woman standing at a Virginal -Johannes Vermeer about 1670-2

Bacchus and Ariadne – Titian  1520-3

Bathers at Asnières – Georges Seurat  1884

Doge Leonardo Loredan – Giovanni Bellini  1501-2

Equestrian Portrait of Charles I – Anthony van Dyck  about 1637-8

Mr and Mrs Andrews – Thomas Gainsborough about 1750

Samson and Delilah – Peter Paul Rubens about 1609-10

Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula – Claude 1641

Self Portrait at the Age of 34 – Rembrandt 1640

Sunflowers – Vincent van Gogh 1888

The Ambassadors – Hans Holbein the Younger 1533

The Arnolfini Portrait – Jan van Eyck 1434

The Battle of San Romano – Paolo Uccello probably about 1438-40

The Entombment – Michelangelo about 1500-1

The Fighting Temeraire –Joseph Mallord William Turner 1839

The Hay Wain – John Constable 1821

The Madonna of the Pinks (‘La Madonna dei Garofani’) – Raphael about 1506-7

The Toilet of Venus (‘The Rokeby Venus’) – Diego Velázquez 1647-51

The Virgin of the Rocks from Panels from the S. Francesco Altarpiece, Milan

Leonardo da Vinci about 1491/2-9 and 1506-8

The Wilton Diptych – English or French (?)about 1395-9

Venus and Mars – Sandro Botticelli about 1485

Admission Free
Opening hours: Daily 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 9pm
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

 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 January, 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 : Constable – The Making of a Master at the V and A , 20th Sept 2014 to 11th Jan 2015

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This major exhibition will reassess John Constable’s influences, techniques and legacy to offer a new interpretation of Britain’s best-loved artist. Discover how great works of art are created as Constable’s most famous masterpieces are united with his revolutionary oil sketches: expressive evocations of land, sea and sky that allowed him to transfer the freshness of the outdoors into his exhibition paintings.

For the first time, Constable will be presented alongside the old masters of classical landscape whose formal values he studiously assimilated. By combining the authority of their compositional ideas with a breathtakingly naturalistic vision that was entirely his own, Constable would ultimately transform the genre of landscape painting, and in the process shape the enduring popular image of the English countryside.

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Visiting London Guide Review

This exhibition offers an unprecedented examination of one of Britain’s favourite artists, many aspects of his career are considered to attempt to understand his painting and his legacy.

In his youth, Constable went on amateur sketching trips in the surrounding Suffolk countryside, however it was meeting  with  George Beaumont, a collector, who showed him a number of Old Master paintings in 1795 which led Constable  to consider Art as a career. When he came to London in 1799, he enrolled into the Royal Academy of Arts and was schooled in the old masters.

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The work of Raphael, Rubens and especially Claude Lorrain great influenced Constable’s early work as shown by the works in the exhibition which show the original and Constable’s interpretation.

However after two years of study he was keen to develop his own style, he stated  “For the last two years I have been running after pictures, and seeking the truth at second hand” , he considered his future work lay in landscapes “There is room enough for a natural painter.”

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To master this particular genre , Constable undertook considerable research, painting oil sketches outdoors to capture the often transient effects of light and weather. The sketches in the exhibition show how Constable would try to capture the effects of clouds or rain. He also took time to consider the different aspects of the landscape.

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It was from these sketches that studies were created which then could  act as a first draft for a composition.  Constable also made full-size studio sketches in preparation for an exhibition painting.

Many of these full size studio sketches were of such high quality , they were compared favourably to the finished painting.

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The exhibition show full size studio sketches of The Hay Wain and The Leaping Horse next to the finished painting .

Although Constable often suffered from financial difficulties, he managed to build up a sizable art collection,  It
included 59 oil paintings by ‘Old and Modern Masters’ and over 5000 prints,  250 drawings, 37 books of prints and 39 framed prints and drawings.

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A selection from this collection is shown in the exhibition which not surprisingly show Constable was intrigued by landscapes. There was also a commercial aspect , Constable’s copies of the old masters were a valuable source of revenue.

Gradually all the elements of painstaking research , endless sketches , studying the masters all formed part of an approach in which Constable could become the natural painter he desperately wanted to be.

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Constable created six large scenes of the River Stour, including The Hay Wain (1821) and The Leaping Horse (1825),  which led to some of Constable’s greatest successes, when exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1819 and 1825.

It was a bitter irony that just as Constable enjoyed artistic success , he suffered personal tragedy when his wife died in 1828.

A financial legacy allowed Constable to consider how he could contribute to his own artistic legacy which led to him producing a set of prints of his own work . A number of these prints are shown in the exhibition which illustrate their quality but they did not achieve any financial success  for Constable.

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This intriguing and comprehensive exhibition offers some insight into the working methods of one of Britain’s greatest painters. Although considered part of the Romantic movement , the exhibition shows Constable was quite scientific in his approach endlessly perfecting his approach.

In some ways this explains his relative lack of success in his own time, his pictures until late in life were considered unfashionable and were more popular in France than Britain. Even the Art establishment did not admit him to the Royal Academy till he was in his fifties. It was only after his death that many people began to admire his sketches, watercolours and paintings.

This exhibition will appeal to those who are interested in Constable and British Painting in the 19th century , it also offers a wider view with a number of  paintings by old masters and other British painters that influenced Constable.  It will also offer a considerable amount to anyone who is interested in the painting process and how a painter develops their own style.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like to find out more about the Exhibition or buy tickets , visit the V and A website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, 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