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Exhibition Review: Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace at The Queen’s Gallery from 4 December 2020 to January 2022

The Queen’s Gallery in London presents a new exhibition that includes a series of stunning paintings recognised as among the highlights of the Royal Collection, the exhibition includes works by Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Canaletto. The exhibition entitled Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace brings together 65 of the most treasured paintings that usually hang in the Picture Gallery, one of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.

The exhibition gives visitors a unique opportunity to view these world-renowned paintings in a modern gallery setting, away from the interiors of Buckingham Palace, allowing visitors the chance to enjoy each painting close up.

The exhibition is organised by school, with groupings of Italian, Dutch and Flemish paintings. In the Dutch room there are a series of works created in the Low Countries between 1630 and 1680, during the Dutch Golden Age, includes Johannes Vermeer’s ‘The Music Lesson’, early 1660s; Gerrit Dou’s The Grocer’s Shop, 1672; A Woman at her Toilet, 1663, by Jan Steen; and Pieter de Hooch’s Cardplayers in a Sunlit Room, 1658. These depictions of everyday life are considered some of the finest works of the period with their remarkable detail and use of light and space

Artists from the Low Countries also produced works from the more traditional branches of art, such as narrative paintings, portraits and landscapes. The exhibition includes In Milkmaids with Cattle in a Landscape, c.1617–18, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, while working in Rubens’ studio in 1618–19, the young Sir Anthony van Dyck produced Christ Healing the Paralytic.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition are portraits by Dutch artists including Rembrandt van Rijn and Frans Hals. Frans Hals’ Portrait of a Man, 1630, conveys a dynamic sense of movement, Rembrandt uses all his skills on his ‘The Shipbuilder and his Wife’, 1633 and Portrait of Agatha Bas, 1641.

The exhibition includes paintings created in Italy over a period of 200 years, landscapes range from Gaspard Dughet’s Seascape with Jonah and the Whale, c.1654, to Claude Lorrain’s Harbour Scene at Sunset, 1643. A series of work by Canaletto transports the viewer to the beauty of Venice.

Other Italian works include the more classical approaches of Guido Reni’s Cleopatra with the Asp, 1628, Parmigianino’s Pallas Athene, 1535, Titian’s Madonna and Child in a Landscape with Tobias and the Angel, c.1537, and Cristofano Allori’s Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1613.

This fascinating exhibition been made possible by the removal of the paintings from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace during the overhaul of the Palace’s essential services. It is perhaps a once in a lifetime chance of really getting close to some of the most remarkable paintings in the Royal Collection. The collection is quite eclectic which provides plenty of interest and the Dutch and Flemish paintings in particular offer a great insight into a period of great economic growth in the Low Countries.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: Mantegna and Bellini at the National Gallery – 1st October 2018 to 27th January 2019

The National Gallery present a new exhibition that tells the story of two artists, Mantegna and Bellini and explores some of their relationship and artistic development. The exhibition entitled Mantegna and Bellini is the first ever devoted to the relationship between two of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance: Giovanni Bellini (active about 1459–1516) and Andrea Mantegna (1430/1–1506).

The exhibition includes exceptionally rare loans of paintings, drawings, and sculpture from around the world which provides  a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compare the work of these two important artists who were also connected by family.

Andrea Mantegna was a talented young painter from Padua, when in 1453  he married into one of the greatest artistic families of nearby Venice – the Bellini. Mantegna’s new brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini, was a gifted artist who was bringing new innovations to the Venetian art.

Room One of the exhibition is called ‘Beginnings’ and provides some of the cultural context of the two cities that shaped Mantegna and Bellini – Padua and Venice.  One of the highlights in this section is ‘The Jacopo Bellini album’ on loan from the British Museum. Working in Bellini family workshop allowed the two artists to experiment and develop their own particular styles, a number of drawings illustrate the artists development.

‘Explorations’ in the following room examines the years of their closest creative exchange which was around the time of the marriage Mantegna’s marriage. In this room it is possible to compare and contrast their approaches with near identical compositions: Mantegna’s ‘The Descent into Limbo’  and Bellini’s ‘The Descent into Limbo’ (1475–80), Mantegna’s ‘The Crucifixion’ (1456–9) and Bellini’s ‘The Crucifixion’ (about 1465).

Room Three is entitled ‘Pietà’ and focuses on the origins and development of a distinctive new type of image – the Dead Christ supported by Angels. The works here will include sculptural relief, Donatello’s The Dead Christ Tended by Angels, Bellini’s The Lamentation over the Dead Christ with Saints Mark and Nicolas of Bari (1457-59) and Pieta (1457).

‘Landscape’ (Room Four) explores Bellini’s remarkable  landscapes, using natural light, and atmosphere to create emotion especially in religious works (such as in Bellini’s ‘St Jerome reading in a Landscape’, about 1480-5). A number of pairings in this section reveals the different approaches to landscape between the two artists and Bellini’s influence on Mantegna with his accurate view of Mantua in his ‘Death of the Virgin’, (1460-4) .

‘Devotional Paintings and Portraits’ (Room Five) provides an important  insight into a particular contribution to Italian Renaissance art, – the development of the ‘sacra conversazione’ in which the seated Virgin and Child appear in the company of saints (‘in conversation’). Here Mantegna’s ‘Madonna and Child’ (about 1465) will be seen side by side with Bellini’s ‘The Virgin and Child’ (about 1475).

The final room of ‘Mantegna and Bellini’ (called ‘Antiquity’) features some of the largest and most spectacular loans, with Mantegna’s ‘Triumphs of Caesar’ (The Bearers of Standards and ‘Siege Equipment’, ‘The Vase-Bearers’, and ‘The Elephants’, c.1484–92) , lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection.

Contrasted with these are works by Bellini, including ‘The Continence of Publius Cornelius Scipio’ (about 1506) and one of his final paintings, ‘The Drunkenness of Noah’ (about 1515).

This fascinating exhibition provides plenty of insight into the artistic development of Mantegna and Bellini in the 15th century and how their creative dialogue would have a profound effect on later artists in the Italian Renaissance. Although Mantegna pursued his own artistic path and moved to Mantua and Bellini spent his entire career in Republican Venice. Both artists provided important ingredients like landscape and passion for the ancient world which would be themes that would be taken up and used by the ‘greats’ of Renaissance art like Titian, Correggio and Veronese.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Mantegna and Bellini at the National Gallery – 1st October 2018 to 27th January 2019

In autumn 2018, the National Gallery will present a tale of two artists, their families and their cities; an interlinked story of art, family, rivalry, marriage, pragmatism, and personality – Mantegna and Bellini.

This exhibition is the first ever devoted to the relationship between two of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance: Giovanni Bellini (active about 1459–1516) and Andrea Mantegna (1430/1–1506). Through exceptionally rare loans of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, travelling to London from across the world, Mantegna and Bellini offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compare the work of these two important artists who also happened to be brothers-in-law.

Neither’s career or artistic development would have existed without the other, and without these works imbued with their creativity and innovation, Renaissance art, by the likes of Titian, Correggio, and Veronese, would not exist as it does today.

The son of a carpenter, Andrea Mantegna was a self-made man. In 1453 the prodigiously talented young painter from Padua, married into the greatest artistic family of nearby Venice – the Bellini. Mantegna’s new brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini, was also a gifted artist who was bringing new innovations to the Venetian use of colour, observed light, atmosphere, and landscape to create an entirely new form of art. Their admiration and respect were mutual.

For seven years Mantegna and Bellini worked in close creative dialogue – something visitors to the exhibition will be able to observe at first hand through key groupings of subjects both artists portrayed. Inspired by each other’s example, they both experimented and worked in ways they were not entirely comfortable with in order to hone their artistic skills and identities. While Mantegna exemplified the intellectual artist, Bellini was the archetypal landscape painter, the first to use the natural world to convey emotion.

In 1460, Mantegna decided to pursue his own artistic path and moved to Mantua, where he occupied the post of court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family until his death in 1506. Bellini, who died 10 years after Mantegna, spent his entire career in Republican Venice.  Despite the distance between them, their creative exchange continued throughout their long lives. Each artist continued to scale new heights in skill and ingenuity but remained forever shaped by their time together and by the knowledge of the other’s work and achievements.

At the core of the exhibition are two historic juxtapositions of Mantegna and Bellini’s work: depictions of The Agony in the Garden, (Mantegna’s about 1458-60, Bellini’s’ about 1465) which have hung side by side in the National Gallery since the late 19th century, as well as two paintings of The Presentation of Christ to the Temple (Mantegna’s version of which is in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and Bellini’s in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice).

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review – Charles I: King and Collector at the Royal Academy from 27th January to 15th April 2018

The Royal Academy presents a new exhibition entitled Charles I: King and Collector which reunites some of the greatest masterpieces of the king’s collection for the first time. The exhibition features over 100 works of art including classical sculptures, Baroque paintings, remarkable miniatures and monumental tapestries.

The theme of the exhibition is how the political turmoil in 17th-century Europe provided opportunities to collect masterpieces from private collections and Charles I in particular, built his art collection by using these methods.  

The exhibition explores how the  king’s collection was used to illustrate a monarch’s power, his authority and good taste in the arts. Many of the great powers of Europe had built up great collections of art and had commissioned some of the great artists of the period to work for them. It was not just the competition from abroad that inspired the king to build up his collection, he was surrounded by aristocrats in his court most notably his friend, the Duke of Buckingham who were building their own collections.

When Charles reached nineteen, he inherited Queen Anne’s art collection when she died in 1619. He then travelled to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham and began to explore some of the great European collections. Titian in particular was a favourite as were many of the Italian masters and he returned to England with a number of works including paintings by Titian, Correggio and Veronese.

The exhibition features Titian’s The Supper at Emmaus and Veronese’s Mars, Venus and Cupid. 

When Charles became King in 1625, he sent Nicolas Lanier to buy paintings in Italy, whilst in Venice, Lanier was told that one of the great collections in Europe may be for sale. The Gonzaga’s in Mantua had fallen on hard times and in 1628 they were persuaded to sell their famous collection. The Gonzaga hoard included classical and modern sculptures, paintings by Titian, Correggio and Jan van Eyck. It also included the nine large canvases of Mantegna’s Triumph of Caesar (c.1484-92), with its scenes of elephants and trumpeters, chariots and crowds. The canvases are included in the exhibition and are featured in a dedicated gallery of their own.

Equally monumental are the Mortlake tapestries of Raphael’s Act of the Apostles which are considered some of the most spectacular tapestries ever produced in England.

The spectacular Gonzaga purchase made Charles’ reputation as a serious collector, however his vast expense on art was not so popular at home and his great friend, the Duke of Buckingham was assassinated in 1628.  Charles carried on building his collection and began to commission paintings and portraits from famous artists Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the monumental portraits of the king and his family.

In all, Van Dyck painted about 40 portraits of Charles, his triple portrait of the King was sent to Rome for Bernini to model his bust. Van Dyck use of horses made the rather small king seem tall and heroic.

In the exhibition is a room dedicated to the Cabinet Room in Whitehall Palace, this was the king’s inner sanctum which housed smaller items such as bas-reliefs, miniatures, books, engravings, drawings, medals and precious objects.

It is with some irony that considering Charles’ collection was amassed by taking advantage of political turmoil in Europe that it would be dispersed by similar events much closer to home. The fall of Charles in the English Civil War led to the collection being used to repay royal debts, many of the works being sold to European courts.

This fascinating and remarkable exhibition illustrates how art was used in the 17th century for the self-aggrandisement of monarchs and leaders. Charles I was not the first and will not be the last leader to learn the lesson that using the nation’s wealth to finance your own vanity projects usually ends in disaster. 

The exhibition launches the Royal Academy  250th celebrations and runs in parallel with Charles II: Art and Power at the Queens Gallery. 

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information and 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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here

Charles I: King and Collector at the Royal Academy – 27th January to 15th April 2018

In January 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts, in partnership with Royal Collection Trust, will present Charles I: King and Collector, a landmark exhibition that will reunite one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled. During his reign, Charles I (1600-1649) acquired and commissioned exceptional masterpieces from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, including works by Van Dyck, Rubens, Holbein, Titian and Mantegna, amongst others. Charles I was executed in 1649 and just months later the collection was offered for sale and dispersed across Europe. Although many works were retrieved by Charles II during the Restoration, others now form the core of collections such as the Musée du Louvre and the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Charles I: King and Collector will reunite around 150 of the most important works for the first time since the seventeenth century, providing an unprecedented opportunity to experience the collection that changed the appreciation of art in England. By 1649, the collection of Charles I comprised around 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures.

Charles I: King and Collector will include over 90 works generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection. Major lenders will also include The National Gallery, London, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, as well as numerous other public and private collections.

Anthony van Dyck’s monumental portraits of the king and his family will form the core of the exhibition: his first major commission upon his arrival in England, Charles I and Henrietta Maria with Prince Charles and Princess Mary (‘The Greate Peece’), 1632 (The Royal Collection), and his two magnificent equestrian portraits, Charles I on Horseback with M. de St. Antoine, 1633 (The Royal Collection), and Charles I on Horseback, 1637-38 (The National Gallery, London). They will be shown together with Van Dyck’s most celebrated and moving portrait of the king, Charles I (‘Le Roi à la chasse’), c.1635 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), which will return to England for the first time since the seventeenth century.

Charles I commissioned some of the most important artists of his day, and the exhibition will include Peter Paul Rubens’s Minerva Protects Pax from Mars (‘Peace and War’), 1629-30 (The National Gallery, London) and his Landscape with Saint George and the Dragon, 1630-5 (The Royal Collection) as well as Van Dyck’s spectacular Cupid and Psyche, 1639-40 (The Royal Collection). Particular attention will be given to the patronage of Queen Henrietta Maria, including works by Orazio Gentileschi and Guido Reni.

In addition, the exhibition will present the most important Renaissance paintings from the collection, including Andrea Mantegna’s monumental series, The Triumph of Caesar, c.1484-92 (The Royal Collection), which will command a dedicated gallery within the exhibition, as well as Titian’s Supper at Emmaus, c.1530 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), and Charles V with a Dog, 1533 (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid). Other Renaissance artists represented are Correggio, Agnolo Bronzino, Jacopo Bassano, Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese as well as Albrecht Dürer, Jan Gossaert, Hans Holbein the Younger and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Further highlights will be the celebrated Mortlake tapestries of Raphael’s Acts of the Apostles, c.1631-40 (Mobilier National, Paris), arguably the most spectacular set of tapestries ever produced in England, as well as the precious works formerly kept in the Cabinet at Whitehall Palace, including paintings, statuettes, miniatures and drawings.

Admission

£20.00 full price (£18 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

For more information and 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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here

 

 

Book Review – George Shaw : My Back To Nature by George Shaw ( National Gallery )

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George Shaw – Introduction by Colin Wiggins published by National Gallery Company, May 2016

The National Gallery’s Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist for the past two years, George Shaw unveiled his new work at an exhibition entitled My Back to Nature at the Gallery in May 2016. This book is published to accompany the exhibition and gives the opportunity for former Turner Prize-nominee to reveal some of his inspirations for his work.

Colin Wiggins in his introduction in the book considers Shaw’s long-term relationship with the National Gallery,  ‘ Despite his childhood and teenage years being spent on a Coventry council estate he would nevertheless make regular day trips to London, armed with a sketchbook, to draw from works by artists he found inspiring even then, especially the mythological landscapes of Titian.’

By 2014, Shaw had made his reputation as a painter of run down council estates often using Humbrol enamel paint as his chosen medium. When the artist began his residency in a studio within the National Gallery it was these variety of influences that began to ferment before he began to produce work for the exhibition.

Shaw in the chapter entitled Rooms Used in Daylight as Though They Were Dark Woods begins to explain his own particular take on the National Gallery and art, ‘The National Gallery is as much part of my bringing up as say Hammer Horror films, Grange Hill, Joy Division or the sound of Grandstand’ . Although Shaw was drawn to paintings, the relationship was often complex, ‘ I have never really associated art with pleasure or happiness. It was and still is, a heavy darkness at the centre of what art is for me. All the death and flesh is serious stuff.’

It was this serious stuff that Shaw was able to indulge in during the residency with private access to the paintings in the National Gallery. On these walks through the gallery, he began to make the connection of his memories of the woods of his childhood and the mythical woods of Titian and Poussin.

The next chapter ‘ Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees’ takes on this theme with the way that Bellini’s Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr offers the woodland as a location for violent acts. Another favourite theme for Shaw is pictures that portray the dead Christ, particularly fascinating is Crivelli’s The Dead Christ supported by Two Angels with a mouth like wound, body hair and a crown of thorns that resemble living branches.

We return to the woods for the chapter ‘ Every Brush Stroke is Torn Out of My Body ‘, the mythical representations of Titian in The Death of Actaeon for Shaw illustrate the sacred and the profane. The next chapter, All Goings – in and Comings – out ; All Goings -on ‘ examines how some works by Poussin provide examples of how mythical themes can be used to present sexual scenes that in other spheres would be considered unacceptable. Ritual and orgies are another aspect of perceived woodland experiences.

In the final chapter, ‘The Gallery Will Be Open Again Tomorrow ‘ we find Shaw fascinated by the Gothic undertones to Constable’s Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The picture is the cenotaph being framed by dense tall trees with a stag in the foreground. Shaw’s reaction to the picture provides some insight into his own particular approach, ‘ Half of me is made of sentiment and nostalgia and weakness. The other half takes the piss. What I am left with is my own dull paintings that tell half the story about me being here and the anxiety I feel about not being here.’ The rest of the book reproduces his series of paintings on canvas for the exhibition and drawings with a biography and a list of exhibited works.

This is a fascinating, unusual and entertaining book with a series of attractive illustrations that explores the relationship between art galleries, paintings and artist. This often personal relationship is seldom discussed or considered but is often fundamental to the development of an artist, Shaw in a witty and insightful way indicates some of the ways that paintings provide inspiration for artists to pursue their own careers. For someone of Shaw’s background, the National Gallery provided a place to fire his artistic imagination when he returned to his Coventry home. Like many artists, Shaw chooses to both reject and pay homage to the past in his works. This book illustrates how Shaw uses the past to perceive the present, his often amusing titles and subject matter often obscures the serious and intelligent undertones of his work.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to buy a copy, 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 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 – George Shaw : My Back to Nature at the National Gallery from 11th May to 30th October 2016

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The National Gallery’s Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist for the past two years, George Shaw has unveiled his new work based on his residency in an exhibition entitled My Back to Nature.

A former Turner Prize-nominee, Shaw revealed at the preview that the National Gallery has been a source of constant inspiration since he was a child. The artist has had a lifelong enthusiasm for the Old Masters and his residency as the ninth Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist gave him a studio within the National Gallery to help demonstrate the Old Masters importance for contemporary artists.

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The exhibition features 50 new paintings and drawings predominantly woodland landscapes which feature Shaw’s exploration of the clash of cultures; classical stories linked to timeless behaviour in the modern world.

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When entering the exhibition, visitors encounter a series of 14 self-portrait drawings in the various poses taken up by Christ in traditional Stations of the Cross compositions. Representations of the bloody body of Christ (as in Carlo Crivelli’s The Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels) has been an area of fascination for Shaw over a long period of time.

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Although the classical themes of the Old Masters would seem a world away from the paintings in the exhibition, the idea of woodland as the background to human activities such as violence, illicit sex, and drunkenness is common to both. During his teenage years, Shaw would often explore an area of neglected woodland around his home and was fascinated by the idea that the woodland was the scene of illicit practices and much of the abandoned rubbish seemed to feed into this premise.

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Shaw’s paintings are not idyllic woodland scenes but rather a record of human activity away from the prying eyes of ‘civilized’ society. Pornographic magazines, obscene pictures on trees, beer cans strewn about and mysterious markings suggest that throughout human history that woodland and forests have a timeless quality within which human activities are played out.

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Shaw is unusual in his use of Humbrol enamel paints for his paintings, these paints are better known for painting model trains and aeroplanes. The use of this type of paint in the depictions of trees adds a luminosity and depth which contributes to the mythical and otherworldly quality.

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This intriguing free exhibition offers a modern view of many classical mythical themes and can be enjoyed on many different levels , Shaw often humorously suggests that universal timeless behaviour underpins many of these representations. Behaviour considered unacceptable in civilised society is transposed to a woodland setting. The works in the exhibition address this theme with several objects that acknowledge some of the great works within the  National Gallery. The large triptych of paintings entitled The Rude Screen, Möcht’ ich zurücke wieder wanken and Every Brush Stroke is Torn Out of My Body are on a set of canvases, made up to exactly the same size as the trio of great Titian mythologies in the gallery that continue to inspire Shaw.

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 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 : In the Age of Giorgione at the Royal Academy – 12th March to 5th June 2016

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The Royal Academy of Arts present a new exhibition entitled In the Age of Giorgione which explores artists associated with the Venetian Renaissance during the first decade of the sixteenth century. The exhibition will focus on the important period, just before what is considered the Golden Age of Venetian painting and features around 50 works from public institutions and private collections across Europe and the United States. There are works by celebrated artists of the period such as Giorgione, Titian, Giovanni Bellini, Sebastiano del Piombo, Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Cariani and considers the influence of Albrecht Dürer who visited Venice in 1505 –6.

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The first room illustrates the changing face of Venetian portraiture, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, Giovanni Bellini was considered the city’s most prominent painter and the Bellini workshop attracted some of the best young artistic talent in Venice. However, it was Giorgione who was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci that transformed portraiture with a new naturalism that explored some of the psychological aspects of the sitter. The Terris Portrait in the room is one of only two known paintings bearing a contemporary inscription on the back of the panel identifying Giorgione as the artist. Its style has moved towards a technique favoured by Leonardo da Vinci’s which gives the portrait an ‘enigmatic’ effect.

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Enigmatic could be applied to Giorgione’s life, little is known about his life and career and even today there are only a few works that can be attributed to Giorgione with certainty. Most of the information about Giorgione is derived from Giorgio Vasari’s Lives written in the middle of the 16th century. According to Vasari, Giorgione was born at Castelfranco in the territory of Treviso in the year 1478 and was born from very humble stock but enjoyed music and was known for his lute playing. Vasari noted his influence from Leonardo, “Giorgione had seen some things by the hand of Leonardo with a beautiful gradation of colours, and with extraordinary relief, effected, as has been related, by means of dark shadows; and this manner pleased him so much that he was for ever studying it as long as he lived, and in oil-painting he imitated it greatly.”

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It was not just portraits that were transformed in Venice this period, the visit of Albrecht Dürer led to experiments with landscape by Venetian artists. One of Giorgione’s landscapes, Il Tramonto is included in the exhibition which illustrates that his ideas in this genre were often as enigmatic as his portraits.

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Giorgione’s ‘modern style’ attracted artists, most notably Titian who was ten years younger than Giorgione and was inspired to develop the older artist’s use of soft and sensuous use of colour on a larger scale. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the room of Devotional works . Generally Giorgione’s devotional works were small and intended for a domestic setting, in contrast the works of Bellini and Titian are for a grander scale. Dominating the room is Titian’s Jacopo Pesaro Being Presented by Pope Alexander VI to St Peter.

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The final room is given over to Allegorical Portraits which have a personal and symbolic message, Giovanni Cariani’s Judith and Giorgione’s La Vecchia explore beyond the idealised visions of women to great effect.

Vasari suggests that Giorgione was in love with a lady infected by plague and he became ill and died in 1511 aged only thirty-four. With Giorgione dead, it was to be Titian who became the leading artist in Venice and would introduce a new era of Venetian painting. However, even though Giorgione had died, both himself and Titian would be intrinsically linked. Vasari illustrated the problem in the 16th century, “Titian attached himself to that of Giorgione; coming in a short time to imitate his works so well, that his pictures at times were mistaken for works by Giorgione.” Unfortunately for the legacy of Giorgione, this was to present a major problem. Over a century ago, a  large number of paintings were generally accepted by scholars as being by Giorgione. However, today only about 40 have been attributed to him, many of those considered from the last years of the artist are now regarded as being by the young Titian.

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This exhibition may only cover a relatively short period of Venetian art in the early 16th century, but it does give a tantalising glimpse of a Venetian art world populated by some of the greatest Renaissance artists. The influence of Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer transformed Venetian artists such as Giorgione and Titian. Whilst Titian is now considered one of the great artists, Giorgione has been widely overlooked and ignored. This exhibition tries to address the balance by exploring the work of the mysterious and enigmatic artist within the artistic context of Venice on the cusp of its Golden Age.

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Highly Recommended

Dates and Times

Saturday 12 March – Sunday 5 June 2016

10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm)

Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)

Admission £11.50 full price (£10 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available;

Children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

If you would like more information or 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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here

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 : Giovanni Battista Moroni at the Royal Academy – 25th Oct 2014 to 25th Jan 2015

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Giovanni Battista Moroni was considered one of the greatest portraitists of 16th-century Italy, however his work has been widely ignored since.
Working for a limited circle of patrons in Bergamo, many of the works were for private use rather than public display therefore Moroni failed to acquire public recognition and when he died, his work gradually disappeared from view.

This is the first comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work in the U.K. which include his  portraits but also his lesser known religious works,  Among them will be never-before exhibited altarpieces from the churches of Bergamo and paintings made for private devotion.

The exhibition encompasses his entire career and considers how naturalistic style set him apart from his contemporaries that included painters like Titian.

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The exhibition begins  with some works of Moretti who became Moroni’s teacher in the 1530s, Moretti was a deeply religious man who specialised in painted altarpieces. his Madonna and Child on a throne between Saints Eusebia, Andrew, Domneone and Domno gives some illustration of his skills in this area.

Moroni initially copied  many of Moretti’s techniques before he began to discover his own style. Moroni developed a style of religious painting that offered naturalistic portraits but also offered the sitters in front of biblical characters or scenes, A Gentleman in Adoration before the Baptism of Christ is one such example.

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However it was Moroni’s aristocratic portraits  that provided evidence of his talent for portraiture painting, he quickly became a favourite portrait painter of the aristocracy of Bergamo and the surrounding areas.

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As well as producing a remarkable likeness of his sitters, Moroni managed to convey some of their inner characteristics which went against the general trend of portrait painters at the time who went to considerable lengths to flatter their patrons.

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Moroni’s portrait of Isotta Brembati  and portrait of Gian Germolamo Grumeli  (The Man in Pink), offered  portrait painting which was far more realistic and not always flattering.

However Moroni’s success in Bergamo was relatively short , the political situation led him to return to Albino where he was to stay for the rest of his life.

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In a much smaller and less important town, his patrons were less aristocratic but members of the middle classes and provincial clergymen.  Although this may have signified a fall in status for Moroni it did allow him to develop portraits that became even more concerned with portraying the inner self of the sitter as well as a remarkable likeness.

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His undoubted masterpiece of this period was The Tailor  which was one of the first serious portrayals of a tradesman at work.

Using one of Moroni’s techniques that shows the sitter looking up as if interrupted in his work , he creates a remarkable connection between the sitter and the viewer.

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In many ways his career came full circle as he followed his teacher’s career and became in demand for altarpieces , a number of which appear in the exhibition.

Nevertheless  he carried on with his portraits, although it was noted they tended to more sombre and reflective.

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This exhibition wishes to reintroduce to many people , one of the great portrait painters in Renaissance Italy.  The exhibition shows Moroni  produced portraits that took portraiture to new levels of sophistication. Although considered ahead of his time, it is a mystery how the relatively  limited fame in his time diminished after his death till he was ‘rediscovered’ in the 19th century by British art lovers.

This exhibition will appeal to those who are intrigued by the rediscovery of one of the great portrait painters of the Renaissance . Moroni ‘s talents were recognised by contemporary artist Titian and many others since, however it illustrates that sometimes talent is not enough for widespread fame, other factors often come into play to create a lasting reputation.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you wish to find out more about the exhibition or buy a ticket, visit the Royal Academy website here

The Sackler Wing, Burlington House

Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

25 October — 25 January

Tickets
£13.50 (without donation £12). Concessions available.
Friends of the RA and under 16s go free

 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