News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 17th October 2012


Doctors, Dissection And Resurrection Men explores the extreme lengths to which 19th century medical pioneers were prepared to go to increase anatomical understanding. Victorian surgeons faced a torturous dilemma: learn their skills on stolen corpses or practice on a living patient - and so began a gruesome trade. Body-snatchers, or 'resurrection men', stalked the city's graveyards to supply fresh corpses for medical dissection. In 2006, archaeologists excavated a burial ground at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, revealing some 262 burials. Amid the confusing mix of bones was extensive evidence of dissection, autopsy, amputation, bones wired for teaching, and animals dissected for comparative anatomy. Dating from the period of the Anatomy Act of 1832, the discovery offered fresh insight into early 19th century dissection and the trade in dead bodies. Passed amid deep public fear following a notorious case of murder for dissection, this fiercely-debated Act gave the State the right to take 'unclaimed' bodies without consent, and remained almost entirely unchanged until the Human Tissue Act of 2004. Bringing together human and animal remains, exquisite anatomical models and drawings, documents and original artefacts, this exhibition reveals the shadowy practices prompted by a growing demand for corpses. Amongst others, it tells the story of grave robbers Bishop, Williams and May - London's Burke and Hare - and sheds new light on the case of an alleged 'resurrectionist', who died in prison while his wife protested his innocence. The exhibition also includes unrivalled evidence of surgery and amputation - before anaesthetic - and of dissection, anatomical teaching and students practising their craft. Museum of London until 14th April.

Love And Death: Victorian Paintings looks at the themes of love, beauty, tragedy and death, as explored by late 19th century artists. The opening section of the exhibition examines the Victorian fascination with life in the classical world, from lovers' flirtations to dramatic martyrdom, including Alma Tadema's 'Pheidias and the Frieze of the Parthenon', 'A Silent Greeting' and 'A Favourite Custom'; Frederic Leighton's 'The Bath of Psyche' and 'Lieder ohne Worte'; and Albert Moore's 'Dreamers' and 'Sapphires'. The highlight of the exhibition is John William Waterhouse's 'The Lady of Shalott', shown alongside earlier depictions of the subject by William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Arthur Gaskin; and Herbert Draper's 'The Lament for Icarus'. The final section looks at magic and the mysterious, including George Frederic Watts's 'The All-Pervading'; Anna Lea Merritt's 'Love Locked Out'; Waterhouse's 'The Magic Circle'; and Frederick Sandys's 'Medea' and 'Morgan-le-Fay'. The paintings are complemented by sculpture, sketches and works on paper exploring the same themes, including Frederic Leighton's preparatory oil for 'And The Sea Gave Up The Dead That Were In It', and his pencil study for the profile of Romeo in 'The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet'. Birmingham Museum until 13th January.

The Lost Prince: The Life And Death Of Henry Stuart is the first ever exhibition about the Jacobean Prince of Wales, marking the 400th anniversary of his death. The exhibition focuses on a remarkable period in British history, dominated by a prince whose death at a young age precipitated widespread national grief, and led to the accession to the throne of his younger brother, the doomed King Charles I. It comprises over 80 exhibits, including paintings, drawings, miniatures, manuscripts, books, armour and other artefacts. Henry Stuart was the first British royal to actively collect European renaissance paintings, and he acquired the first collection of Italian renaissance bronzes in England. He brought the first collection of antique coins and medals to England, and also assembled the largest and most important library in the land. Henry's patronage of court masques and festivals, architecture and garden design established his court as a rival to the great princely courts of Europe. The exhibition includes some of the most important works of art and culture produced and collected in the Jacobean period, illustrating the artistic and creative community that developed under his patronage, including portraits by Holbein, Nicholas Hilliard, Robert Peake and Isaac Oliver, masque designs by Inigo Jones, and poetry by Ben Jonson in his own hand. Henry's death inspired a stream of poetical and musical tributes, published in nearly 50 contemporary volumes. The exhibition displays, for the first time in two centuries, the remains of Prince Henry's funeral effigy with an engraving that shows it lying on his hearse, dressed in his clothes. National Portrait Gallery until 13th January.


Curious Anatomys: An Extraordinary Story Of Dissection And Discovery charts the history of public dissections across Europe, through human remains, graphic models and detailed illustrations. The exhibition revisits centuries of academia held within a set of 6 anatomy tables, as rare as their usage was gristly. These visually spectacular anatomical tables are on full public display for the first time in their history. They show actual human veins, nerves and arteries, dissected at Padua's famous anatomy theatre in the 17th century, skillfully cut from bodies, and arranged on large varnished wooden panels. Academics believe the tables were created as teaching aids for anatomy students, from the bodies of executed criminals or supplied by the hospitals of Padua. They are one of only two sets of these panels known to have existed, and are amongst the oldest surviving human anatomy preparations in Europe. The panels are accompanied by rare early anatomy books, with beautifully detailed illustrations of the body, including Andreas Vesalius's groundbreaking 'On the fabric of the human body', from 1543, with flayed figures and 'muscle man' illustrations; and William Harvey's 1628 publication 'On the motion of the heart', detailing his landmark discovery of the circulation of blood. In addition, the exhibition includes dissection tools, preparations made by surgeon Sir Astley Paston Cooper, and exquisite wax models created by anatomical modeller Joseph Towne. There is also a film with expert commentary on the history of anatomy and the tables, and an intriguing investigation of the tables by Francis Wells, consultant surgeon at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. Royal College of Physicians, 11 St. Andrews Place, Regent's Park, London NW1, until 31st December.

Building On Things: Images Of Ruin And Renewal looks back through history at artists' perennial fascination with rot and wrecks. The exhibition historically kicks off with the most haunting images of ruins ever created: Giovanni Battista Piranesi's 18th century 'Imaginary Prisons', in which ostensibly visionary prints of dilapidated ancient Roman edifices, visually foresee Franz Kafka's literary post-industrial alienation and paranoia, set out in novels like The Trial, by some 300 years. British artists, such as Turner and Girtin, produced a wide variety of responses to the survival or destruction of ancient buildings, and the rapid urban change in progress from the mid 18th century. The devastating impact of war is displayed in works by Henry Tonks, Graham Sutherland and Michael Sandle, while Gordon Cheung imagines a future world of bloated international finance and greed, failed hopes and environmental disaster. Cultural change is pictured as a cyclical process of: construction - zenith - decline - fall - and - renewal in Anne Desmet's 'Babel Flowers'. The show also takes in recent works such as Tacita Dean's chilling photogravure prints of Berlin's Alexanderplatz Fernsehturm tower; Patrick Caulfield's brilliantly coloured screenprint 'Ruins'; and multimedia artist Cyprien Gaillard's rethinkings of the tradition of the picturesque ruin, with an example of time travel. Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, until 6th January.

England's Green And Pleasant Land offers an evocative journey through England's cultural, social and political landscape, covering a period of some 250 years. Fans were not simply decorative accessories, serving many purposes, as ceremonial tools, status symbols and commemorative presents. The scenes they capture and the techniques used to create them provide a picture of the society in which they were made. This exhibition of some 80 fans begins with a rare wood-block printed fan from 1661,'The Hapy (sic.) Restoration', which commemorates the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, with the return of Charles II. The display includes a number of fine 18th century fans, upon which formal city squares, stately houses, and idyllic scenes of rural life are imaginatively depicted. Also on show are an assortment of early printed commemorative fans, with themes as diverse as political trials, royal births and even fortune telling. The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London SE10, until 6th January.

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair celebrates the transformation of the world's most popular pin-up to acclaimed actress, highlighting the British photographers and personalities who admired her and worked with her. Photographs and magazine covers featuring Marilyn Monroe from 1947 to 1962 include Antony Beauchamp's poses taken in 1951 wearing a yellow bikini, and Baron's portraits of Monroe bathed in Californian sunlight taken in 1954. Cecil Beaton's 1956 photographs taken in his Ambassador Hotel suite in New York include Monroe's favourite image of herself, clutching a rose. Life photographer Larry Burrows was one of many photographers who covered Monroe's four month visit to Britain to work on the film 'The Prince And The Showgirl', including the press conference for the film at the Savoy Hotel. Cinematographer and cameraman Jack Cardiff photographed Monroe during a private sitting at that time. Other photographs show Monroe at a Royal Command film performance meeting the Queen, and at the Comedy Theatre with Arthur Miller, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, who was her director and co-star. Monroe is also shown with other British subjects including the director Roy Ward Baker and the poet Edith Sitwell. In addition, the display includes a comprehensive selection of rare British magazine covers featuring photographs taken by Andre de Dienes and Milton Greene, and a 1960 Sight and Sound showing Monroe as she appeared in 'Let's Make Love', in which she appeared with British singer Frankie Vaughan. National Portrait Gallery until 24th March.

Happy Birthday Edward Lear: 200 Years Of Nature And Nonsense celebrates the bicentenary of the artist and writer, covering all aspects of his career. Edward Lear is one of the most notable artists and popular writers of the Victorian period, but although best known for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose, Lear saw himself primarily as an artist. From early natural history illustrations and extraordinary landscape sketches, to the nonsense drawings and verses for which Lear is so well known, the exhibition comprises 100 works, many of which are on public display for the first time. The show presents his work chronologically, with watercolours, oil paintings, manuscripts, and illustrated books selected to reflect every aspect of his artistic output. Among the highlights are watercolours of animals and birds; sketches made during his travels in Greece, Italy, Egypt and the Near East, and India; and a group of the Tennyson illustrations on which he spent the last 25 years of his life. Lear's work as a painter in oils is represented by rarely seen evocations of Beachy Head, Venice, landscapes in the Near East; and a view of Jerusalem. Also in the exhibition are editions of the books that Lear illustrated early in his career, including copies of his travel books; the natural history publications to which he contributed; and the principal editions of his nonsense books. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 6th January.

Renaissance To Goya: Prints And Drawings From Spain brings together important prints and drawings by Spanish and other European artists who were working in Spain from the mid 16th century to the first decades of the 19th century. Beginning with works by 16th century artists working in and around Madrid, including those who arrived mainly from Italy, such as Pellegrino Tibaldi and Federico Zuccaro, and the Flemish printmaker Pedro Perret, the selection progresses chronologically to include important works from Spain's 17th century 'Golden Age', by artists Diego Velazquez, Vicente Carducho and Alonso Cano in Madrid, Bartolome Murillo and Francisco de Zubaran in Seville, and Jose de Ribera in Spanish Naples. Turning to the 18th century, key works by Francisco de Goya, his contemporaries and foreign artists such as the Italians Giambattista Tiepolo and his sons, demonstrate how printmaking and drawing greatly increased during the period, forever changing the artistic landscape of Spain. Among Goya's works in the exhibition are the 'Tauromaquin' series, aquatint etchings of bullfighting subjects, which portrayed some of the most famous bullfighters of the day; and proofs from his 'Disasters of War' print series, demonstrating his reaction to Napoleon's invasion of Spain and the horror that followed. British Museum until 6th January.


Expanding Horizons: Giovanni Battista Lusieri And The Panoramic Landscape features the work of one of the most gifted landscape watercolourists of all time. This is the first solo exhibition ever to be devoted to Giovanni Battista Lusieri, an artist who was widely acclaimed in his lifetime but whose work has been undeservedly overlooked in the last 200 years. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, much of Lusieri's life story reads like a film script. He was employed by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, was closely involved with the removal of the Elgin Marbles from Greece to Britain, and tragically, a large proportion of his later work was destroyed at sea on the journey back from Athens after his death, leaving his reputation to descend into obscurity. One of very few Italian artists of this period to adopt watercolour as his favoured medium, Lusieri often worked on an ambitious scale, combining a broad, panoramic vision, an uncanny ability to capture brilliant Mediterranean light and a meticulous, almost photographic attention to detail. This exhibition brings together about 85 watercolours and drawings, plus his only two known works in oil. Lusieri worked principally as a painter of topographical views and close-up views of ancient monuments. He was passionately dedicated to working directly from nature, and unlike most of his contemporaries who worked in watercolour, insisted wherever possible on colouring his drawings outside, on the spot. The exhibition includes Lusieri's single most ambitious watercolour, the 9ft wide 'Bay of Naples from Palazzo Sessa', and some of his numerous views of Vesuvius erupting by moonlight, which were amongst his most popular works. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until 28th October.

Mind The Map: Inspiring Art, Design And Cartography explores the themes of journeys, identity and publicity. The Underground, London Transport and Transport for London, have produced outstanding maps and posters for over 100 years. These have not only shaped the city, but have inspired the world. The exhibition charts the tube map's evolution alongside art inspired by tube maps, older decorative maps, and vintage advertisements, and presents some interesting examples of the interaction between technical design and art. It includes previously unseen historic material by artists such as Harold McCready, Frederick Charles Herrick, MacDonald Gill, Reginald Percy Gossop, Ernest Michael Dinkel and Lewitt-Him, together with new artworks by artists including Simon Patterson, Stephen Walter, Susan Stockwell, Jeremy Wood, Claire Brewster, and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre. The display explores geographical, diagrammatic, decorative and digital transport maps, as well as the enduring influence of Harry Beck's iconic 1931 London Tube map on cartography, posters, design, art and the public imagination. One of the most interesting pieces on display is a 1928 tube map by Richard Park, which overlays a section of the tube network on top of a 1745 map of London by John Rocque, tracing modern London over much older streets. Looking in particular at the relationship between identity and place, the exhibition examines the impact maps have had on our understanding of London, and how they influence the way we navigate and engage with our surroundings. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, until 28th October.

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings brings together works by 3 artists considered radical in their time, who met with criticism for pushing the boundaries of the conventions of painting. The exhibition examines not only the art historical links and affinities between JMW Turner, Claude Monet and Cy Twombly, but suggests common characteristics and motivations underlying the style in their later works. Between them these artists form a 3 generational strand that runs through nearly 250 years of western art. The exhibition explores their fascination with light, landscape, mythology, mortality, romanticism and the sublime - which they shared despite living in different eras - in addition to the rich painterly qualities of their work. While their respective approaches are strikingly different, all 3 artists dealt with the eternal human preoccupations of time and loss, memory and desire. Comprising over 60 works, the exhibition treats each artist in considerable depth, with rooms juxtaposing the paintings of 2, or all 3. It allows Turner and Monet to be seen within a contemporary context, while demonstrating the strong lure of classicism in the painting and sculpture of Twombly. Although the interest Monet held in the work of Turner is well documented, the passion that Twombly has for both these artists has never been fully examined before. Among the highlights are Turner's 'The Parting of Hero and Leander' seen for the first time alongside 2 works by Twombly of the same title; Turner and Monet paintings of Waterloo Bridge side by side; and 5 of Monet's greatest water lily paintings, including 'The Water-Lily Pond' and 'Water Lilies', which have never been seen in Britain before. Tate Liverpool until 28th October.