News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 20th October 2010

Commencing

Venice: Canaletto And His Rivals presents the finest assembly of 18th century views of arguably the most paintable city in the world to be seen in a generation. The exhibition brings together around 60 major works, highlighting the extraordinary variety of Venetian view painting, juxtaposing masterpieces by Canaletto with key works by other artists, including Luca Carlevarijs, Michele Marieschi, Bernardo Bellotto and Francesco Guardi. In the first half of the 18th century, aristocratic travellers fuelled a highly competitive market for Venetian view painting, which saw artists jostling for commissions and fame. Together, they immortalised some of the best loved landmarks of the city, including the Grand Canal, the Piazza San Marco, the Rialto, the Molo, Santa Maria della Salute and the Lagoon. The exhibition features some of Canaletto's greatest masterpieces, including 'The Riva degli Schiavoni, looking West', 'The Stonemason's Yard', 'The Piazza San Marco, looking East', 'The Molo from the Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day', 'The Reception of the French Ambassador Jacques-Vincent Languet…', 'The Entrance to the Grand Canal, looking West, with Santa Maria della Salute' and 'The Grand Canal with San Simeone Piccolo and the Scalzi'. Highlights of the works by other artists include 'The Molo from the Bacino di San Marco' by Gaspare Vanvitelli the founding father of Italian view painting; Carlevarijs's 'The Reception of the British Ambassador Charles Montagu…'; Marieschi's 'The Rialto Bridge from the Riva del Vin'; Bellotto's 'The Piazzetta, looking North'; and Guardi's 'View of the Venetian Lagoon with the Tower of Malghera'. National Gallery until 16th January.

Honest Pots explores the unpretentious beauty of handmade, functional English pottery, from medieval jugs, through country pottery, to contemporary studio ceramics. The exhibition highlights the influences and themes that stretch across the genres and periods. The diverse range of works includes pieces by Bernard Leach, Phil Eglin, Paul Young and Takeshi Yasuda. Each display case in the exhibition explores the many local links and stories, such as the contrast of work by one of Yorkshire's last traditional country potters, Isaac Button, alongside works by modern country potter Doug Fitch, who is based in Devon. Another case shows how studio potters have interpreted traditional forms in more radical ways, such as Alison Britton's double jug form, and Simon Carroll's dish form. Several large country pots are exhibited uncased - a set of nested pancheons, a big bottomless jar and a large cistern. A collaborative work by textile artist Alice Kettle and potter Alex McErlain, features a large machine embroidered textile and a ceramic Harvest Jug. Two films contrast the traditional country potter with a modern counterpart. 'Isaac Button: Country Potter' is one of the most famous pottery films ever made, while Alex McErlain's 'Hollyford Harvest' is a new film about contemporary potter Doug Fitch. Ceramics by McErlain and Fitch are included in the handling area of the gallery, allowing visitors to get a closer look at the styles and techniques they employ. York Art Gallery until 8th October 2011.

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power And Brilliance showcases the most important British portrait painter of his generation, and explores his development as one of the most celebrated and influential artists in Europe at the start of the 19th century. The first exhibition of works by Thomas Lawrence in London for over 30 years offers an opportunity to experience the beauty and virtuosity of his paintings, and also re-examine them in the light of recent scholarship on the art of the Regency period. Beginning as a child prodigy working in pastels, Thomas Lawrence succeeded Joshua Reynolds as Britain's greatest portrait painter. With the temperament and flair to capture the glamour of the age, Lawrence created the image of Regency high society with dazzling brushwork and an innovative use of colour. His international reputation was ensured when the Prince Regent commissioned portraits of all the foreign leaders involved in the downfall of Napoleon. The 54 portraits on view, many of which are rarely seen in public, are Lawrence's greatest paintings and drawings, conveying the power and originality of his work. These include portraits of Charles William Lambton, the famous 'Red Boy', Elizabeth Farren, three portraits of Pope Pius VII, Field Marshall Gebhardt von Blucher and Charles, Archduke of Austria. Providing a fresh understanding of Lawrence and his career, the exhibition explores both his technical innovations as a draughtsman and painter, and his unprecedented international reputation. It also places him within the broader contexts of the aesthetic debates, networks of patronage and international politics of his day. National Portrait Gallery until 23rd January.

Continuing

Gauguin: Maker Of Myth traces the unique approach to storytelling of one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the late 19th century. The exhibition challenges commonly held assumptions about Paul Gauguin and his work, revealing the complexity and richness of his narratives, and exploring the myths and fables that were central to his creativity. Bringing together almost 200 of Gauguin's works, the show features many of his iconic paintings, including 'Vision of the Sermon', 'Teha'amana has Many Parents', 'The Loss of Virginity', 'Nevermore', 'Yellow Christ' and 'The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch', together with self portraits such as 'Self-portrait as Christ in the Garden of Olives' and 'Self-portrait with Manau tu papau'. Inspired by Tahiti's tropical flora, fauna and daily island life, during his self impose exile, Gauguin also immersed himself in its fast disappearing local culture to invest his art with deeper meaning, ritual and myth. While Tahiti revitalised Gauguin's artistic output, the works were a continuation of his earlier paintings made in Brittany, Martinique and Arles, in which he first explored ideas around religion, fable, myth and tradition. The exhibition reflects Gauguin's breadth of approach by including examples from throughout his career, and in a wide range of media, from painting and watercolour, to ceramics, carvings and decorated objects. These are shown alongside rarely seen illustrated letters, sketchbooks, memoirs and journalism, revealing intimate insights into his working practices and thought processes. Tate Modern until 16th January.

The Roman Baths have reopened following a 5 year £5.5m restoration and development programme. The site includes Britain's only hot springs, the most complete suite of Roman baths in northern Europe, magnificent architectural and sculptural remains from the Temple of Sulis Minerva, and the Pump Room, the social heart of the city in the 18th century. The work was concentrated in 3 areas: Conservation, the cleaning and consolidation of Roman masonry and the Victorian balustrades and statues above it, employing both traditional techniques and the innovative use of laser technology; Access, the introduction of lifts to transport visitors with mobility difficulties down 20ft through the listed building and ancient monument from today's street level to the Roman level, with more of the site open and visible to the public; and Interpretation, an innovative approach that tells the story of the Baths and Temple using men and women, priests and pilgrims, miltiary and civilian, local and well-travelled from Roman times - which includes the presence of some of these characters as costumed interpreters around the Baths - all based upon inscriptions and sculptures recording people in Aquae Sulis (Roman Bath) - plus more of the original artifacts on display, and the introduction of interactive exhibits. Visitors now enter the Temple Courtyard through the archway that was used by the Romans, making it easier to understand how the complex space was used in Roman times. A theatre style space has been created in the Temple Pediment, where people can sit down and spend time viewing the exhibit, and a projection sequence reveals how the carvings looked 2,000 years ago. The Roman Baths, Bath, continuing.

Treasures From Budapest: European Masterpieces From Leonardo To Schiele showcases the breadth and wealth of one of the finest collections of art in Central Europe. The exhibition features over 200 works, and includes paintings, drawings and sculpture from the early Renaissance to the 20th century, many of which have not previously been shown in Britain, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Goya, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Durer, Tintoretto, Nicolas Poussin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Egon Schiele, Marc Chagall, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso. The show is organised broadly chronologically, with thematic sections that consider the richness of the collections in relation to religious works, mythological subjects, portraiture, still lifes and landscape painting. Among the highlights are the 4m high 'St Andrew Altarpiece from Liptoszentandras'; Raphael's 'Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist' (The Esterhazy Madonna); Goya's 'Water-carrier'; Veronese's 'Portrait of a Man'; Rubens's 'Head of a Bearded Man'; Rembrandt's 'Saskia van Uylenburgh Sitting by a Window'; Canaletto's 'The Lock at Dolo'; Leonardo's 'Mounted Warrior'; Toulouse-Lautrec's 'These Women in the Dining Room'; and Schiele's 'Two Women Embracing'. Royal Academy of Arts until 12th December.

Strawberry Hill the finest example of Georgian Gothic revival architecture in Britain has reopened to the public after a 2 year, £8.9m restoration programme. Horace Walpole built Strawberry Hill as a summer villa beside the Thames at Twickenham between 1747 and 1790, and designed the interiors together with architects including Robert Adam. Walpole was one of the most important English collectors of the 18th century, and one of the best known commentators on the social, political and cultural life of his time. The house provided the setting for his collection encompassing paintings, ceramics, glass, silverware, sculpture, furniture, portrait miniatures, arms and armour, historical relics, and rare books and manuscripts. There are 25 show rooms on the ground and 1st floors, which have been meticulously restored, based on Walpole's descriptions in numerous letters to his friends, and specially commissioned drawings by John Carter, and paintings by Heinrich Muntz, recording its appearance. During the work large areas of gothic trompe l'oeil decoration were found on the stairs and landing, dating from the 1750s and the 1790s. On entering, visitors can see Walpole's 'Beauty Room' preserved with its various layers exposed: the wooden panelling of the original small house begun in1698; a gothic fireplace designed by Richard Bentley; Walpole's windows, shutters and painted glass; a closet with a colourful 'bird' paper from the 19th century; a section of William Morris wallpaper dating from the 1930s; and a glass panel in the floor revealing the intricate working of the bell system. The core of the garden is also being restored to its original 18th century design, with the Open Grove of lime trees being reinstated, as well as the Priors Garden and shell bench. Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Surrey, continuing.

Epic Of The Persian Kings: The Art Of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh brings together nearly 100 paintings from lavishly illustrated manuscripts spanning 800 years. The exhibition explores the monumental artistic legacy of one of the world's greatest literary epics: the 1000 year old Persian 'Book of Kings', or Shahnameh. It is an epic narrative poem telling the 'Iranian version' of the history of the world, mixing royal history with the mythical and supernatural, from the creation of the world and the first men through to the fall of the Persian Empire in the 7th century AD. Twice as long as the Iliad and Odyssey put together, and only finished after 35 years, it is the longest recorded poem ever written by a single author. Completed by the poet Ferdowsi in 1010 AD, it is an icon of Persian culture, inspiring some of the world's most exquisite manuscripts, bringing its warring kings, heroes, dragons and demons to life. Embellished with gold, lapis lazuli and other precious pigments, these manuscripts juxtapose fantastical portrayals of terrifying demons and monstrous creatures with astonishingly expressive depictions of human emotion, from scenes of tender affection to fiercely violent struggles, set against backdrops of beautifully detailed landscapes, and peopled by crowds of onlookers, who spill over the pages and peep at the scenes contained within. As well as these manuscripts, the exhibition brings together ceramics, metalwork and painting on silk, whose imagery was inspired by the poem's amalgam of history, myth and legend, from frieze tiles to ornate bowls, and even an Iranian saddle of the type depicted under horsemen throughout the manuscripts. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 9th January.

Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness And Magic features the work of one of the boldest and most powerfully inventive artists and personalities of the Italian 17th century. Salvator Rosa invented new types of painting: allegorical pictures, distinguished by a haunting and melancholy poetry; fanciful portraits of romantic and enigmatic figures; macabre and horrific subjects; and philosophical subjects, bringing into painting some of the major philosophical and scientific concerns of his age. Rosa's early works, particularly the landscapes, are bright and rich in picturesque motifs - crumbling towers, boats on the seashore, colourful travellers crossing perilous bridges, bandits lying in wait in rocky ravines - but he moved towards a grander style, and his mature art is characterised by a free technique, rich chiaroscuro and dark but strong colours creating a suggestive atmosphere. The exhibition ranges from self-portraits and other fanciful portraits to landscapes - pastoral, heroic and anchorite. Some of these are stark works, and the power of the elements pulses through them, of wind, water, fire and cloud. They are linked in theme to the paintings of magic and science, conveying a 17th century sense of the awesome grandeur of the natural world revealed by the new science. Highlights include 'Archytas', 'Lucrezia as Poetry', 'Allegory of Fortune', 'The Death of Empedocles', 'Jason Charming the Dragon', 'The Death of Regulus', 'The Frailty of Human Life' and 'Witches at their Incantations'. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 28th November.

Concluding

Victoria & Albert: Art & Love examines the unique partnership of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their shared enthusiasm for art. The exhibition focuses on the period of Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert, from the time of their engagement in 1839 to the Prince's death in 1861, and challenges the popular image of Queen Victoria - the melancholy widow of 40 years. Through 402 works, including paintings, drawings, photographs, musical scores, jewellery and sculpture, Victoria emerges as a romantic and open minded young woman. For Victoria and Albert, art was an important part of everyday life, and a way they expressed their love for each other. Around a third of the objects in the exhibition were exchanged as gifts between the couple to mark special occasions. They range from the simple and sentimental, such as a set of jewellery in the form of orange blossom, to examples of early Italian painting, including Bernardo Daddi's 'The Marriage of the Virgin', and Perugino's 'Saint Jerome in Penitence', both given by the Queen to the Prince for his birthday. Personal items include never before seen drawings from Victoria's sketchbook, including a self portrait and sketches of her children, and the manuscript of a song, annotated by Victoria: 'Composed by dear Albert at Windsor Castle & sent to me by him Jan. 5. 1840. Among the highlights are a 'secret' portrait of the Queen and an 8sqm painting of the couple and their first 5 children by Franz Xaver Winterhalter; Victoria's elaborate silk costume for the Stuart ball in 1851, designed by Eugene Lami; a throne and footstool, carved from ivory, a gift from the Maharaja of Travancore; a gilt table fountain inspired by the Moorish architecture of the Alhambra palace, with horses modeled on Arabs from the royal stable; and an Erard grand piano, with a gilded case painted with monkeys playing trumpets, tambourines and violins. The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 31st October.

Toy Boats charts how miniature ocean liners, paddle steamers and battleships once captured the imagination of generations of children. The exhibition features over 100 toys, games, catalogues and photographs revealing how the craze for all things maritime drove toy companies to make toy boats of every size and description. It explores the range of toy boats made by European manufacturers from 1850 to 1950, a period marked by rapid advances in maritime technology. As nations raced each other to build bigger and better ships, toy makers were swift to exploit the publicity and follow up with toys that captured the spirit of these famous vessels. Toymakers experimented with a range of technology to power the boats, from twisted rubber bands and clockwork springs to burners producing steam, and early batteries. Late 19th century town planning introduced parks with decorative ponds and fountains, which gave children a space to play with toy boats. This, along with the increase in family seaside holidays, created an appeal which inspired toy makers to compete in creating finer and more sophisticated ships, which also appealed to adults as collectors' curios. Among the highlights are: Dolphin, one of the oldest clockwork ship models in the world, crafted by a family carpenter for the Duke of Northumberland in 1822; HMS Terrible, a large and very rare steam propelled battleship made in Germany around 1905; Hohenzollern, a clockwork propelled replica of Kaiser Wilhelm II's yacht, made around 1900; a rare build-your-own wooden model kit produced to commemorate the launch of RMS Queen Mary in 1936; Italia, a steam propelled cruiser, measuring nearly a metre long, made in France in 1885; and Salamandre, a steam propelled battleship, made of tinplate, copper and wood, with a team of 32 wooden sailors and a small clockwork torpedo boat. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, until 31st October.

Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance And The Camera provides an insight into photographic images made surreptitiously or without the explicit permission of those depicted. Spanning a variety of 'lens-based media' from the late 19th century to the present day, the exhibition offers an illuminating and provocative perspective on subjects both iconic and taboo. Aided and abetted by the camera, voyeurism and surveillance provoke questions about who is looking at whom, and whether for power or for pleasure. The show examines the history of what might be called 'invasive looking' by bringing together more than 250 works of photography and film by well known figures including Brassai, Guy Bourdin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank,Nan Goldin, Dorothea Lange, Lee Miller, Thomas Ruff, Paul Strand, Weegee and Garry Winogrand, plus images made by amateur photographers, press photographers, and automatic systems such as CCTV. Taking the idea of the unseen photographer as its starting point, the show includes images of clandestine, informal or candid situations, impromptu and even intimate moments, made by photographers who have worked in ingenious and inventive ways, often using small or easily concealed cameras. The exhibition includes examples of erotic photography, the cult of celebrity and the paparazzi, and the phenomenon of surveillance. Highlights include images from Brassai's Secret Paris of the 1930s, Walker Evans's subway portraits, Weegee's photographs of Marilyn Monroe, and recent work by artists and photographers such as Philip-Lorca di Corcia and Shizuka Yokomizo. Tate Modern until 30th October.