News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 27th October 2010


Cezanne's Card Players is the first exhibition to focus on the these famous paintings of peasant card players and pipe smokers. They have

long been considered to be among Paul Cezanne's most iconic and powerful paintings, standing alongside his 'Bathers' series as the most ambitious and complex figurative works of his career. The exhibition brings together the most comprehensive group of these works ever assembled, including 3 of the 'Card Players' paintings, 5 of the most outstanding peasant portraits, and the majority of the rarely seen preparatory drawings, watercolours and oil studies. Cezanne's depictions of card players was one of his most ambitious projects and occupied him for several years. It resulted in 5 closely related canvases of different sizes, showing men seated at a rustic table playing cards. Alongside these he produced a larger number of paintings of the individual farm workers who appear in the 'Card Players' compositions, major examples of which are reunited here for the first time. Cezanne devoted himself to his peasant card players, often repeating his compositions, striving to express the essence of these sun-beaten farm workers whom he found so compelling. Rather than posing his models as a group playing cards, Cezanne made studies of them individually, and only brought them together as opponents on the canvas itself. The men are not shown as rowdy drinkers and gamblers, in the way that, for centuries, peasants had been depicted in rural genre paintings. Rather, they are stoical and completely absorbed in the time-honoured ritual of their game. The Courtauld Gallery, London, until 16th January.

Tutankhamun - His Tomb And His Treasures breaks new ground in the presentation of cultural history - 'virtual archaeology'. It is a complete recreation of the tomb of the Egyptian God King Tutankhamun, as it was discovered by archaeologist Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. Visitors experience the wonder of over 1,000 burial artefacts - perfect replicas produced under the scientific supervision of renowned Egyptologists - in the space in which they were buried 3,300 years ago, and close enough to touch. The tomb contained not only the coffin of the king, but also golden shrines, statues, jewellery, cult objects, chests, chairs, amulets, weapons, a golden chariot, and the jars that contained the king's preserved organs, as well as the legendary golden death mask. These items were intended to equip the young Pharaoh on his journey to the afterlife. Owing to the delicate and immensely valuable nature of original historical artefacts, removing them from the safe and carefully controlled confines of a museum environment presents huge risks, no matter how much care is taken, and increasingly, many historic treasures can no longer even be viewed in museums. So, instead of displaying a mere handful of the original treasures locked away at a distance behind glass barriers, in this exhibition it is as if visitors are actually reliving the events of the historic excavation, and viewing the world famous treasures as though they were there themselves. In addition, there is a display about how Howard Carter made the discovery of the tomb. Museum of Museums, The Trafford Centre, Manchester, until 27th February.

Explore History: 1940 marks the 70th anniversary of a year in which momentous events determined the eventual outcome of the Second World War: Churchill's rise to power, the introduction of rationing, the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz. The exhibition showcases some of the icons of 1940, such as the Spitfire, the 'hero' of the Battle of Britain; Tamzine, one of the famous 'little ships' that played such a significant role in Operation 'Dynamo' at Dunkirk; personal items belonging to Pilot Officer Frederick Cecil Harrold, who was killed when his Hurricane was shot down on 28th September 1940, including his pilot 'wings', and a dented cigarette case; and Sapper Alexander Graham King's accordion, which he played on the beaches of Dunkirk in a bid to boost morale during the evacuation. The display, encompassing films, photographs, sound recordings, documents, art, books, artefacts and ephemera, is accompanied by multimedia touchscreens offering visitors the chance to explore the stories behind each exhibit and event of 1940. Imperial War Museum, London continuing.


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.

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.


Blackpool Illuminations have extended the holiday season and entertained visitors to the seaside town since 1879, when 8 plain electric arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as 'artificial sunshine'. While the basic idea remains the same, the style and scale of Blackpool's end of season electrical extravaganza have little in common with that first experiment in lighting. Traditional lamps are still used, but now alongside the newest technology such as lasers, fibre-optics, low-voltage neon and even real fire and water. The show now costs £2.4m to stage, and stretches for 6 miles of spectacular colour, light and movement. New features this year include Fear The Glampire, a glamorous, gothic creation designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; Dino Doom, a fantasy-inspired dinosaur attack in a spectacular large tableau, flooded with lighting effects and projections; Haunted Blackpool, genuine Blackpool ghost stories depicted in a spooky feature using projections and dramatic sounds and lights; and Fountainsey Island, with Gynn Island converted into a bright and colourful water paradise, awash with a mix of electronic fountains, water-based features and lights.Visitors can become part of the display, as they travel along the Promenade aboard a tram dressed up by lights as a wild west train, ocean liner or space rocket, from dusk to 11.30pm most nights. Blackpool Promenade, until 7th November.

Industrial Revolutionaries: People Who Shaped The Modern World spans 150 years of industrial history, looking at the personalities that helped create the modern world, and then fought to redress the resulting problems of inequality through radical social reform and political activism. Delving in to the lives of key individuals, and the movements they created, this exhibition reveals their influence, political history and global impact through over 70 objects, including Joseph Wright of Derby's portrait of Richard Arkwright; a model of Horrockses Yard Works; a Tee-Total teapot; a newly conserved tram wagon; Preston Prison whipping horse; specially recorded versions of street ballads; and unseen archive footage by filmmakers Will Onda and Mitchell and Kenyon. The individuals featured are: Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the water-frame, entrepreneur and developer of the factory system; Charles Dickens, who visited Preston during the lock-out and strike of 1853, influencing his novel Hard Times; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who wrote about these events, seeing them as a test case for proletarian revolution; Elizabeth Gaskell, who fictionalised weaver and orator George Cowell in her novel North and South; Joseph Livesey, champion of the poor and temperence campaigner; Henry Hunt, a radical MP and people's hero; Father Joseph 'Daddy' Dunn, who was instrumental in Preston being the first gas-lit town in Britain; Rev John Clay, chaplain and reformer in crime and public health; Annie Hill, child mill worker whose portrait was painted by artist Patti Mayor; and John and Samuel Horrocks, industrial innovators who developed the Yard Works and created Britain's largest cotton-manufacturing company. Harris Museum, Preston, until 6th November.

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.