Currently browsing Exhibitions.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Until 4th November Victoria & Albert Museum   Like many others, I have a soft spot for Frida Kahlo. I admired her work as a teenager and became fascinated with her brutally honest, dream-like paintings. As a result of her deeply personal work and the physical and mental turmoil she lived through, we get a…

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Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

Until 29th July 2018 British Museum Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) may have been a ‘modern’ man but it is clear from looking at his sculptures that he was intensely inspired by the past. He said ‘Antiquity is my youth’, betraying a deeply rooted respect and admiration for the ideas and aesthetics of Ancient civilisations….

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A Pre-Raphaelite Collection Unveiled: The Cecil French Bequest

Until 3rd June 2018 Watts Gallery, Compton   After originally coming to London as an aspiring artist Cecil French (1879-1953) found his niche as a writer, poet and, perhaps most significantly, as a collector. With a taste for Romantic art the collection French amassed focussed on the Pre-Raphaelite painters, the majority of which are by his favourite artist Edward…

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Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites & Murillo: The Self Portraits

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites – until 2nd April 2018 The National Gallery, London   At the heart of this exhibition is a painting which is often perceived to be shrouded by an air of mystery. The Arnolfini Portrait, to use its most common name, was painted by Jan van Eyck in 1434. We…

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All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life

28th February – 27th August 2018 Tate Britain   Going into this exhibition I wondered what the overriding experience would be from looking back over 100 years of art through a very select number of artists. Expressions of their inner world and responses to the world around them is a theme of constant interest for us…

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Charles I: King & Collector

Royal Academy of Arts, London 27th January – 15th April 2018   In desperate anticipation for this exhibition I pre-ordered the catalogue, something I have never done before. King Charles I’s rule divided Britain, and his legacy divides opinion still. There are overriding feelings of his incompetency as a monarch, and over-ambition which ultimately led to…

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The Impressionists in London: French Artists in Exile 1870-1904 & Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

The Impressionists in London: French Artists in Exile 1870-1904, Tate Britain, until 7th May 2018 The first room of this vast exhibition focusses on the Franco-Prussian and Civil War in Paris, the reason many Impressionist artists fled the city in the 1870s. Art created during any time of conflict has the ability to communicate something significant at…

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El Greco to Goya – Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum

Wallace Collection, London Until 7th January 2018   The Bowes Museum has been on my list of places to visit for some time now, so when the Wallace Collection announced that they would be showing a selection of their Spanish masterpieces I knew that it would be an unmissable opportunity. The two intimate galleries display paintings that…

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Sargent: The Watercolours

Until 8th October 2017 Dulwich Picture Gallery, London   John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) is an artist whose name conjures visions of grand portraits on enormous canvases, depicted in his inimitable signature style. But there was so much more to him than that, and just to be remembered as a society portraitist would almost certainly have been…

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Raphael: The Drawings

The Ashmolean, Oxford Until 3rd September 2017 Michelangelo wrote of Raphael in a letter “everything he knew about art he got from me”. Like his predecessor, Raphael was a master draughtsman, able to draw accurately and rapidly, but also with that rare ability of committing his thoughts to paper confidently, translating ideas into lines, defining and…

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Giovanni da Rimini: A 14th-Century Masterpiece Unveiled

National Gallery, London Until 8th October 2017   I dropped into the National Gallery in London last week, keen to see the latest Room 1 exhibition; Giovanni da Rimini: A 14th-Century Masterpiece Unveiled. I love religious art of the 14th century, with its gold backdrops, symbolic colours and mystical depictions of saints and bible stories….

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Masterpiece London, 2017

  29th June – 5th July 2017 Last night I visited Masterpiece London, the annual art and antiques fair, for the first time. Now in its eighth year, the venue in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea brought together 153 of the leading galleries and dealers from London and internationally. Spanning 7,000 years the…

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Cagnacci’s Repentant Magdalene and Rubens & Rembrandt at the National Gallery

I dropped into the National Gallery recently to catch the latest Room 1 display; Cagnacci’s Repentant Magdalene (on until 21st May 2017). I really love these small displays. The selections are always wonderful, spotlighting works that are generally obscure, providing an accessible and inspiring experience. The Repentant Magdalene (1660-61) was painted by the little-known Guido Cagnacci and is widely-regarded…

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Michelangelo & Sebastiano

15th March – 25th June 2017 National Gallery, London When it was announced that the National Gallery was putting on an exhibition to combine the titan Michelangelo with the lesser-known artist Sebastiano del Piombo, I was worried that there would be an imbalance. Although del Piombo is undoubtedly one of the most important painters of the first…

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Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932

Royal Academy of Arts, London 11th February – 17th April 2017   This week I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to the private view of the RA’s latest blockbuster, Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932. I didn’t know what to expect, as my art history knowledge is shamefully limited to Western Art. I know of the…

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The Camden Town Group: Art for the Edwardian Era

The Lightbox, Woking Until 22nd January 2017   Art is always a good indicator of what is going on historically at any given time or place, whether a product of it or a reaction against it. When Queen Victoria’s rule in England ended in Britain, the dawning of the Edwardian era brought about a feeling of…

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Beyond Caravaggio

National Gallery, London Until 15th January 2017   A day before my birthday this year, Beyond Caravaggio opened. It could have been coincidence, or perhaps the National Gallery planned it especially for me. Either way, I knew what I would be spending my birthday doing. This exhibition is a survey of the enormous influence of Caravaggio (1571-1610)…

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Painting with Light: Art & Photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Modern Age

Tate Britain, London Until 25th September   Any show with Pre-Raphaelite or Impressionist works in are always popular, but can sometimes be a matter ‘style over substance’. This Tate show has done something unique, focusing on the very close relationship of photographers and artists, and their interchangeability. The two art forms – and we see…

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Botticelli Reimagined

5th March – 3rd July 2016 V&A Museum, London   We all know Botticelli. We know his deptictions of beautiful Venuses and Virgin Marys, or portraits of rich young men in their finery. His is a name that evokes a mysterious and magical style, always with an undertone of the spiritual, mythological or intellectual. He fused tradition…

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Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art

National Gallery, until 22nd May 2016 King of the French Romantics, Delacroix has long been a favourite of mine. In this groundbreaking exhibition the enduring legacy of a revolutionary painter is explored, hanging his works beside those of his descendents. He had said that paint was ‘only the pretext, only the bridge between the mind of…

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John Constable: Observing the Weather

Until 8th May 2016 The Lightbox, Woking   Constable, a name that is synonymous with our idealised image of the English countryside, is not all that he seems. Firstly, he was a rebel, pioneering new ideas, styles and methods throughout his career. Because of this he did not fit into the Royal Academy’s pedagogic view…

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Brothers in Art: Drawings by Watts and Leighton & Julia Margaret Cameron

Brothers in Art: Drawings by Watts and Leighton Watts Gallery until 19th February 2016   Julia Margaret Cameron V&A Museum until 21st February 2016   To catch up with my lack of gallery visit over Christmas and January, I saw a couple of exhibitions which are closing soon. It was good to see them in succession like this…

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Goya: The Portraits

7th October 2015 – 10 January 2016 National Gallery, London   After seeing an exhibition of Goya‘s drawings earlier this year I was excited to see this exhibition, showing a totally different side to the artist. The Courtauld’s collection of witches and old women gave us Goya’s imagination unleashed, creations of nightmarish figures and macabre scenes; whereas…

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The Art of Bedlam – Richard Dadd

16th June – 1st November, Watts Gallery   A couple of weekends ago I visited the Richard Dadd exhibition at Watts Gallery. I had heard of the artist and had seen an image of one of his paintings in a book, but I had not done my usual reading-up on him. This turned out to be…

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Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art

The British Museum, 26 March – 5 July 2015   Beauty is something that is easily identifiable and usually unquestionable. Marilyn Monroe: beautiful. Sunsets: beautiful. Kittens: beautiful. A beautiful thing has the power to make us gaze in wonder, admire nature and contemplate life. But how has the concept of what we consider to be…

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