Gainsborough and the Theatre, The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2, until 20th January 2019

Nathaniel Dance (1735 – 1811), ‘True but every goose can…’, c.1781, pencil, black chalk and coloured washes on laid paper©The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

There is much to enjoy in this exhibition that links the world of 18th century theatre in Bath and London through portraits by Gainsborough, works on paper and contemporary theatrical ephemera. The portraits – hung correctly at chest height  – are “real” people rather than elegant society portraits as is often the case with Gainsborough’s depictions of musical and literary friends.

Mrs Siddons, Thomas Gainsborough, 1785 © The National Gallery, London

Mrs Siddons, Thomas Gainsborough, 1785 © The National Gallery, London

Among them you will discover David Garrick, Thomas Linley, Auguste Vestris and Sarah Siddons. Near to the latter’s ravishing portrait are some contemporary small sketches of the work which are interesting since as a print was never made of the portrait those making the drawings had to have seen the original work. Sarah Siddons is buried in the churchyard (open space) near Paddington Green Church just near the Marylebone Flyover in London.

I was especially delighted to meet up with Richard Tickell once more as I had seen his beautiful portrait on visits to Phoebe, Lady Hillingdon many years ago. It is an image that has remained in my memory ever since. Tickell was born in Bath and married Mary, Thomas Linley’s daughter and so were they a part of this group of friends which also included Sheridan.

Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Linley the elder, c. 1770, oil on canvas. By Permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Linley the elder, c. 1770, oil on canvas, 76.5 x 63.5, DPG140. By Permission of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

The singer Petula Clark in her 1998 poem ‘The Theatre’ says in the last verse:

“So here we are in this hallowed place, sharing a special time and space.
I hadn’t realized before, but maybe that’s what the theatre is for,
to bring us together, to make us see that the magic is not just some fantasy
tho’ we all need some fantasy.
No, the magic you see is in you, in me.
It’s a funny thing, the theatre. “

Well to my mind this exhibition does just that with the 18th century theatrical world of Gainsborough’s Bath and London.

 

www.holburne.org

Masterpiece London 2018, Royal Hospital Chelsea, South Grounds, London SW3 4LW, 28th June – 4th July 2018 (Preview: Wednesday 27th June)

Chelsea Pieta RW (1) a

A CHELSEA PIETA Circa 1761 Modelled by Joseph Willems (born in Brussels, 1715, died in Tournai, Belgium, 1766) 38.5 cm high Gold Anchor mark to reverse. E & H Manners

It really shows how time flies when one considers that the first Masterpiece was held in 2010 and hasn’t it continued to provide a scintillating cross-section of all the arts whether ancient, contemporary, fine or decorative? This year’s Fair, with its ‘reworked layout’ will no doubt see many collectors, curators and first-time buyers visit as well as those who just want to experience seeing the best on offer.

I have included a small selection of pieces which have particularly caught my eye.

hurst

An 18th Century German ormolu mounted marquetry commode in the manner of DavidRoentgen, the marble a later replacement, c. 1780. Measurements: w: 52.8” (134cm), h: 34.6” (88cm), d: 28.7” (73cm). Edward Hurst Ltd

 

Opening hours:

Preview (by invitation) on Wednesday 27 June, 11am – 9pm

Thursday 28 June, 11am – 9pm

Friday 29 June, 11am – 9pm

Saturday 30 June, 11am – 7pm

Sunday 1 July, 11am – 7pm

Monday 2 July, 11am – 9pm

Tuesday 3 July, 11am – 9pm

Wednesday 4 July, 11am – 9pm

RBC are the Principal Sponsor of Masterpiece London 2018.

New Art Centre 1

William Turnbull, Pandora, 1958-62, 156.2 x 120.6 x 22.9 cm. New Art Centre

 

3. SJP - 18th century German carved gold mounted quartz box, attributed to Hoffmann

An 18th century German gold mounted quartz box, attributed to Friedrich Ludwig Hoffmann, Berlin c.1760. S. J. Phillips

 

Mario_Dilitz_No174_2_S

Mario Dilitz, Austrian, b.1973 Boxing Boy with long Shorts (Artwork No. 174), Oak and red glue, 2018, 6 unique versions 96cm h x 35cm w x 20cm d, Sladmore Contemporary

 

Egyptian bust of bes

An Egyptian Limestone Bust of Bes Ptolemaic, Circa 3rd – 2nd Century BC? Kallos Gallery

 

49 - Monet

Claude Monet Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas Painted: circa 1918-20 Medium: Oil on canvas Size: 381⁄4” x 51” / 97cm x 130cm. Gladwell & Patterson

 

4. KRA - Pair of Louis XVI dishes on stands, Paris, 1785

A striking pair of Louis XVI dishes on stands made in Paris in 1785 and 1789 by the French silversmiths Henri Auguste and Robert Joseph Auguste. Engraved with the coronet and monogram of the infamous Harriet, Duchess of St Albans. Warmers added by Paul Storr in 1811. Koopman Rare Art

 

Apter-Fredericks

An exceptional and large pair of nodding figures which are one of a very small number of known pairs retaining their original costumes. Chinese, Circa 1821-1850. Height 26” 66cm. Apter-Fredericks Ltd

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com;

Instagram: @masterpiecelondon; Twitter: @MasterpieceFair;

Facebook: Masterpiece London

Masterpiece London 2017 – Les Enluminures

Les Enluminures at Masterpiece London 2017, until 5th July 2017

THE “SOISSONS MISSAL”
Northeastern France (Diocese of Soissons), c. 1250-75 With 1 full-page miniature and 22 large historiated
initials by Vincent Master (active Northeast France, c.1260-90)
In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
334 x 220 mm.

This firm’s specialises, under the leadership of Sandra Hindman, in manuscripts, miniatures, rings and jewellery from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. They have garnered a colourful and rich selection of important acquisitions as these images show and one can totally understand why they number major institutions among their clients.

ROMAN OPEN-WORK HOOP “UTERE FELIX”
Roman Empire, 3rd century
Gold Weight 21.8 gr.; circumference 63.84 mm.; US size 10 5/8; UK size V

 

Histoire Ancienne jusqu’à César and Fait des Romains
In French, illuminated manuscript on parchment
With 78 miniatures by the Master of the Coronation of
Charles VI and a collaborator
France, Paris, c. 1370-80

www.lesenluminures.com

www.masterpiecefair.com

A Legacy of Beauty

JOSEPH DALTON HOOKER: A LEGACY OF BEAUTY – From Halesworth to the Himalayas, Halesworth Gallery, Steeple End, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 8LL, 1st– 19th July 2017

Sarcococca hookeriana var.digyna by Elaine Searle (Chelsea School of Botanical Art’s course director),
watercolour and graphite, 35cm high x 25cm wide.
Common plant name: Sweet box

This is a wonderful celebration of the 19th century botanist and explorer Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker OM GCSI CB PRS  who succeeded his father as Director of Kew Gardens. The works are by the pupils and alumni of the Chelsea School of Botanical Art. Their founder and director, Helen Allen said:  We are delighted that the Halesworth Gallery has invited us to exhibit botanical paintings of plants relating to, and named after, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker. We are also including other plant illustrations showing this traditional art.  This is a great opportunity for our School and its alumni, many of whom now earn their living through their painting.  We plan to show visitors the tools and the progression of creating a botanical painting, which traditionally combines art and science, through the work of present and past talented Chelsea School of Botanical Art students.”

Joseph Hooker, Director of Kew Gardens, London 1865.

“The list of plants named after Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker is extensive. Many of the species are no longer the same as they were when discovered by Hooker, some are very rare and protected. Therefore, in some cases, our artists have selected the current version to paint.  We will also be showing other botanical paintings and illustrations by our alumni.”

Echiveria x hookeri by Penny Price,
watercolour, 35cm high x 24cm wide.
Common plant name: Succulent

http://www.halesworthgallery.co.uk/

http://www.chelseaschoolofbotanicalart.co.uk/

Masterpiece London 2017 – Introduction

Masterpiece London 2017, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3, 29th June – 5th July 2017

MASTERPIECE PRESENTS
Iván Navarro
Impenetrable Room
2017
Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery

Since its inception this fair has grown into one of the most must-visit events of the art and antiques year. Some thirty-seven thousand visitors last year! It attracts museum directors and private collectors from all over the world to see the artworks shown by a hundred and fifty international dealers. The artworks range from antiquity to the present time. The Royal Bank of Canada is once again the principal sponsor

This year the new MASTERPIECE PRESENTS will reveal a large-scale dedicated exhibition space at the entrance which has been transformed by a special artwork – Impenetrable Room, 2017. Created by the Chilean artist Iván Navarro it has been commissioned by the New York-based Paul Kasmin Gallery who are new exhibitors.

Over the coming days I look forward to sharing blogs on some of the leading dealers taking part.

www.masterpiecefair.com

The 2017 Summer Olympia Art & Antiques Fair

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14, 26th June – 2nd July 2017

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill who will be speaking at The Art & Antiques Fair on ‘Incorporating Antiques in Design’ on Thursday 29 June at 12.30-13.30.

This is this fair’s forty-fifth year and as ever potentially offers much to its visitors. There is no doubt that change is inevitable and that emphasis and focus changes as one generation of collectors is succeeded by another. Styles of living change and what may have been our ideal does not necessarily resonate with our children and grandchildren.

It is therefore probably a sound idea to launch an Interior Design Talk Series at this year’s fair. The speakers include Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Douglas Mackie, Christopher Vane Percy, April Russel, Emma Burns from Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler, Susie Rumbold and Caroline de Cabarrus from Hotspur Design and the wide-ranging topics covered include Incorporating Antiques in Design and how to Decorate your House in a Day.

The fair’s director Mary Claire Boyd said, ‘We are excited about our new Interior Design Talk Series. There is a strong demand for advice from experts on how to incorporate art and antiques into interiors and previous designer talks have been very well attended. We are taking it to the next level this year by hosting top designers throughout the run of the fair.’ Perfect for inspiration to go out into the fair afterwards and buy!

It is also interesting to note that the number of picture dealers attending this year’s fair will be double that of last year’s. This increase is made up by new and some returning former exhibitors. The Chicago-based show, Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA) who first showed three-dimensional contemporary art and design last year also returns.

Galerie Boccara
Sonia Delaunay.
Serpent Noir’, wool tapestry,151 x 308cm

As these changes evolve over the Fairs I wish this Olympia Fair a fair wind in its voyage to different waters.

http://www.olympia-art-antiques.com

Anime Architecture

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition:

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan, Main Gallery at House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1, until 10th September 2017

Background illustration for Ghost in the Shell cut 341 by Hiromasa Ogura
©1995


Being totally unfamiliar with Anime, this exhibition came as a delightful surprise.  The technique involved in producing these films seems quite complicated but the results are well worth the trouble.
Perhaps the most well-known anime film is Ghost In The Shell, recently remade as a live action film with Scarlett Johansson who looks as much like a Japanese as I look like Scarlett Johansson – the beard of course doesn’t help!
Hiromasa Ogura’s watercolours for the anime Ghost In The Shell are on display and are based on photographs of Hong Kong and depict a slightly exaggerated contrast between a derelict Chinese town and the extreme development of the urban space.  They are quite haunting and intriguing and somewhat reminiscent of film noir of the forties and fifties.

Concept Design for Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence by Takashi Watabe
© 2004 Shirow Masamune KODANSHA

Pencil drawings by Takashi Watabe whose fantastically realistic style has become a hallmark for Japanese anime films are also on display.
By the end of the exhibition I was very keen to see an anime film and in the last room of the exhibition my wish was granted as there are three short excerpts from two anime films.  I now look forward to watching more on DVD.

 

 

 

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays

 

houseofillustration.org.uk.