Enlightened Princesses

Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World, Kensington Palace, until November 2017

Queen Caroline of Ansbach, Joseph Highmore c.1735,
Royal Collection Trust c Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

This fascinating exhibition has come to Kensington Palace from the Yale Center for British Art where it understandably attracted so much interest while there. It considers the part played by three German Protestant princesses at the court of the Hanoverian Kings who ruled 18th century Britain. A legacy that can still be seen in today’s monarchy.

Enlightened Princesses – Installation view
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

The three princesses concerned are Caroline, consort of George II; her daughter-in-law Augusta, who was married to Frederick Prince of Wales and Charlotte (Augusta’s daughter-in-law), consort of George III. In many senses they were the right women in the right place as Britain was embracing the ideas of the Enlightenment and the princesses’ intelligence and curiosity combined with their exalted status allowed them to foster and support the new ideas.

Queen Charlotte, Johann Joseph Zoffany 1771,
Royal Collection Trust c Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Scientists, authors and even musicians such as Handel were all drawn to their drawing rooms. They encouraged medical advances such as inoculation and were involved in the establishment of London’s Foundling Hospital. Plants and wildlife were another interest that all three shared and Kew Gardens is part of that legacy. They also supported British trade and manufacturing.

Enlightened Princesses – Installation view
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

The exhibition succeeds in bringing both their private and public world to life.  The Yale Center for British Art’s director Amy Meyers sums it up: “Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte had sweeping intellectual, social, cultural, and political interests, which helped to shape the courts in which they lived, and encouraged the era’s greatest philosophers, scientists, artists, and architects to develop important ideas that would guide ensuing generations”.

The Flying Squirrel, Plate T-77, Mark Catesby
c The Royal Board of Trustees of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

www.hrp.org.uk

Christening robe made for future George IV, ivory silk satin c. 1760
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

Ancient Landscapes Portrayed

‘British Art: Ancient Landscapes’, The Salisbury Museum, The King’s House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN, until 3rd September 2017

Alan Sorrell (1904–1974)
Sunrise Over Stonehenge
Watercolour on Paper
The Salisbury Museum

I am really grateful to Professor Sam Smiles (Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth) for his deep interest in archaeology and the history of art because they are engagingly combined in this important show. There is an accompanying catalogue by him too.

Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)
The Long Man of Wilmington,1939
Watercolour
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Prehistory in this country is celebrated in works from the 18th century onwards to the present time. Views of Stonehenge by Thomas Hearne, Charles Marshall, Constable, Turner, Henry Moore and Henry McKnight Kauffer are found among other archaeological sites both in Wiltshire and elsewhere. William Blake, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth and Derek Jarman are among the other artists you will experience in this hugely enjoyable exhibition.

Horace Brodzky (1885-1969)
Stonehenge, 1919
Linocut

The Museum’s Marketing Officer Louise Tunnard says: “We are so fortunate to live alongside the ancient landscapes that inspired these wonderful artists, and which remain relatively unchanged since pre historic times. I am hoping that we will inspire visitors to the exhibition to walk these landscapes too and discover their enduring appeal.” I am sure that they will!

J M W Turner (1775-1851)
Stonehenge c, 1827-28
Watercolour
The Salisbury Museum

 

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/

Power and Portraiture

Power and Portraiture: painting at the court of Elizabeth I, Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until 29th October 2017 (Wed-Sun)

 

Nicholas Hilliard’s portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Amias Paulet at the Hamilton Kerr Institute.
Rothschild Family. Photo Tristan Fewings, 2017 © Getty Images

 Power and Portraiture: painting at the court of Elizabeth I is an intriguing display because it reveals these two portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Amias Paulet and makes an attribution to Nicholas Hilliard (?1547-1619) as their creator. Hilliard is of course celebrated for the exquisite miniatures executed in watercolour and vellum but documents exist that refer to his making pictures ‘in greate’ which means full-scale oil portraits.  The Pelican and Phoenix portraits of Elizabeth I are thought by scholars to be examples of works he painted or was involved with.

Power & Portraiture, Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Derek Pelling (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

This is arrived at by comparing the depiction of faces, jewels and lace with Hilliard miniatures but the difference in scale between the two types of work must be factored in. These two portraits, which come from a branch of the Rothschild family, share the same similarities in style and technique. However scientific analysis at the Hamilton Kerr Institute reveals that rather than being painted on Baltic oak used in England they are on French oak. Sir Amias Paulet was England’s ambassador to France between 1576-79 and during part of his posting Hilliard was part of his household. The presence of Hilliard in France and the stylistic similarities with his other known works allows these ‘in greate’ pictures to be confidently attributed to him.

 

waddesdon.org.uk

 

‘The Caged Bird’s Song’

Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic, Sunley Room, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2, until 28th August 2017

Chris Ofili
The Caged Bird’s Song, 2014–2017
Wool, cotton and viscose
Triptych, left and right panels each 280 x 184 cm; centre panel 280 x 372 cm
Installation view, Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic, National Gallery, 26 April – 28
August 2017
© Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh. Photography: Gautier Deblonde

This is the first time that the Turner Prize winning artist Chris Ofili has worked in the medium of tapestry but I definitely think and hope that it will not be the last. Once again he looks at mythology for inspiration and combines it with the contemporary and the colour and the magic and tales of Trinidad. Alongside the tapestry woven in Edinburgh’s Dovecot Tapestry Studio, are the preparatory sketches for the piece.

Chris Ofili
The Caged Bird’s Song (She) 1, 2014
Watercolour and charcoal on paper
39.5 x 26.3 cm
15 1/2 x 10 3/8 in
© Chris Ofili
Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London

The artist says of it: “The Caged Bird’s Song is a marriage of watercolour and weaving. I set out to challenge the weaving process, by doing something free-flowing in making a watercolour, encouraging the liquid pigment to form the image, a contrast to the weaving process. With their response, which is an interpretation rather than a reproduction, the weavers have paid a type of homage to the watercolour that I gave them as well as to the process of weaving.”

It is quite magical. After the exhibition it will go to The Clothworkers’ Company, who commissioned it, in the City of London and will be on permanent display there.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition

Summer Exhibition 2017, The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1, until 20th August 2017

 

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

 

Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2017.
Photo (c) David Parry

This year’s Show is vibrant and exciting and varied across several media.  Of particular note is Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture VI in the Annenberg Courtyard which explores the notion of harnessing motion and freezing it in a moment of time.

Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2017.
Photo (c) David Parry

Gilbert and George are showing a new large-scale work from their Beard Speak series and there are works by Phyllida Barlow, Anthony Gormley, Sean Scully, Bob and Roberta Smith and Wolfgang Tillmans – a very impressive line-up!

Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2017.
Photo (c) David Parry

Farshoud Moussavi has curated the Architecture Gallery which celebrates architecture by focusing on construction coordination drawings which show the full complexity of a building.

Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2017.
Photo (c) David Parry

The Charles Woolaston Award has been won by Isaac Julien for his five-screen film WESTERN UNION: Small Boats which is apparently inspired by Visconti’s The Leopard. I have to say as that is one of my favourite films I couldn’t really see the connection apart from the two films being set in Sicily, however it is well worth a look.

 

As always, the show is a real treat for art lovers and the standard remains as high as ever.

 

http://www.royalacademy.org.uk

MEMORY KEEPER

MEMORY KEEPER – Aleksandar Duravcevic, Ordovas, 25 Savile Row London W1, until 29th July 2017

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

Memory Keeper installation view,
photography by Mike Bruce

This is the gallery’s second show dedicated to the work of a single living artist and the first major presentation of the work of Aleksander Duravcevic and it is an exquisite gem of an exhibition.

For the two Double Life diptychs, 2017,  depicting a double rainbow above Victoria Falls each panel is scaled and prepared in exactly the same way as a Byzantine icon painting and has the same awe-inspiring effect on the viewer.

Memory Keeper installation view,
photography by Mike Bruce

Also on display is Monument to the unknown hero, 2016, where the glittering purple is in contrast to the black and white Falls and his film Waiting shows an old woman in Montenegrin dress outside her home deep in thought,

His Touch me not, 2017, is a book in stone with no words or pictures except the natural grain of the travertine stone.

Memory Keeper installation view,
photography by Mike Bruce

As you can see, a highly original and complex artist whose work requires detailed attention and whose talent seems to have no limits.

http://www.ordovasart.com

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

Masterpiece London 2017 – Opera Gallery

Opera Gallery at Masterpiece London 2017, until 5th July 0217

Claude Monet,
Le Mont Riboudet à Rouen au printemps, 1872

This gallery was founded in Paris in1994 by Gilles Dyan and now has offices around the world, including here in London. Its mixture of modern and contemporary art attracts many private collectors. This is the gallery’s debut at Masterpiece but I feel sure they will become a regular exhibitor.

Yves Klein,
table-bleue-plexiglass-pigment

 

Alexander Calder,
Kakémono, 1971

 

 

www.operagallery.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 – Pangolin London

Pangolin London at Masterpiece London 2017, until 5th July 2017

LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
Mobile, 1952
Steel and copper

Pangolin London has built up a strong reputation for it promotion of Modern British and contemporary sculptors and their estates through its exhibition programme. Their affiliation with the well-known sculpture foundry Pangolin Editions allows them to provide a welcome opportunity to commission, make and install new sculptures.

BREON O’CASEY (1928 – 2011) Reclining Nude, 2009
Acrylic on canvas

At the fair you will discover previously unseen works as well as sculptural jewellery.

ZAC EASTWOOD-BLOOM (b.1980)
Informazioni mangiato il mio tavolo’ (Information Ate My Table), 2016
Marble

 

www.pangolinlondon.com

www.masterpiecefair.com