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/

Turner in Salisbury

Turner’s Wessex – Architecture and Ambition, The Salisbury Museum, The King’s House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN, until 27th September 2015

Salisbury from Old Sarum c.1827-1828 Watercolour JMW Turner © The Salisbury Museum

Salisbury from Old Sarum c.1827-1828 Watercolour JMW Turner
© The Salisbury Museum

This hugely enjoyable exhibition serves as a timely reminder that there are some very fine exhibitions to be found outside London. Combine Salisbury and the young J MW Turner and the results are quite magical. As well as works from the Museum’s own collection there are loans from Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, British Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, National Galleries Scotland, V & A, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Tate.

A series of watercolours, executed between 1797 and 1805, depicting both the Cathedral and City were commissioned by Sir Richard Colt Hoare and the eight large ones of the cathedral which used to hang in the library of Colt Hoare’s family home Stourhead are reunited for the first time since their sale in 1883. There are also some studies of the famous Stourhead gardens too.

North Porch of Salisbury Cathedral, Exhibited RA 1797 Watercolour JMW Turner © The Salisbury Museum

North Porch of Salisbury Cathedral, Exhibited RA 1797 Watercolour JMW Turner
© The Salisbury Museum

Another Wiltshire landowner was William Beckford and his commission for Turner to depict his Fonthill estate was also a feather in Turner’s cap. The sketches he created provide a fascinating glimpse into the erection of the famous Fonthill tower which would collapse in 1825.

Stonehenge c.1827-29 Watercolour JMW Turner © The Salisbury Museum

Stonehenge c.1827-29 Watercolour JMW Turner
© The Salisbury Museum

Turner’s first visit to Salisbury was in 1795 and he would return to the area occasionally over the next thirty years – to Stonehenge as well as to the Isle of Wight and the southern coast – and these visits are recorded in the last section of an exhibition I have no hesitation in recommending.

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk

Rubens and His Legacy

Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne, Main Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1, until 10th April 2015    

Peter Paul Rubens The Triumph of Henri IV, 1630 Oil on panel, 49.5 x 83.5 cm Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.187) Photo c. 2013. Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource / Scala, Florence

Peter Paul Rubens
The Triumph of Henri IV, 1630
Oil on panel, 49.5 x 83.5 cm
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.187)
Photo c. 2013. Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource / Scala, Florence

For anyone intending to visit this glorious exhibition the keyword is legacy.

Jean-Antoine Watteau La Surprise: A Couple Embracing While a Figure Dressed as mezzetin Tunes a Guitar, 1718-19 Oil on panel, 36.3 x 28.2 cm Private Collection Photo: Private Collection

Jean-Antoine Watteau
La Surprise: A Couple Embracing While a Figure Dressed as mezzetin Tunes a Guitar, 1718-19
Oil on panel, 36.3 x 28.2 cm
Private Collection
Photo: Private Collection

Rubens was a highly accomplished artist whose works cover many themesPoetry, Elegance, Power, Lust, Compassion and Violence and while this exhibition offers fine examples of the master’s hand on these subjects it concentrates on successive generations and schools of artists whose works were inspired and influenced by him. Thus you will encounter Turner and Constable, Watteau and Fragonard, Delacroix and Cézanne and many other artists along the way.

Peter Paul Rubens Pan and Syrinx, 1617 Oil on panel, 40 x 61 cm Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel Photo: Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister/Ute Brunzel

Peter Paul Rubens
Pan and Syrinx, 1617
Oil on panel, 40 x 61 cm
Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel
Photo: Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister/Ute Brunzel

As the exhibitions curator, Dr Nico Van Hout, says, “It is no coincidence that Delacroix, Vigée-Lebrun, Reynolds and Renoir devoted fascinating discourses, journal entries and letters on the virtuosity and confidence of Rubens’ brushwork, as many artists were trained by seriously studying his altarpieces, allegories, portraits and landscapes. Each artist focused on different aspects of his oeuvre and the works in this exhibition show the great variety of this impact: they include exact copies, creative copies, pastiches and quotations to works that only echo Rubens’ style. Only the best artists were able to translate Rubens’ visual language into a personal idiom and we are delighted to bring together such a rich selection of works to showcase the ongoing strength of Rubens’ legacy throughout the past three centuries.”

Paul Cezanne Three Bathers, c. 1875 Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 33 cm Private Collection Photo: Ali Elai, Camerarts

Paul Cezanne
Three Bathers, c. 1875
Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 33 cm
Private Collection
Photo: Ali Elai, Camerarts

One could suggest that perhaps a few more works by Rubens would have been better or wonder why some of the pictures were chosen as being influenced by him but in the end it does not really matter for the aim of showing how great the legacy of Rubens is addressed with verve and success.

Eugene Delacroix Crucifixion, 1846 Oil on panel, 37 x 25 cm Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam/Photographer: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam

Eugene Delacroix
Crucifixion, 1846
Oil on panel, 37 x 25 cm
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam/Photographer: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam

www.royalacademy.org.uk

Peter Paul Rubens Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt, 1616 Oil on canvas, 256 x 324.5 cm Rennes, Musee des Beaux Arts Photo c. MBA, Rennes, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Adelaide Beaudoin

Peter Paul Rubens
Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt, 1616
Oil on canvas, 256 x 324.5 cm
Rennes, Musee des Beaux Arts
Photo c. MBA, Rennes, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Adelaide Beaudoin

A GENTLE REMINDER – In Pursuit of the Exquisite: Royal Sèvres from Versailles to Harewood

A GENTLE REMINDER – In Pursuit of the Exquisite: Royal Sèvres from Versailles to Harewood, Harewood House, until November 2nd, 2014

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room  credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room
credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

It would be very wrong of me not to remind you that there is just a month to go to see this fabulous exhibition of the collection of Sèvres that was acquired by the first Earl of Harwood’s eldest son Edward, Viscount Lascelles (“Beau” Lascelles) in the period after the French Revolution.

Garniture of three Flower Pots credit: Harewood House Trust

Garniture of three Flower Pots
credit: Harewood House Trust

The Sèvres factory, which was first started at Vincennes, was a royal factory and some of the pieces on view have royal provenances. It really is worth going along to Harewood House to see both the exhibition and the glorious interiors of the house and as I said I would in my original blog I am going back again within the next month.

Sevres mark and painter's mark credit: Harewood House Trust

Sevres mark and painter’s mark
credit: Harewood House Trust

Please see my original blog published on 16th June 2014

 

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room  credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room
credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

harewood.org

J.M.W. Turner, R.A.: Masterpieces from the Whitworth Gallery at Andrew Clayton-Payne Ltd,

J.M.W. Turner, R.A.: Masterpieces from the Whitworth Gallery, Andrew Clayton-Payne Ltd, 14 Old Bond Street, until 8th December.

What a treat this is for us to have the chance to enjoy Turner’s artistic career through this loan exhibition of 16 watercolours.  They lead us from his time as a skilful nineteen-year-old student at the Royal Academy to being the highly respected painter and watercolourist in his seventies.

1794 St. Anselm’s Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral, with Part of Thomas-a-Becket’s Crown

Dating from 1794 is Turner’s St. Anselm’s Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral, with Part of Thomas-a-Becket’s Crown which shows his skill at producing an exact, sensitive depiction of the complex architectural features of this part of the Cathedral. In his 1801-02 work Conway Castle, which by the way is receiving its first London showing, one can see that he is already moving away from accuracy to a more atmospheric rendition of the subject.1801-02 Conway Castle

 

Nor is Conway Castle the only work in this show making its London exhibition debut as some works from his travels to Europe, such as Valley of Chamonix, France, Mont Blanc in the Distance (1809), are also being seen here for the first time.

1809 Valley of Chamonix, France, Mont Blanc in the Distance

Over the following years one discovers how precise detail is being replaced with a greater use of shading and tonal contrasts that help create the ethereal sense of atmosphere and in some watercolours, such as the c. 1840 Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore from the Entrance to the Grand Canal in a quite sketchy manner.  His use of light, shade and lighter touch bring an emotional resonance into the works and which pre-dates Impressionism by some thirty years.

1840 (ca.) Venice, San Giorgio Maggiore from the Entrance to the Grand Canal

Undoubtedly one of this show’s highlights is Moonlight over Lake Lucerne with the Rigi in the Distance, Switzerland (1841).

1841 Moonlight over Lake Lucerne with the Rigi in the Distance, Switzerland copy small

Andrew Clayton-Payne’s says It is a tour de force. It, and the other Lake Lucerne/Rigi watercolours, are considered amongst the greatest achievements not only in Turner’s career, but in the history of watercolour painting.”

One can totally understand why!

clayton-payne.com

 

ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT