The Encounter!

THE ENCOUNTER: DRAWINGS FROM LEONARDO TO REMBRANDT, National Portrait Gallery, London, until 22nd October 2017

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

Giulio Pedrizzano, The Lutenist Mascheroni by Annibale Carracci c.1593-4
Copyright: Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

This delightful exhibition features old master European portrait drawings by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Durer and Rembrandt, many rarely seen and some not displayed for decades.

Young Woman in a French Hood, possibly Mary Zouch by Hans Holbein the Younger c.1533
Copyright: Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

It attempts to show that the artist and the sitter connected and is rather like going through a Renaissance copy of Vanity Fair featuring as it does eight portraits of people from the court of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger – the David Bailey of his day – but also people from the street as well.

Sir John Godsalve by Hans Holbein the Younger c.1532-4
Copyright: Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

An exhibition which cheers the soul with these close encounters.

A sheet of figure studies, with male heads and three sketches of a woman with a child by Rembrandt van Rijn c.1636
Copyright: The Henry Barber Trust, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

 

http://www.npg.org.uk/

The Artist Depicted!

Portrait of the Artist, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until 17th April 2017

Daniel Mytens, A Self-Portrait, c.1630 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Daniel Mytens,
A Self-Portrait, c.1630
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

This extensive exhibition encompasses portraits of artists from the reign of Charles I to the present day. A whole variety of disciplines have been used in creating these works of art, including Hockney’s 2013 self-portrait created on an iPad.  It was a gift to Her Majesty The Queen to mark his receiving the Order of Merit.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani, Bartolozzi Sleeping,c.1770 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani,
Bartolozzi Sleeping,c.1770
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Several portraits were in the collection of Charles I such as the Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura) (c.1638–9) by Artemisia Gentileschi.  The Rembrandt portrait was acquired by George IV. Dating from the 1950s are the reciprocal portraits of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Edward Seago.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Seago Painting, 1956-57 © HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh,
Seago Painting, 1956-57
© HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Displayed in their entirety for the first time are the 224 miniatures created by the Italian artist Giuseppe Macpherson for Lord Cowper in the 1760s who presented them to George III.  They depict the artists’ self-portraits hung in the Vasari Corridor of the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence and which are the most important such group in the world.

Attributed to Francesco Melzi, Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515-18 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Attributed to Francesco Melzi,
Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515-18
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

I can only give a taste of what awaits you in this exhibition but I feel sure you will want to visit more than once – so don’t forget your ticket allows you free re-admission for a year if you ask them to treat your ticket purchase as a donation.

Johann Michael Wittmer, Raphael's First Sketch of the 'Madonna della Sedia', 1853 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Johann Michael Wittmer,
Raphael’s First Sketch of the ‘Madonna della Sedia’, 1853
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

 

Lucian Freud, Self-Portrait: Reflection, 1996 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Lucian Freud,
Self-Portrait: Reflection, 1996
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

 

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

Metalpoint Drawing

Drawing in silver and gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, Room 90, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1, until 6th December 2015

Albrecht Dürer, Dog resting, c. 1520, silverpoint over charcoal? on pale pink prepared paper, 128 x 180mm. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Albrecht Dürer,
Dog resting, c. 1520,
silverpoint over charcoal? on pale pink prepared paper, 128 x 180mm.
© The Trustees of the British Museum

This exhibition is a joint venture with the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and it looks at the technique of metalpoint drawing across the centuries and features around one hundred works drawn from collections around the world.

Susan Schwalb, Strata no. 407, 2005, silverpoint, 229 x 227mm. © Reproduced by permission of the artist

Susan Schwalb,
Strata no. 407, 2005,
silverpoint, 229 x 227mm.
© Reproduced by permission of the artist

The technique requires a metal stylus, often of silver, which was then used to draw on a roughened preparation.  The artist had to have a very clear idea of the image they wanted as it is difficult to rub out a line once drawn.  The skill and attention needed was worth it as the drawings in this exhibition eloquently show.

Leonardo da Vinci, Bust of a warrior, c. 1475, silverpoint, on cream prepared paper, 287 x 211mm. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Leonardo da Vinci,
Bust of a warrior, c. 1475,
silverpoint, on cream prepared paper, 287 x 211mm.
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Used in Italy in the 1400s but replaced by the growing popularity of chalk as a medium in the mid-16th century, it remained popular in Northern Europe until the 17th century.  It was then discarded as a technique until the revival of interest in the Renaissance in the 19th century and as this exhibition illustrates it is still used today.

 

http://www.britishmuseum.org

Sublime Gardens

 

Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until11th October 2015

Marco Ricci, A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens, c.1715. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Marco Ricci, A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens, c.1715.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

This is a great exhibition which celebrates the idea of the garden through paintings, drawings, books and the decorative arts from the 16th to the early 20th century.

Mir 'Ali Sir Nava'l, Seven Couples in a Garden, c. 1510. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Mir ‘Ali Sir Nava’l, Seven Couples in a Garden, c. 1510.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

We see a Persian garden depicted in an Islamic manuscript, the gardens of Versailles and Hampton Court, Kew, Windsor and Osborne House. Works by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Jan Brueghel the Elder as well as late 19th and early 20th century watercolours and a Fantin-Latour painting.

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 1615. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 1615.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

There is a wonderful selection of floral decoration on Bow, Chelsea, Meissen and Sèvres porcelains, textiles, furniture, silver, fans and jewellery, including pieces commissioned by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria and of course works by Carl Fabergé.

Workshop of Carl Faberge, Bleeding Heart, c.1900. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Workshop of Carl Faberge, Bleeding Heart, c.1900.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

This engaging exhibition appeals to most tastes as it reveals the garden as a place of beauty, a place for research and science, a place to relax and enjoy and a place to wonder at the glories of nature.

Thomas Tompion, one of a pair of sundials, 17th century. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Thomas Tompion, one of a pair of sundials, 17th century.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk