thu 27/07/2017

16th century

The Encounter, National Portrait Gallery review - dazzlingly evocative drawings

As a line flows or falters, registering each slight change in pressure, pause, or occasional reworking, it seems to offer a glimpse into the mind of the artist at work. The line is the instrument of the artist’s eye, the often unpolished,...

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Michelangelo: Love and Death review - how to diminish a colossus

As perhaps the greatest artist there has ever been – and as one of the most fascinating and complex personalities of his era – Michelangelo should be a thrilling subject for serious as well as dramatic cinematic documentary treatment. Michelangelo...

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Michelangelo's Madonna and Child

Michelangelo's Taddei tondo, which depicts the Madonna and Child with the Infant St John in a rocky landscape, is the only Michelangelo marble in Britain. Currently one of the stars of the National Gallery's Michelangelo & Sebastiano show, it is...

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First Person: 15 years of Tenebrae, a lifetime of choral music

Having just celebrated a birthday the wrong side of 50 years of age I confess to regularly pinching myself when I dare to look back and see the higgledy-piggledy route my life has taken to bring me to the present day, as we celebrate 15 years of...

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CD: Jethro Tull - The String Quartets

On Jethro Tull's classic "Songs from the Wood" Ian Anderson promised "all things refined". And refined the band certain has been. Musically educated, too. For 40-odd years they have specialised in baroque rock and minstrel ballads all served up...

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Michelangelo & Sebastiano, National Gallery

The story of two characters whose friendship ended in bitter enmity is juicy enough for a typical spring blockbuster and yet this is an exhibition with a serious and scholarly bent. While the National Gallery is no stranger to academic exhibitions...

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Madonnas and Miracles: The Holy Home in Renaissance Italy, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

A lovely, scholarly and gently revelatory exhibition, Madonnas and Miracles explores a neglected area of the perennially popular and much-studied Italian Renaissance – the place of piety in the Renaissance home. We are used to admiring the great...

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Bruegel, Holburne Museum, Bath

Painted in c.1640, David Teniers the Younger’s Boy Blowing Bubbles depicts a theme that would have been entirely familiar to his wife’s great-grandfather, the founder of one of art’s most illustrious dynasties, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-1569...

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Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

There's no reason why ruffs and candles shouldn't mesh with bursts of contemporary speech, song and lighting, given a defter hand than director Ellen McDougall's. Shakespeare's timeless issues of racism and sexism have plenty of mileage in them,...

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Hamlet, Almeida Theatre

How often do you leave a production of Shakespeare's most layered drama in tears, thinking "what an astonishing play!" even more than "what a fine Hamlet!" (or not)? Last night the Bard proved even greater than his Dane. Not that Andrew Scott was...

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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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Love's Labour's Lost/Much Ado About Nothing, RSC, Theatre Royal Haymarket

“The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” A sudden cold breeze blows through the endless summer afternoon of Love’s Labour's Lost in the play’s final moments. Death enters Shakespeare’s Edenic garden and innocence is lost. But what...

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