sat 30/08/2014

National Gallery

Making Colour, National Gallery

The National Gallery has a range of personas it adopts for its exhibitions, and for this one, about colour, it has deployed the po-faced, teachy one. The pompous tone is because it’s not just about art this time, there’s science in it, which makes...

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Building the Picture, National Gallery

Viewed through an arch designed to evoke a dimly lit chapel, Lorenzo Costa and Gianfrancesco Maineri’s The Virgin and Child with Saints, 1498-1500, is strikingly legible (pictured below right). The Virgin sits on a marble throne beneath a richly...

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Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice, National Gallery

The National Gallery has produced a revelatory and unprecedented exhibition which shows us an array of paintings from cabinet size to mammoth by a long acknowledged star: Veronese, probably  the most flamboyantly exciting artist at the heart of...

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Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance, National Gallery

Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance finds the National Gallery in curiously reflective mood. Taking as its subject the gallery’s own mixed bag of German Renaissance paintings, the exhibition sets about explaining – and excusing – the...

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The Brits Who Built the Modern World, BBC Four / The Man Who Fought the Planners, BBC Four

There really was astonishing talent on display in The Brits Who Built the Modern World (*****), as full a television panorama of the work of the five architects whose careers were under examination – Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Nicholas Grimshaw...

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Listed: 10 American paintings before Pollock

The National Gallery recently embarked on a first: they acquired their first American painting. Men of the Docks, 1912, (main picture) may not be George Bellows’ most famous or best-regarded work; nonetheless, it’s a gritty and beautifully observed...

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Yuletide Scenes 2: The Adoration of the Kings

Jan Gossaert’s The Adoration of the Kings, painted in 1510-15, is a sumptuous, richly detailed and even, to us today, slightly hilarious painting. It’s the large central panel of a Flemish altarpiece which includes practically every motif of the...

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Yuletide Scenes 1: A Scene on the Ice near a Town

The term “snow day” may have been coined with the most recent spate of cold winters in mind, encapsulating the modern-day, not to mention British, consequences of winter weather, but Hendrick Avercamp’s Seventeenth-century “snow day”, painted in...

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Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900, National Gallery

“We should pity the age which finds its reflection in this ‘art’”, wrote one critic in 1911, after seeing too many Vienna Secession paintings. From the quotation marks, we see the despairing critic was attacking the art rather than the age....

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Vermeer & Music: The Art of Love and Leisure, National Gallery

Music and art have been intertwined for millennia, the static, frozen and soundless moment of paint capturing the feeling and the meaning of ephemeral time-based music. And nowhere can the act of making music have so thoroughly infiltrated a society...

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10 Questions for Artist Michael Landy

Much of Michael Landy’s work concerns destruction or decay. The British artist, who recently turned 50 and is part of the YBA generation, came to prominence in 2001 with the Artangel commission Break Down, which saw all his worldly possessions...

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Federico Barocci: Brilliance and Grace, National Gallery

Federico Barocci, who he? According to the National Gallery, a great Renaissance, mannerist and Baroque painter hardly known outside Italy, the National’s own Madonna of the Cat his only easel painting in a public collection in the UK...

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