sat 18/04/2015

National Gallery

Inventing Impressionism, National Gallery

Here is an exhibition that tells us how something we now take totally for granted actually came about: how our love affair with the Impressionists was masterminded by an art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922). He was a prime mover in inventing the...

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National Gallery

The octogenarian Frederick Wiseman is a cult documentary film maker, with his own idiosyncratic and recognisable idiom. He has both vast experience and extraordinary independence. Characteristically, he makes long, prize-winning, fly-on-the-wall...

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Maggi Hambling, National Gallery

I must admit to feeling, briefly, just a little disappointed on first sight of Maggi Hambling’s Walls of Water, nine new paintings on show at the National Gallery. Perhaps it was the evocative title, which promises high drama and instant...

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Rembrandt: The Late Works, National Gallery

All human life, as they say, is here: we witness displays of warmth and tenderness in virtuous matrimony; reflection and contemplation in quiet solitude. We respond to the soft seductions of the flesh in its yielding ripeness, and we feel the pathos...

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DVD: Goltzius and the Pelican Company

In his director’s interview for Goltzius and the Pelican Company Peter Greenaway describes the public profiles that his films have achieved over the years, dividing them into an effective A and B list. He counts his 1982 The Draughtsman's Contract...

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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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