thu 24/07/2014

portraits

Lucian Freud: Painted Life, BBC Two

He was uncompromising, honest, personal. He didn't like doing what he was told. He never followed fashion. Is this an accurate picture of Lucian Freud, or is it a description of almost every great artist who ever lived? The intensely banal voiceover...

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Lucian Freud: Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Sitting for Lucian Freud was quite a commitment. Unlike Hockney, whom he painted and who painted him, Freud was a very slow painter and he was methodical. Paying close attention to detail and absorbed by different textures, he was intent on building...

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The private space of Lucian Freud revealed

Pallant House in Chichester has just inaugurated the series of Lucian Freud exhibitions this season which have have now become memorial commemorations since the artist’s death last July.  Freud’s life and studio have taken on a mythic quality,...

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Jane McAdam Freud: Lucian Freud My Father, Freud Museum

In one small room of the Freud Museum, which was once the home of Sigmund in the last year of his life, are the works Jane McAdam Freud made in the final months of her father’s life. Below an imposing photograph of Freud the elder, the progenitor of...

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The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has been transformed with a £7.6 million facelift. As a first-timer I confess I don’t have a clue what it looked like before, but I am assured it was dark and gloomy and had the air of a building cast aside in...

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America in Pictures: The Story of Life Magazine, BBC Four

Before the internet and the Kindle were invented, generations of Americans saw their lives refracted through the pages of Life magazine. In particular, through its photography, since writers at Life were largely relegated to supplying glorified...

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Gainsborough's Landscapes: Themes and Variations, Holburne Museum

Dogs, horses, cows, sheep, goats and pigs are the creatures that, however minuscule in stature, take pride of place in the fascinating exhibition of Thomas Gainsborough’s imaginary landscapes at the Holburne in Bath, an ideal complement to the nine...

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Q&A/Gallery: Photographer Rich Hardcastle

From Edinburgh to London and back, via Tatooine and Port Talbot, Rich Hardcastle has photographed playwrights and magicians, burlesque dancers and rugby captains, and regularly adorned the covers of The Big Issue, FHM and The Sunday Times Culture...

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Frans Hals at the Metropolitan Museum, New York

Hals's 'The Fisher Girl': 'The passage of time has placed her on equal footing with the movers, shakers and roisterers of the Dutch Republic'

If one comes away with any certainty from the New York exhibition Frans Hals at the Metropolitan Museum (until 10 October) it is that the Golden Age Dutch master (1582/3-1666) keenly understood and sympathised with his fellow human beings. Whether...

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Lucian Freud, 1922-2011

Lucian Freud, who died aged 88 at his west London home on Wednesday, was often described as Britain's greatest living artist. In the six decades he was active, figurative painting went in and out of fashion - though mostly it was out - but...

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Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

In the days before there were any paparazzi to catch celebrities unawares, the pictures of the stars that reached mere mortals like ourselves were carefully staged by the film studios. Establishments like MGM, Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures...

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British Masters, BBC Four/ The World's Most Expensive Paintings, BBC One

James Fox: Ludicrous assertions about British Art

Does James Fox fancy himself as the Niall Ferguson of art history? I ask because clearly this latest addition to the growing pantheon of television art historians wants to do for British art what Ferguson sought to do for the British Empire. He...

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