sun 19/04/2015

portraits

Manet: Portraying Life, Royal Academy

While any Manet survey, however compromised by a lack of significant loans, must be considered "an event", this is not quite the exhibition one might have hoped to see of a great artist. Taking up one vast floor of the Royal Academy with just over...

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, National Portrait Gallery

The first thing to say about Paul Elmsley’s portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge, which was unveiled yesterday at the National Portrait Gallery, is that it looks rather better in real life than it does in reproduction. That doesn’t make it a great...

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Yuletide Scenes 1: The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch

In our chilled Decembers, even when snowless, winter scenes are visually synonymous with Christmas, and Henry Raeburn’s small painting of The Reverend Robert Walker, from the 1790s, skating with abstracted solemnity and perfect balance on...

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Painting the Queen: A Portrait of Her Majesty, BBC Four

Has there ever been a successful portrait of the Queen? Not a photograph - there are been plenty of those (with its delicious air of ambivalence, Thomas Struth’s portrait of the Queen with Prince Philip stiffly occupying two ends of a sofa at...

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The Queen: Art and Image, National Portrait Gallery

The Queen is the first mass-media monarch, and still probably the most ubiquitously depicted person in history. Her 60 years on the throne is only exceeded by Victoria, and her reign has coincided, of course, with photography, film and...

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First ever exhibition of a lost prince

One of the earliest known autopsy reports will go on display in a exhibition this autumn. The Lost Prince: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart at the National Portrait Gallery will look at the extraordinary, albeit short, life of the eldest son of...

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Gillian Wearing, Whitechapel Gallery

The first major retrospective of the videos, photographs and sculptures of Gillian Wearing is a deeply disturbing experience. Her videos can be just a few minutes, or as long as an hour, but are not sequential narratives. They can be dipped in and...

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Johan Zoffany: Society Observed, Royal Academy

Royal families and royal academies. Aristocrats at ease in exquisitely landscaped gardens or inside in gorgeous drawings rooms. Actors emoting, notably Sir David Garrick and his troupe. Nabobs in India. All are depicted in Johan Zoffany’s rivetingly...

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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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