THE BIG REVIEW | Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist – National Gallery, London

Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist at the National Gallery, London, although wonderful, is also a slightly messy exhibition. In fact, some of the thematic rooms are so good that you forget this is a chronology of his observations in the Alps, Italy, and the Low Countries. The backbone is Dürer’s sketchbook drawings, whichContinue reading “THE BIG REVIEW | Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist – National Gallery, London”

THE BIG REVIEW | Raphael – National Gallery, London

For a concise review of The Credit Suisse Exhibition: RAPHAEL, please click here. The Early Umbrian Years⁠ Opening the National Gallery show is an elusive, faintly drawn portrait of a young boy whose features are generally believed to be that of a 15/16-year-old Raphael (British Museum, London). His eyes show an ambition and determination thatContinue reading “THE BIG REVIEW | Raphael – National Gallery, London”

THE BIG REVIEW | Titian: Love, Desire, Death – National Gallery, London

The reunion of Titian’s poesie paintings made for Prince Philip of Habsburg (future King Philip II of Spain) is a momentous occasion in the history of art. Created between 1551 and 1562, the series shows the elderly Titian’s artistic freedom at its height. Free to choose his subject matter and interpret them as he pleased,Continue reading “THE BIG REVIEW | Titian: Love, Desire, Death – National Gallery, London”

THE BIG REVIEW | Artemisia – National Gallery, London

Despite enduring two national lockdowns, Artemisia at the National Gallery, London, remains an exemplary introduction to the life and career of everyone’s favourite badass woman artist. Practically all of her best-known works are exhibited, from the early Pommersfelden Susannah and the Elders to the Naples and Florence versions of Judith beheading Holofernes, as well asContinue reading “THE BIG REVIEW | Artemisia – National Gallery, London”

REVIEW | Lucian Freud: New Perspectives – National Gallery, London

The current Lucian Freud exhibition at the National Gallery, London, bears the bombastic subtitle New Perspectives, but for whom? Celebrating the centenary of his birth, the exhibition walks like any other Freud exhibition. Puritan and broadly chronological, we see how the artist’s caricaturish, muddy-looking early style quickly matured into the impasto-laden portraitist we know andContinue reading “REVIEW | Lucian Freud: New Perspectives – National Gallery, London”

REVIEW | Picasso Ingres: Face to Face – National Gallery, London

The National Gallery in London is currently holding a little reunion between Pablo Picasso’s Woman With a Book (Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena) and its original inspiration, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ beloved portrait of Madame Moitessier (National Gallery).⁠ Ingres’ portrait was commissioned in 1844 to celebrate the marriage two years earlier of Marie Clotilde-Inès de Foucauld to theContinue reading “REVIEW | Picasso Ingres: Face to Face – National Gallery, London”

REVIEW | Raphael – National Gallery, London

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: RAPHAEL at the National Gallery, London, is not your typical survey of the artist’s works. Instead, it is a silver sampling dish featuring every aspect of Raphael’s artistic personality.⁠ Consisting of a rigorously selected portion of autograph works, the exhibition succeeds in balancing some of the highlights of his career withContinue reading “REVIEW | Raphael – National Gallery, London”

A case of ‘mirror mania’ – Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

When the National Gallery acquired Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434) in 1842, it was the only pristine example of early Netherlandish painting from this period in their collection. Van Eyck had also been erroneously credited as the inventor of oil painting, a sixteenth-century myth invented by Giorgio Vasari in Italy and perpetuated by KarelContinue reading “A case of ‘mirror mania’ – Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites”

‘My dearest compare’: Michelangelo & Sebastiano

‘All the discords that arose between Pope Julius and me were owing to the envy of Bramante and Raphael of Urbino […] And Raphael had good reason to be envious, since what he knew of art he learnt from me.’ (Michelangelo from Rome to an unknown addressee, October-November 1542) What do you get when youContinue reading “‘My dearest compare’: Michelangelo & Sebastiano”

3-2-C: The National Gallery, London

Everyone thinks they know the National Gallery, especially art historians and enthusiasts. They look at Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Ambassadors (1533), Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434), and Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1888), thinking they’ve seen it all. On the odd occasion, they might view Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne (1520-23) or Caravaggio’s The SupperContinue reading “3-2-C: The National Gallery, London”