Cornelius Johnson exhibition

April 3 2015

Image of Cornelius Johnson exhibition

Picture: Paul Holberton publishing

I've always had a soft spot for Cornelius Johnson's portraits. A new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London calls him 'Charles I's Forgotten Painter', and indeed he is little known. But now that might change, for Karen Hearn, formerly curator of early British art at Tate, has not only curated the NPG's new show, but has written a book (above) on Johnson - the first ever. More details of the exhibition here, and the book here.

Karen will be giving a talk on Johnson at the NPG on 16th April 1t 7pm. It's free, and seats are allocated on a first come first served basis, so get there early! Here's the exhibition blurb:

Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661) was born in London to a Flemish/German migrant family. After his spell at court and on the outbreak of the Civil War, the 50-year-old Johnson emigrated to the Netherlands, creating a second successful career there. Johnson painted on every scale - from the tiny miniature to the big group portrait (like The Capel Family) - to produce delicate, sympathetic portraits that often emphasise his sitters' fine lace collars and luxurious clothes.

Karen Hearn FSA was the Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at Tate Britain from 1992 to 2012, and is now an Honorary Professor at University College London. In 1995, she curated the landmark Tate exhibition Dynasties: Painting in Tudor & Jacobean England 1530-1630.  Her 2002 show Marcus Gheeraerts II established the topic of the ‘pregnancy portrait’. Subsequently she curated the major Van Dyck & Britain (2009) and Rubens & Britain (2011-12) both at Tate Britain. Karen specialises in the art made in Britain between 1500 and 1710, and in the cultural links between Britain and the Netherlands during that period.

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