Category: Exhibitions

The Recovered Masterpieces at Versailles

February 1 2022


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Palace of Versailles will be opening a fascinating exhibition in a few days time on several sculptures that have been recovered (and conserved - see the video above) for their collection.

According to the exhibition's website:

The Palace of Versailles is presenting two masterpieces of 18th-century sculpture, commissioned by Louis XIV and Louis XV respectively: Zéphyr, Flore et l’Amour, and L'Abondance. These works, recently rediscovered and identified after many years of searching, and are now entering the Palace of Versailles’ collections. The exhibition is an opportunity to retrace the unique journey of these works, from their creation to their entrance in the national collections.

L’Abondance represents an allegory for renewed prosperity under the auspices of the peace-making king. In 1773, it was placed in the gardens of the Château of Menars (Loir et Cher), inherited by Marquis of Marigny Abel-François Poisson from his sister, the Marquessa of Pompadour. As the Director of the King’s Buildings from 1751 to 1773, Marigny benefited from Louis XV’s generosity. This included the donation of many sculptures kept in the royal warehouses, one of which was Zephr et Flore in 1769. This prestigious collection of sculptures was broken up and dispersed at a sale in 1881, with brothers Alphonse and Edmond de Rothschild both acquiring some of the finest works. This is how Zéphyr et Flore and L’Abondance joined the collections assembled by passionate lover of art, Alphonse de Rothschild, in his iconic Parisian hotel on Rue de Saint-Florentin.

The exhibition will include several loans, including paintings and tapestries which show the works in-situ, and will run from 5th February 2022 until 5th June 2022.

Carlo Crivelli at the Ikon Gallery

January 31 2022

Image of Carlo Crivelli at the Ikon Gallery

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz

The Ikon Gallery in Birmingham will be opening what looks to be a very interesting exhibition later in February dedicated to Carlo Crivelli (c.1430/5-1495). Shadows on the Sky is said to be the first exhibition in the UK dedicated to this Venetian born artist.

According to the gallery's website:

Shadows on the Sky highlights his experimental use of perspective, trompe l’oeil (optical illusion) and sculptural relief to create illusions of illusionism. Such cleverness was conveyed with consummate craftsmanship and foiled by an extraordinary elegance. Crivelli’s paintings both suggest and undermine his own visual trickery to explore the coexistence of material and spiritual realities. 

Organised in partnership with The National Gallery, the exhibition also includes loans from other leading institutions such as the National Trust, the Vatican Pinacoteca, the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Wallace Collection, and the Gemäldegalerie. Through these major loans – some for the first time – we are invited to reconsider Crivelli’s sophisticated understanding of the relationship between art and what it represents. With a sense of irony, found five hundred years later in Magritte’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe (1929), he subtly denies the possibility of one being confused with the other.

The exhibition will run from 23rd February 2022 until 29th May 2022.

Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries

January 31 2022

Image of Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries

Picture: The National Gallery of Ireland

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin opened their latest exhibition over the weekend entitled Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries. The show will be accompanied by some fascinating online talks and lectures too, which are worth browsing through.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

Over the last fifteen years, a selection of sixteenth-century Italian paintings from the national collection have been carefully conserved by the Gallery’s Head of Conservation, Simone Mancini. This free exhibition will showcase eight works depicting the Madonna and her infant child, Jesus Christ, with his cousin Saint John the Baptist. Many of these dramatically restored paintings have never been displayed before. Christ & His Cousin: Renaissance Rediscoveries will explore the symbolism and traditions that underpin these playful and lively compositions, and encourage visitors to reconsider what are often dismissed as conventional and familiar images.

This free exhibition will run until 8th May 2022.

French taste and its presence in Spain

January 27 2022

Image of French taste and its presence in Spain


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid are opening a very interesting sounding exhibition in February. French taste and its presence in Spain (XVII-XIX centuries) will examine the various contexts and material histories regarding the collecting and patronage of French art and its associated styles in Spain. The exhibition will contain 45 paintings, 16 drawings, 8 sculptures and 31 pieces of sumptuary and decorative arts.

The show will run from 11th February 2022 until 8th May 2022.

Here's a PDF brochure of the exhibition (in Spanish), in case you might be interested to browse.

Guido Reni and Rome: Nature and Devotion

January 27 2022

Image of Guido Reni and Rome: Nature and Devotion

Picture: Galleria Borghese

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Galleria Borghese in Rome will be opening their latest exhibition in March. Guido Reni and Rome: Nature and Devotion is an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the return of Guido Reni's Country Dance.

According to the gallery's website:

The Guido Reni and Rome: Nature and Devotion exhibition is curated by Francesca Cappelletti. It revolves around Reni’s painting Country Dance, which for a year has been back in the museum’s collection, to which it had always belonged before its sale at the end of the 19th century. 

The return of the work next to the other landscape paintings of the museum’s collection provides an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between Reni – a painter dearly loved by Scipione Borghese – and rural themes and landscape painting, which until now have been considered extraneous to his production or, in any case, of little relevance. 

Focusing on Guido Reni’s interest in landscape painting in relationship to the other Italian and foreign painters present in Rome in the early 17th century, the exhibition will try to reconstruct the first years of the artist’s stay in the city, his passionate study of ancient and Renaissance works, the extremely important relationship he developed with the Genoese banker Ottavio Costa, his astonishment at the highly chiaroscuro painting of Caravaggio – who Reni knew and frequented, as supposed by Carlo Cesare Malvasia in his Felsina pittrice (1678) and confirmed by recently discovered documents – and the beginning of his dazzling career as a great painter of history.

The show will run from 1st March 2022 until 22nd May 2022.

'Inspired' at the Guildhall Art Gallery

January 26 2022

Image of 'Inspired' at the Guildhall Art Gallery

Picture: Guildhall Art Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Guildhall Art Gallery in London will be opening their latest exhibition in April. Inspired: Art inspired by theatre, literature and music seems to do exactly what is says on the tin, bringing together a fine selection of works from (mostly) the nineteenth-century that explores these themes.

According to their press release:

Inspired: Art inspired by theatre, literature and music will explore the relationship between poetry, plays, novels and music with the visual arts.

Novels were increasingly popular during the 19th century and, in reaction to Industrialisation, many Victorians valued nostalgic and Romantic novels and poetry, looking to Shakespeare’s  history plays, Tennyson’s poems, medieval folktales and Greek myths. This was reflected in  much of the art of the time, and Guildhall Art Gallery dives into its renowned 19th century collections to explore the dialogue between art and literature. Inspired goes even deeper to  look at how theatre and music were additional sources of inspiration for Victorian artists.  Visitors will see the influence of theatre in pieces like John Philip Kemble as Coriolanus by Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). Painter, draughtsman and President of the Royal Academy, Lawrence was taught by his father to recite passages from Pope, Collins, Milton and  Shakespeare to his customers. Lawrence’s portrait of British actor John Philip Kemble (1757- 1823), depicting him blanketed in shadows, revels in the theatricality that Shakespearean tragedy affords. Meanwhile, pivotal moments in theatre history, such as the burning of Drury Lane, are captured on the canvas in Old Drury Lane on fire, London 24 February 1809 by Abraham Pether. 

Lovers of Pre-Raphaelite art will be able to see pieces by celebrated names, including William  Holman Hunt (1827-1910), John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and George Frederic Watts (1817- 1904). The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood cherished the Romantic poets and the writings of John  Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle, according to whom the world itself should be read as a system of  visual signs. The artists kept a list of ‘heroes’ that epitomised greatness, including Keats, and  carried their inspiration in paintings with great attention to detail, vivid colour and elaborate  symbolism.

The exhibition will run from 8th April 2022 - 11th September 2022.

The National Gallery send 3D Printed Painting to Winchester Cathedral

January 19 2022

Image of The National Gallery send 3D Printed Painting to Winchester Cathedral

Picture: BBC

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have sent a 3D printed copy of Jan Gossaerts's Adoration of the Kings to Winchester Cathedral for a special exhibition called Sensing the Unseen: Step into Gossaert’s ‘Adoration'.

According to the exhibition's website:

The exhibition is a multisensory experience, transporting you into the world of Jan Gossaert’s ‘Adoration of the Kings’. The 3D perfect facsimile of the painting (produced by Factum Arte) showcases the depth of the paint, the vivid colours and exquisite details of this 16th century masterpiece. It is complemented by a soundscape, the squawking of birds, the chink of the bridles and the voice of King Balthasar.     

Using digital technology, you can experience one of the National Gallery’s most popular paintings like never before. The exhibition space will comprise of the full scale facsimile painting, spot lit and flanked by three yurt-like pods. Inside each pod, you will encounter a digital image of the painting, which has been ‘sonified’ using soundscapes, spoken words, music and a poem. As you step into the experience you can discover and navigate previously unseen elements.


Regular readers might know that I'm not a fan of 3D printed artworks. See - (1) (2).

The NFT and 'Metaverse' phenomena are but only recent examples that our world is giving up on the idea of what is real. Paintings show us things and places that our eyes will never see, but, they are still living objects. For me, I adore historic artworks because they are a refuge from the never-ceasing mundanity of the modern world. They were made by human hands, flesh and blood. This is why going to see art in the flesh can be such a magical experience and why vast sums of money are spent on otherwise worthless bits of canvas, wood and marble.

Why didn't they send the actual Jan Gossaert to Winchester? 'Conservation reasons' will surely be the reply. However, I can imagine that more hearts would be won by showing visitors the original painting than a lifeless plastic fake, especially housed in such a sublime setting as Winchester Cathedral. I'm sure a way could have been found to bring the original there, if enough resources were focused on such a worthy task.

Instead, eyes and attentions will go along with the novelty value of this experiment. 'You can't tell the difference', they will say. The day we start having regular cues lining up to watch a machine sing Schubert Lieder will be the day I will give up this line of thought.

Update - A reader has been in touch with the following:

I went to London a decade ago for a Gossaert exhibition at the NG, but I wouldn’t go around the corner to see a 3-D printed copy. The Adoration of the Kings is a major work and the original deserves to be shown in Winchester. 

The Tudors: Passion, Power & Politics in Bath

January 18 2022

Image of The Tudors: Passion, Power & Politics in Bath

Picture: The Holburne Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Holburne Museum in Bath will be opening their latest exhibition in ten days' time entitled The Tudors: Passion, Power & Politics. The show will feature major loans from the National Portrait Gallery in London, which is currently closed for refurbishment.

According to their website:

Through the portraits, the exhibition explores this torrid period of religious conflict and political intrigue, the legacies of which continue to reverberate through contemporary British life. It features vivid likenesses of many of the most significant figures of the time, including Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Cranmer, Thomas More, William Cecil and Thomas Cromwell, whose fame has recently been revived by Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy. 

Beginning with the oldest painting in the NPG’s collection, a 1505 portrait of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, the exhibition follows the family’s successive generations and their courtiers, including the Protestant spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham (c.1585) and Nicholas Hilliard’s dashing miniature portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh (c.1585).

The exhibition will run from 28th January until 8th May 2022.

Whistler at the Musée d'Orsay

January 17 2022

Image of Whistler at the Musée d'Orsay

Picture: The Frick Collection

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that visitors to both Paris and London will soon have the chance to visit two large exhibitions of works by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The Musée d'Orsay will be opening their latest exhibition in February dedicated to Whistler's Masterpieces from the Frick Collection. Henry Clay Frick famously purchased eighteen pictures by Whistler, including the likes of Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink: Portrait of Mrs. Frances Leyland (pictured). The exhibition will run from 8th February until 8th May 2022.

Coincidentally, the Royal Academy's show Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan will be running in London from 26th February until 22nd May 2022.

Pier Francesco Foschi Exhibition at Georgia Museum of Art

January 14 2022

Image of Pier Francesco Foschi Exhibition at Georgia Museum of Art

Picture: University of Utah

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia, USA, will be opening their latest Renaissance art exhibition at the end of this month (spotted via. @Mweilc). Wealth and Beauty: Pier Francesco Foschi and Painting in Renaissance Florence will run from 29th January 2022 till 24th April 2022.

According to the museum's website:

This is the first exhibition dedicated to Pier Francesco Foschi (1502 – 1567), a highly prolific and fashionable Florentine painter whose career spanned nearly five decades. Despite his success among the contemporary public, he fell into nearly complete obscurity after his death. The exhibition offers a timely and critical reevaluation of this versatile and innovative Renaissance master with exceptional works of art from world-renowned museums including the Gallerie degli Uffizi (Florence), the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid) and the Royal Collection Trust (London) that have never been presented in the United States. 

“Wealth and Beauty” will feature paintings and drawings by Foschi and his contemporaries, along with decorative arts objects that provide insight into the world of wealthy 16th-century Florentines. Born in Florence to a family of painters (his father was a member of Botticelli’s workshop), Foschi trained with Andrea del Sarto, one of the most influential artists of the Renaissance. He received commissions from numerous prominent families of Florence, including the Medici, Pucci and Torrigiani. His assignments included small devotional images and large church altarpieces and frescoes, but he is best known today for his portraits. In his own lifetime he became one of the most sought-after portraitists in his city, celebrated for his ability to convey the gravitas of his subjects and represent the objects that connoted their social and economic status.

It looks like the museum will also be running some very interesting events and workshops alongside the exhibition, in case any readers happen to be in the area!

'Picturing the City' with the Bank of England's Art Collection

January 13 2022

Image of 'Picturing the City' with the Bank of England's Art Collection

Picture: The Bank of England

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Bank of England have launched a new online exhibition entitled Picturing the City. The online site, powered through Google Arts and Culture, allows you to compare historic views of the city from the bank's art collection against modern photographs of the same spots.

According to their website:

This digital exhibition brings together eight landscape paintings from our collection, showing us the beautiful scenery historic London has to offer. These paintings reveal the changing economic landscapes that built this city, as well as the people who have lived, worked and played here. 

You’ll go all over London – from leafy Hampstead Heath to the industrial landscape of the Docklands – and meet a variety of people on your journey.

Soane Drawing Collection on Display in March

January 12 2022

Image of Soane Drawing Collection on Display in March

Picture: Soane Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Ever wanted to peer inside the many albums of drawings held by the Sir John Soane's Museum? The museum will be opening a new exhibition of masterpieces from the drawings collection of Sir John Soane in March 2022.

According to their website:

Sir John Soane, one of the leading architects in Georgian Britain, compiled what was probably the first comprehensive collection of architectural drawings in the world. By his death in 1837 it numbered 30,000 sheets, including works by the most prominent architects: Thorpe, Wren, Talman, Hawksmoor, Vanburgh, Gibbs, Kent, Chambers, Piranesi, Adam, Clérisseau, Pêcheux, Wyatt, Playfair and, of course, Soane himself. The collection, which includes illuminated manuscripts, Italian Renaissance drawings, and volumes of exquisite Indian and Persian miniatures, demonstrates the range of Soane’s interests and his extraordinary connoisseurship. It remains one of the most important graphic resources in the world and is widely referenced by architects and architectural historians. 

The quality of Soane’s collection of drawings is rarely paralleled elsewhere. Because of their fragility, these items are rarely seen by the public. This exhibition, and its associated book, offer visitors a unique opportunity to see some of the highlights of the collection, bringing together a selection of the most beautiful and important works from among the Soane Museum’s drawings collection. Moreover, it offers a glimpse into the ways in which this collection supported Soane’s activities as an architect and teacher.

The exhibition will run from 9th March 2022 until 5th June 2022.

Major Cezanne Exhibition in Chicago

January 11 2022

Image of Major Cezanne Exhibition in Chicago

Picture: Art Institute of Chicago

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Institute of Chicago have released more details about their major upcoming exhibition on Cezanne. The show will run between the 15th May 2022 until 5th September 2022.

According to their website:

This exhibition is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States in more than 25 years and the first exhibition on Cezanne organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in more than 70 years. Planned in coordination with Tate Modern, the ambitious project explores Cezanne’s work across media and genres with 90 oil paintings, 40 watercolors and drawings, and two complete sketchbooks. This outstanding array encompasses the range of Cezanne’s signature subjects and series—little-known early allegorical paintings, Impressionist landscapes, paintings of Montagne Sainte Victoire, portraits, and bather scenes—and includes both well-known works and rarely seen compositions from public and private collections in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Musée des Beaux-Arts Marseille Conserve and Redisplay Plague Scenes

January 10 2022

Image of Musée des Beaux-Arts Marseille Conserve and Redisplay Plague Scenes

Picture: @marseille

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies for missing this late last year. The Musée des Beaux-Arts Marseille have conserved and redisplayed their masterpiece Le chevalier Roze à la Tourette in a special exhibition at the museum. Curators have brought together a set of canvases which depict various scenes around the town during the plague of 1720 (pictured).

The display will run until 28th February 2022.

How many Baroque Beheadings can you fit into one room?

January 7 2022

Image of How many Baroque Beheadings can you fit into one room?

Picture: finestresullarte

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that the Palazzo Barberini may have managed to set a record for the amount of Baroque Beheadings in one room. I was bemused to see this press photo for the aforementioned The Challenge of Judith exhibition in Rome. This temporary collection of Judiths by the likes of Caravaggio, Artemisia, Fontana and others looks rather impressive (or terrifying) indeed.

The show will run until 27th March 2022.

Pen to Brush at the Courtauld

January 6 2022

Image of Pen to Brush at the Courtauld

Picture: Courtauld Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've forgotten to mention that the Courtauld Gallery have a temporary exhibition of works on paper which runs until 27th February 2022. Pen to Brush: British Drawings and Watercolours features highlights from the gallery's collection including works by Sir Peter Lely (pictured), JMW Turner, John Constable and Edward Dayes.

The gallery have also uploaded a free virtual tour of the exhibition which is accessible online.

MNAA Lisbon to send 15 Masterpieces to the Louvre

January 4 2022

Image of MNAA Lisbon to send 15 Masterpieces to the Louvre

Picture: MNAA Lisbon

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon will be sending 15 masterpieces of the Portuguese Renaissance to the Louvre later this year. Works by the likes of Nuno Gonçalves (active 1450-before 1492), Jorge Afonso (active 1504-1540), Cristóvão de Figueiredo (active 1515-1554) and Gregorio Lopes (active 1513-1550) will be sent for a special exhibition entitled L’Age D’or de la Renaissance Portugaise.

The show will run from 10th June 2022 - 10th September 2022.

Boilly Exhibition at the Musée Cognacq-Jay

January 4 2022

Image of Boilly Exhibition at the Musée Cognacq-Jay

Picture: Musée Cognacq-Jay

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris will be opening their latest exhibition next month. Boilly. Parisian chronicles will examine the artist's career in no less than 130 works chosen to show his singularity, brilliance, humour and his inventiveness. Furthermore, the show was intended as a sort of extension to the catalogue raisonné by Etienne Bréton and Pascal Zuber published by Arthena in 2019.

The show will run from 22nd February 2022 until 26th June 2022.

Louis Chéron Exhibition in Caen

January 3 2022

Image of Louis Chéron Exhibition in Caen

Picture: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen have recently opened a new exhibition dedicated to Louis Chéron (1660–1725). Although born in Paris, Chéron is known for having spent a considerable time in England worked alongside the likes of James Thornhill and others. The show contains around forty works sourced from French and English collections covering the years 1678 - c.1720.

The exhibition will run until 6th March 2022.

Manet's Philosophers Reunited at the Norton Simon Museum

December 31 2021

Image of Manet's Philosophers Reunited at the Norton Simon Museum

Picture: @NortonSimon

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Norton Simon Museum in California opened an exhibition earlier this autumn dedicated to reuniting three of Manet's Philosophers. This is the first time in over 50 years the paintings have been exhibited in the same space.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

In 1865, Édouard Manet (1832–1883) traveled to Spain to “see all those beautiful things and seek the counsel of maestro Velázquez,” as he wrote to a friend, later declaring “the philosophers of Velázquez” to be “astounding pieces” that were “alone worth the journey.” Indeed, Diego Velázquez’s paintings of Aesop and Menippus, both c. 1638, would provide a model for Manet, whose guiding artistic ambition was to relate art historical tradition to contemporary life. 

Shortly before and after his trip to Spain, Manet painted three of his own “philosophers,” which, along with an earlier painting of an absinthe drinker, were loosely grouped as a series when he sold them to his dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, in 1872. The works depict disheveled, down-and-out male figures, all of whom would have been legible urban types to viewers of the mid-19th century. Portraying the men at nearly life size against an indecipherable dark background, Manet borrowed Velázquez’s format and updated it to offer a modern equivalent. 

This special installation reunites three of Manet’s Philosophers for the first time since the artist’s major retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1966-7: The Norton Simon’s Ragpicker, c. 1865–70, and two paintings on loan from the Art Institute, Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher) and Beggar with a Duffle Coat (Philosopher), both dated 1865/67. Together, these richly resonant works reveal Manet at his most provocative, harnessing the authority of an established style to convey dignity on a class of people overlooked by French society.

The exhibition will run until 28th February 2022.

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