Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuner and the Maters at the Prado

Yet again the Spanish National Musuem in conjunction with Tate Britain has come up with a fascinating proposal for their summer exhibition and on this occasion the featured artist is William Turner. The premise of the show is to present Turner’s development and ambitions as an artist by gathering together some of the best work by the British artist side by the side with the masterpieces of some of the masters that inspired Turner such as Claude Lorraine and Rembrandt. On paper it seems like a simple exercise of comparing and contrasting. However, the way in which Turner’s work is being weighed and judged against the masters that inspired his work casts a shadow over Turner’s own brilliance. Nevertheless, there are works that shine through the exhibition such as “Calais Sand, Lower Water” of 1830, which showcase Turner’s pre-impressionism treatment of light, colour and composition.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dutch Painters at the Prado

In conjunction with the publication of the full catalogue of Dutch paintings from the Prado Museum inventory, the exhibition “Dutch Painters at the Prado” brings to the public a selection of one of the lesser known parts of the museum’s collection, not only to the general audience but also to the specialists. The retrospective helps us to understand the political context of the 17th century but also the ever-changing pictorial trends and tastes of the period. Furthermore, the exhibition is also a unique opportunity to appreciate the only Rembrandt in the museum collection, “Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes” of 1634 and rarities such as a magnificent still life by Gabriël Metsu, “Dead Cock” of ca. 1659-1660.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"A Light in the Darkness"

Probably the best way to start the cultural year in Dublin is to visit the traditional display of William Turner’s watercolours at the National Gallery of Ireland. “A light in the darkness” runs until the end of January only, due to a special demand by the Vaughan bequest in order to preserve the delicate watercolours and protect them from intense light exposure. This annual exhibition shows thirty-one works by one of the best landscape painters and watercolorist of all time. Of particular excellence is the animated watercolour, “The Doge’s Palace and Piazetta” from Turner’s last trip to Venice in 1840. In this watercolour, Turner showcases his ability to capture light and blend it with form to create a delicate atmosphere in order to portray the spirit of the city.