For me, my artistic year really doesn’t get going till next weekend when we are going to be visiting Lisbon to see just four paintings! Yes, I know, but to be honest I’m sure we’ll have a great time and with a Raphael, a Piero della Francesca and a Durer amongst others on the ‘must see’ list it will be great.
My visit this weekend to see the Australian Impressionist exhibition at the weekend left me with the distinct feeling that the National Gallery has lost its way a little. I’ve not really enjoyed the last 3-4 exhibitions and other UK based Galleries don’t seem to have the same draw for me as they did with some great shows like Giorgione at the RA in 2016.
So this year I’ll be casting my net a little further afield.
- Paris – Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting – 22 February, 2017 to 22 May, 2017
To be perfectly honest, my wife and I had thought about going to see this in Dublin but I wasn’t sure there was enough to see in Ireland, having already been recently. So the fact that the show is also on at the Louvre in Paris is a real bonus. We intend to combine it with a trip to see the Musée Condé in Chantilly, which has one of the largest collections of Old Masters in France outside the Louvre itself.
- Bellini – Bellini and the Bellinians – 25 February to 18 June 2017
Having complained that there was a distinct lack of Bellini exhibitions last year, it would be remiss of me not to go to this – plus it can be easily combined with a trip to see my in-laws at the end of May for the Bank Holiday.
- Madrid – Masterworks from Budapest: From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde – 18 February to 28 May 2017
On previous trips to the City I’ve concentrated on seeing the sites and not really got out, so this time, inspired by last year’s Bosch Visions of a Genius exhibition, we are off to El Escorial. But that’s after the Treasurers from the in Budapest at the Thyssen. The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest is closed throughout 2017 but will be getting a visit at some point afterwards. Similar tours have happened elsewhere but we just never got chance to visit.
- Den Hague – Neighbours – Portraits from Flanders 1400-1700 – 7 September 2017 – 14 January 2018
The Mauritshuis is a thing of real beauty and, as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp is closing for a refurbishment, they are putting on a special show. Little encouragement is needed, but I’ve wanted to see the works which will be on display by Rogier van der Weyden for a while but never got to Belgium. We will be combining this with a visit to see Dutch Masters from the Hermitage which is on from at the Hermitage outpost in Amsterdam from October 7, 2017 – May 28, 2018.
- Milan – Inside Caravaggio – Palazzo Reale, 28 September 2017 to 29 January 2018
Quite simply, I’ll go to every Caravaggio exhibition I can. There’s also the prospect of a Durer exhibition on in Milan and the same time. I think on this occasion we are going to combine it with a trip to Brescia which is only an hour away and has a couple of Raphael Paintings I’ve not yet seen.
I have to say, it’s only by spending hours researching plus some great advice from the Apollo Magazine that I came across all these exhibitions – so if anyone knows of a great resource to make it easier, do leave me suggestions in the comments box.