It is that time of year when people book holidays or look forward to the year ahead. Most of my trips are already planned in with attention now turning to 2021… However, art wise I think that 2020 will be a great year. The next 12 months will have some great exhibitions and here are the highlights of what Alessandra and I will be visiting.
1) Van Eyck An Optical Revolution (1 February until 30 April)
The Ghent Exhibition of Van Eyck will I’m sure be a blockbuster and it is already in my mind approaching something like the Bosch exhibition of 2016 – this was also a homecoming of sorts for the Cities most famous son! I wanted to see the Ghent Altarpiece for years and wasn’t disappointed. I have been a huge Van Eyck fan ever since. The inclusion of some of outer panels makes this really special. Continue reading 5 exhibitions to look forward to in 2020 →
“Impossible to see the future is”, said Yoda, and that’s certainly been true in respect of the art I’ve seen throughout 2017. I couldn’t have imagined for example how spectacular the Bernini exhibition currently on at the Galleria Borghese would be. Likewise, the Arcimboldo exhibition at the Palazzo Barberini. Both had been unknown to me back in January 2017. But that doesn’t stop us non-Jedi trying, so here are the 5 things I’m looking forward to visiting in 2018.
Fingers crossed it lives up to the last 12 months because looking back we really did see some fantastic stuff. Both the highly acclaimed Vermeer at the Louvre, which kicked of the artist year for us, and then the Caravaggio at the Palazzo Reale which bookended the year were fabulous. Both exhibitions will stay long in the memory and have raised the bar in terms of what we should expect from a truly great exhibition.
It’s difficult to imagine how a collection of 1,500 or more works can be reassembled. In reality we are likely to see less than a tenth of the works this pioneering monarch put together. Continue reading Not to be missed exhibitions in 2018 →
Visiting Milan has become a family tradition over the last couple of years as my wife Alessandra and I make the most of being in Italy over the Christmas Break.
One Milanese tradition I wish London Mayor Sadiq Khan would import is to be found at Palazzo Marino. It’s the seat of government very much like our own City Hall though with a more familiar grand palazzo feel.
Each year they get one artistic masterpiece and put it on display. It’s free to go and see and it’s used as an opportunity to provide the art loving public with the chance to see something they wouldn’t otherwise. Continue reading Why London ought to get its own artistic treat for Christmas 2018 →
It’s a real testament to the popularity of this exhibition, Dentro Caravaggio (best translated as ‘inside Caravaggio’), that people in Milan were prepared to join long queues for up to two hours in the hope of getting into see this superb exhibition. Every online ticket on my visit, on 26th December, was sold out but Santa had thankfully already taken care of the logistics. Continue reading Inside Caravaggio – A Christmas Treat from Milan →
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. Continue reading What to look forward to in 2017… →
I’m unashamedly a big fan of the mega museums. I keep lists and tick them off. Yes, I’m that geeky. But it’s also important to recognise the great collections elsewhere. Recently my travels took me to Bergamo and the Accademia Carrara.
It has recently undergone a makeover (it was closed from 2008-15) and the result is impressive. This is one of the best run museums Continue reading Brilliance and Lotto in Bergamo →
Over the recent holidays I spent a few days being shown around Milan for the first time by my wife, who went to university in the city. With my list of some 28 paintings in hand, a priority stop for me was the Pinoteca di Brera. It’s certainly undergoing a real transformation under its impressive new Director. The energy he’s brought to the institution was evident in the new signs popping up at various points as well as the ongoing rehang.
But what really caught my attention in the gallery was the small little display entitled “Caravaggio. Readings and Re-readings” and, in particular, the recently discovered Judith Beheads Holofernes from Toulouse.
Is it indeed by the master himself? Continue reading Caravaggio Rediscovered →
The very concept of what constitutes culture arouses a fair bit of discussion even in my office, not least as one of my colleagues originally hails from Hull. On 1st January 2017 the city will take up its place as the UKs City of Culture. I could just about cope with understanding the concept behind Liverpool as the European Capital of Culture in 2008. But I just don’t see Hull as cultural. Perhaps it’s simply because I grew up not a million miles away.
The UK isn’t alone in having its own city of Culture and I was recently fortunate enough to spend a day in the beautiful northern Italian town of Mantua. Continue reading A tale of two Cultural Cities →