Tuesday, 3 December 2019

RETURN TO THE NATIONAL GALLERY LONDON


The National Gallery in Central London is one of Britain's most renowned Art Galleries.
Founded in 1824, it houses over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.
And although I have visited the Galleries several times I don't believe that I've ever put
together an official blog post here.
I have of course blogged the Galleries neighbours next door, The National Portrait Gallery
which is due to close down next Summer for 3 years of extensive building and refurbishments.
But I was pleased to see what many might describe as some of the world's most important
paintings while walking around these hallowed grounds.

Below are just some of those paintings as well as the Gallery website
with information on events and up and coming works to go on display.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY WEBSITE

Above and below is Vincent van Gogh's Sunflower painting, understandably
one of the world's most well known works of art. And it's actually
one of twelve that Van Gogh created in 1888.
It's very presence in this gallery certainly caused a lot of interest
and it took a while for me to get a clear shot of it through my camera lens. 


Above: 'A Wheatfield, with Cypresses' by Vincent van Gogh.
Created in 1889 while Van Gogh spent a year at St-Remy in a
mental asylum near Arles.

Above:  'Bathers at La Grenouillere' by Claude Monet - 1869


Above and below:  'Bathers at Asnieres' by Georges Seurat.
This well known 1884 creation by Seurat is based on numerous
preparatory drawings and oil studies.
Above:  'The Skiff ( La Yole ) 1875 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Believed to have been painted at Chatou to the West of Paris.
An area associated with boating and often frequented by Renoir. 
Below left:  'Misia Sert'  (Maria Godebska) - 1904
by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Below Right: 'The Umbrellas - 1881-6 by Renoir.

'Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses) by Paul Cezanne.
Painted between 1894-1905
'The Thames below Westminster '  by Claude Monet - about 1871.

One visitor to the Galleries was keen to make a sketch of Rembrandt,
which is quite a skill considering that he was sitting quite a few feet
away from the actual painting.

Below: Dutch artist Rembrandt looking quite frail in a self portrait
that he painted at the age of 63 in 1669, the final year of his life.
  
Above: 'Young man holding a skull' (Vanitas) 1626-8
by Dutch artist Frans Hals.
Below: Prince Rupert, Count Palatine - about 1637.
Created by the Studio of Anthony van Dyck.

Below: 'Portraits of Two Young Englishmen - about 1635-40.
A painting that was once thought to be by Van Dyck, but now
believed to have been created by an unknown artist working
in the style of Van Dyck.
Below left:  Mr and Mrs William Hallett (The Morning Walk) - 1785
by Thomas Gainsborough.

Below middle: Portrait of Philip Lucasz - 1635.
By Rembrandt.

Bottom Right: Portrait of a Man holding a Glove - 1641.
By Bartholomeus van der Helst.

Diego Velazquez's renowned painting with the curious title
'The Toilet of Venus' - The Rokeby Venus - 1647- 51.
It must come as a bit of a shock to learn that our very own National Portrait
Gallery here in London will be closing it's doors next Summer in June.
And with lots of building and refurbishments in the planning it is not
expected to re-open for at least 3 years.
This will mean that from June onwards all of it's exhibits will be distributed
around the country including several works that will be given temporarily
here next door at The National Gallery.

More can be read about the new changes at THE LONDONIST.
Above:  'Boy Bitten by a Lizard'  -  about 1594-5
by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Below: 'Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist' - 1609-10
By Caravaggio.
This work was painted after Caravaggio was forced to flee Rome
after killing a man.
Above: 'Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, about 1615-17.
The artist paints herself in the guise of Catherine of Alexandria, the
4th-century Saint who survived being tied to a wheel with iron spikes.
The tight crop and dramatic lighting owe much to the style of Caravaggio.

This painting is a new acquisition and was acquired by the National Gallery
in 2018.
Above: 'The Hay Wain' by John Constable - 1821.
Constable's Hay Wain must be one of Britain's most loved and popular
paintings. It features a scene of the River Stour in Constable's native
Suffolk. The red-roofed cottage was the home of a local farmer, Willy Lott.
Art enthusiasts and tourists regularly flock to this spot where much of
the Suffolk scenery is still the same.
'The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up'  - 1838.
By Joseph Mallord William Turner.

Interestingly Turner's image of The Fighting Temeraire will feature on
a new £20 note, to be issued by The Bank of England for circulation
in 2020.

Above:  'Venus and Adonis' - 1555.
Created by the Workshop of Titian (Tiziano).
Above: 'The Rape of the Sabine Women' - 1635-40
by Peter Paul Rubens.

Below: 'Samson and Delilah' by Rubens - about 1609-10