Visit London Blog » paintings Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Video: Transforming the Dutch Galleries at the Wallace Collection Tue, 13 Mar 2012 11:00:52 +0000

There’s just one week to go until the newly restored Dutch Galleries at the beautiful Wallace Collection are opened to the public.

This fantastic video give a taster of the amount of work involved in getting the galleries ready for 20 March. I can’t wait to see the finished article!

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David Hockney: A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts Mon, 23 Jan 2012 15:49:04 +0000

If you manage to get your hands on tickets for David Hockney: A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts, you are in for a treat.

David Hockney is one of Britain’s finest and most-loved artists. He was asked to take part in this exhibition almost five years ago, after the Royal Academy of Arts realised they could base a whole exhibition on his most recent works. 

The paintings are mainly local landscapes created in Hockney’s native Yorkshire. Many of the 150 paintings on display were made within the last eight years and various mediums and media have been used. Some of the most interesting on display are his iPad paintings, depicting glorious landscapes and effectively replacing the traditional sketchbook.

Some huge paintings have been done using several canvases. “Winter Timber, 2009″ is one example: an oil painting on 15 canvases.  Others are individual paintings filling an entire wall and again, the vivid colours pop out and bring the room to life. 

Some of my favourite paintings on display were inspired by memories from Hockney’s childhood, as well as his recent recollections and they present an extraordinary collection.  The landscapes seem real yet we know they contain an element of the imagined.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts until 9 April 2012

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Degas and the Ballet at the Royal Academy of Arts Tue, 27 Sep 2011 17:00:30 +0000

For anyone who grew up wanting to be a ballet dancer, there is a stunning exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts that will bring those childhood dreams alive: Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement.

The extensive collection features more than 85 paintings and sculptures of dancers, many of whom were ballet dancers based at the Paris Opéra during the late 1800s.  Edgar Degas was known as the Painter of Dancers and he was fascinated by the study of movement, especially that of dancers bodies.

His works show ballet dancers rehearsing in the studio, performing on stage and preparing off stage. Degas interprets them in such an intimate way that you feel you are also in the room. 

Some of my favourite pieces include Dancers in Blue and Three Dancers, as well as Degas’ famous bronze sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. The latter is based on a series of 20 drawings of a live model from different angles – a technique known as photosculpture.

Degas also experimented with photography, which was a fairly new medium at the time, and three of his only known photographs are displayed at the exhibition.

Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement at the Royal Academy of Arts until the 11 Dec 2011. Book tickets

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Chris Ofili at Tate Britain Mon, 25 Jan 2010 15:58:14 +0000 This morning’s press view of the new Chris Ofili exhibition at Tate Britain was the perfect antidote to a rainy, grey Monday.

Viewed from afar, the large canvases are striking, bright and full of colour. On closer inspection, you can see the pieces are a collage of multi-coloured dots with a few additions – human teeth, glitter, beads and most famously, elephant dung!

My favourite paintings were the psychedelic Afrodizzia (Second version) and No Woman, No Cry, a moving portrait of a weeping woman, which Ofili created in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence enquiry.

The Turner Prize-winning artist was born in Manchester and first came to prominence in the mid-90s. His art is heavily influenced by his Nigerian heritage, hip-hop culture, spirituality and nature, and his art cleverly fuses all of these elements.

As well as the paintings, there are a range of watercolours and sketches on display. Some of Ofili’s later work, inspired by a residency in Trinidad, is also included. It’s interesting to see how his style has changed – the later works are much more subdued, using layers of dark blue and the theme of nature becomes increasingly important.

Chris Ofili opens at Tate Britain on 27 January and continues until 16 May.

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JW Waterhouse at the Royal Academy of Arts Tue, 23 Jun 2009 15:36:27 +0000 John William Waterhouse - Circe Invidiosa: Circe Poisoning the Sea, 1892, Oil on canvas, 180.7 x 87.4 cm. South Australian Government Grant 1892 Art Gallery of South Australia

The JW Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts feels a little overshadowed by the Summer Exhibition‘s excitement and debate, but it’s the perfect companion to the bigger show.

The paintings have been gathered together from public and private collections across the world. It’s thrilling to see the paintings on display at the Royal Academy where many of them were first exhibited in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Pick up an audio guide and listen to the stories behind the paintings and dream yourself away into romantic world of classical stories and medieval chivalry.

One of my favourite things about Waterhouse’s paintings is the detail in the costumes worn by the heroes and heroines. After you see the exhibition, you’ll have an overwhelming desire to take some velvet cushions to the park and lounge about in long flowing robes being emo.

Read more about the JW Waterhouse exhibition.

Are you a fan of Pre-Raphaelite paintings? Then check out these places where you can see more Pre-Raphaelite art in London:

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