The cupid statue has travelled all the way from the South of France to The Gallery to celebrate Eurostar’s new direct service to the artists home region, starting on May 1st.
Take a look at its journey:
The cupid will be on display for the two of months and then make its way back to Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-ProvenceCategories: Collection, Displays, Uncategorized | Tags: cezanne, Cupid, Eurostar, Galley | Leave a comment
Consisting of over 24,000 individual items, prints form the largest part of the collection in the Courtauld Institute of Art. Rotating displays in the print room curated by the print room assistants, like myself, offer visitors the chance to see part of this extensive collection. To complement the current exhibition in the Courtauld, which reconstructs Goya’s Witches and Old Women album, I have selected prints that show artistic responses to witchcraft for the current print room display.
Witches and Supernatural Spirits charts a fascination with witchcraft from the sixteenth century through to the 1850s. These haggard creatures, brewing potions over blazing fires, provided artists subjects to demonstrate their skill at representing grotesque figures in dramatically lit settings. Perhaps most striking was a witch’s unnatural act of flying, which the earliest treatise on witchcraft, the Malleus Maleficarum (1486), described as being achieved through the application of a magical lotion to the body. Parmigianino explores this by showing a witch mounted on a chimerical animal, at the moment when its feet leave the earth.
Like many sixteenth-century artists, Johann Wilhelm Baur’s Witches’ Sacrifice, responds to contemporary accounts from the European witch-hunts. This macabre print shows a witch crouching over her victim, lying within a magic circle, as she slits his throat. What I find particularly curious about this etching is the artist’s sense of humour. He show one of the flying devils in the billowing smoke in the upper left farting into the fire below whilst looking out at us and laughing.
Researching for this display I was struck by the fact that so many works illustrate descriptions in literature of witchcraft, many of which are embedded in our culture. Perhaps the most well-known are the three witches from Macbeth, who famously predict the fate of the play’s hero. This print comes from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, a project begun in 1786 by the engraver and publisher John Boydell to produce of an illustrated edition of Shakespeare’s plays based on paintings by the most prominent painters of the day. Here Richard Westall conjures up the witches’ foreboding prophecy by showing the figures shrouded in smoke.
Written in 1790 Robert Burns’ poem Tam o’Shanter (1790) describes the drunken Tam stumbling across a dance attended by witches and warlocks in a haunted church. In his illustration to the poem published in 1855 John Faed shows Tam, having been discovered, fleeing on his horse Maggie, pursued by an array of monstrous creatures. Here the printmaker James Stephenson demonstrates a masterful use of light and shade to convey the atmosphere of the nocturnal encounter and highlight the ghoulish features of the pursuers.
The display, along with rest of collection of works on paper, can be viewed by visitors to the print room. As well as offering visits by appointment the print room is open for drop-in session every Wednesday during term time from 13.30-16.00.
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After a busy week of installation, our major exhibition Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album is almost ready to open.
Our exhibition space has been transformed, offering visitors a glimpse into the private world of Goya’s boundless imagination, expressed through visions and nightmares superstitions and problems of old age.
Our conservation and curatorial teams have been working with museums and galleries across the globe and as a result we have reunited the wildly scattered pages of Goya’s Witches and Old Women Album. This is the first time this album has been reconstructed in its original sequence and we can’t wait to show you the results.
The exhibition coming together
Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album opens 25 March 2015
The Courtauld Gallery , Somerset House
Categories: Collection, Exhibitions, Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album | Tags: album, album d, Courtauld, Courtauld Gallery, drawing, drawings, exhibtion, goya, Juliet Wilson-Bareau, London, major exhibition, Must see, old women, stephanie buck, witches | Leave a comment
Burns Night is just around the corner and in celebration we have delved into our Prints and Drawings collection to bring you a selection of Scottish inspired works on paper.
Scotland has long been on the artist’s wish list of places to make work, and it is easy to see why. The following works deliver a strong sense of the almighty scale of the Scottish landscape, and the challenges it would have no doubt presented the artists with during their visits in the late 1700s, early 1800s.
From wide rivers and endless forests to vast Mountains and stormy skies, the environment demands of the artist an equally natural, confident and uncompromising approach to capture its often breath-taking beauty.
And if you would like to find out more about these and other works in our Prints and Drawings Collection you can visit the Prints and Drawings Study Room between 1.30pm and 4pm on Wednesdays when the Study Room is open on a drop-in basis
Find out more
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