‘That’s a lot!’ – Reborn Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Goias and Bruges | art
TThe first time I visited the Courtauld Gallery, I managed to spill paint on the floor in front of it Autumn effect by Claude Monet in 1873 in Argenteuil. Nearly 100 years after Monet painted this calm but smoldering river, young Searle was making his own fall effect on the gallery floor. In the early 1970s, Courtauld was on the top floor of a building in Bloomsbury and Woburn Square, part of the University of London, and art students still got an excuse to copy works, although few were as messy as me.
Fifty years later, on the top floor of the newly restored and renovated Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House, which reopened to the public on November 19 after a two-year closure, I am in front of Monet once again. Returning to works of art over a long period of time is a good way to check yourself.
The gallery now has new floors, and nobody pulls swatches and paints into rooms now. The space is much more public, with ticket offices, a café and shop, better accessibility and screens open more than two years, not to mention half a century, ago.
Until now, Courtauld has always felt a little cramped, old-fashioned, and outdated—despite the quality of her permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Some, no doubt, will miss the subtle lightness, chain-hung paintings, and lights attached to picture frames.
The ghosts of the old Royal Academy, which were located in these same rooms in the latter part of the eighteenth centuryand early nineteenCenturies, it still somehow inhabits these spaces, and the revolving spiral staircase, which Thomas Rowlandson drew a cartoon In the bawdy 1811 slapstick scene of crowds climbing and stumbling to watch the Academy’s annual summer fair, I’ve never felt so far away.
“This crude and sexist satire targeted both the unruly visitors and the lofty pretensions of the Royal Academy…This tension between the ideal visitor and the real visitor was a constant feature of the Academy’s time at Somerset House,” reads a picture mural. Maybe not now. Who is the ideal visitor to Courtauld? Curiosity seems to be the key. Textile magnate, collector and philanthropist Samuel Courtauld, who founded both the Gallery and the Courtauld Institute in 1932, believed that art should be available.
One exhibition takes us through British drawings and watercolors, and we go from a mid-17th century drawing of missionaries in ceremonial costume to Thomas Gainsborough’s scene with sheep and cattle, and from Somerset’s house seen from the stormy Thames in 1788, through the arch directly on the river (before Building the Fender), to a highly detailed watercolor study of a sparrow’s nest.
Finally, a sparkling selfie by whirlpool Wyndham Lewis stared back across the room, as if he wished to break things. Moving through the galleries—from the early Renaissance to the late Renaissance, from Gothic ivory to Islamic metalwork to the Bloomsbury Collection, we might all be feeling a bit overheated.
In the room dedicated to the Northern Renaissance A bit crazy metaphor 1550 English Navy Officer John Luttrell, Naked to the Waist in a Naval Battle with the French, by Flemish Painter Hans Euth, hanging over a fireplace. In a way this does not detract from Pieter Brueghel the Elder almost contemporary Christ and the woman caught in adultery, whose still works occur in shades of gray, or Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1526 Adam and Eve, one of the about 50 best versions of the topic directed by Crunch and his workshop. It was clear that the fall of man was a good source of income.
Courtauld is still keen to keep his past, as well as the history of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other objects, alive. art History, after all, means not being forgotten, the accumulation of histories and stories in the broadest sense, as far as interpretation. Personal and cultural memory is key. If we shall remember that Goya’s subject, in Francesco de Saavedra’s 1798 portrait, is a progressive man of the Age of Enlightenment, we also deserve to know that the two nearby young men, in the portrait of Tele Kettle by Charles and John Seely, worked for the East India Company, “which relied on labor Jabri and the transfer of slaves from Africa to Asia.
Courtauld collections come from multiple sources. from the mosque Arthur Lee (First Lord of the Admiralty once), Thomas Gambier Barry (whose fortune also derived from the East India Company), and from the Austrian Count Antoine Celerne, who donated his Bruegels and Rubens and many besides, including the colossal triptych by fellow Austrian Oskar Kokoschka, requested by Seilern, and which decorated the ceiling of the Count’s house. In Courtauld, a cumbersome Kokoschka painting is hung opposite Lee Miller’s photographs of the artist at work, performing in front of the camera.
Kokoschka’s Myth of Prometheus. The Legend of Prometheus of Kokoschka It is in itself a cumbersome self-expressionist parody. that makes Cecily BrownThe new work commissioned at the top of the staircase feels almost subtle, with echoes of works from the set, a fall color palette, a jumble of weeds, faces and masculine characters running through the mix. I can’t take her drawings seriously, and I will exchange all this paint for a new batch of donations Made by Linda Karchan. Henry MichauxMescaline drawings, three Philip Guston Works on paper (which takes us from the abstract overtones of the heads to Ku Klux Klan), faint but trembling Cy Twombly, like Secret Whisper (a twombly bestseller, late fifties), and the surprising surprise of making a little oil on a card Joseph Boyce, by her arrangement of the little triangles, which inexplicably left me dead.
All this is a lot, but not so much that one is dumbfounded. The size of the galleries, the historical sweep and diversity of the collection, the surprises at every turn keep you alert and make you look, whether at the magnificent Cézanne, or the pavilion of a flashy angel like a tropical bird, the hall of mirrors and reflections in the virtual world of the Manet bar in Folies-Bergère, or the loafers and fishermen who suck Themselves in Seurat’s studies of river, light and intermittent time.
Cezanne card players are still determined to play them. Van Gogh with his bandaged ear and Seurat playing in front of her mirror with puffs of powder – one thing leads to another and then another. Samuel Courtauld’s exquisite collection of impressionist paintings has never looked so good in the open, light-filled spaces of Courtauld’s upper floor. What do you not like here? I can’t love Gauguin but I’m not asked to. Even those things that I don’t care much about are welcome in their place, though I’m happy to walk and let them go. The group never felt so looking and fresh.
The stars in Rubens’ Night View of 1635 may be thousands of light-years away, but they’re right at the surface, strewn foliage on trees, a brisk dust at night. The twigs and branches at the front of Sandro Botticelli’s 1890s Holy Trinity grow transparent, sinking into the ground. Everything is in the present and everything is full of time. Wonderful.