ESCAPE TO FINE ART
THE COURTAULD GALLERY
There is a lot to gaze at, at the Courtauld Gallery, located within Somerset House when you’re ready. Inside hangs a worthy collection of paintings, drawings, prints and even sculptures from the most important artists, from the antique renaissance to the 20th century.
The Courtauld Gallery allows you to remember real art, not on the screen but up close in real life. What’s exciting is, this kind of art makes you ask questions… is Vincent Van Gogh in pain in his “Self portrait with bandaged ear”, which we would now create in a matter of seconds but call it a selfie. Other main works in The Courtauld include, “A bar at the Folies-Bergère” By Édouard Manet, a lively painting capturing the atmospheric scene of the Paris music hall. Edgar Degas’ stylish “Two dancers on the stage” couldn’t make ballet more appealing. Luckily for us, Degas had a permit that allowed him to watch rehearsals backstage at Opéra de Paris, where he captured the personality and realness of the dancers. The elegancy and concentration of the ballerinas as well as the simple details of the flowers on the dresses, is captured in an avant-garde way by Degas. He deliberately chose to not include every dancer and create an unusual cropping of the painting by using unique viewpoints. Finally, you can’t miss the unusual and mythical “The trinity with saints” by Alessandro Filipepo Botticelli. Mary Magdalen is dressed head to toe in her own hair alongside John the Baptist who is dressed in fur, a sign of wilderness which loses me into fantasy land. I wonder if this may have been an inspiration to designer Charlie Le Mindu’s collection of garments made from hair? I’m transported to a world of peace, vibrance, harmony and nature. There is a nice little hint of humour too, from the two small Archangels, who seem to be chatting to each other and taking no notice of what’s happening behind them. It’s like I just read a magical chapter in the bible that makes me want to know and read more, to complete the story.
Plus other wonderful paintings, drawings and sculptures dating back to the 18th century. From the artists Henri Matisse, Roger Fry, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet and Paul Cèzanne. Drawings by Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens, Turner and sculptures by Gaugin, Edgar Degas, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
The Courtauld offers a wide variety of beauty and history.
Book your tickets now at http://www.courtauld.ac.uk £3 with National Art Pass.
Visit The Courtauld Gallery blog http://galleryblog.courtauld.ac.uk for behind the scenes access.
Article by Bronwyn Stemp.