If you’re heading down to London any time soon there are a few exhibitions that are worth seeing and are varied enough for there to be something to suit anyone’s tastes.
I wasn’t excited at the thought of Bronze at the Royal Academy but it turned out to be a real winner. Featuring items made out of bronze dating back BC until the present day it delights with its scope, its variety of subject matter, its world-wide range of exhibits and the many uses they were put to.
From the decorative to the useful, the ceremonial, the religious and sculptural representations, they’re all here. My favourites include Buddhas, such as a late sixth century Buddha Shakyamuni ubn Abhaya-Mudra from India, to much more recent works by Brancusi and Giacometti.
The exhibition ends on December 9, so don’t miss it if you’re in London before then.
At Tate Britain the Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian Avant-Garde tries to convince us the group had a “self-conscious, radical project of overturning artistic orthodoxies”.
The exhibition tells the story of their work and lives, featuring what you will see as lots of stunning works if you’re a fan like me, although some find their work too sentimental. If you’re familiar with some of the Pre-Raphaelite works in Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum, you may find they’re at the Tate until January 13.
Also at the Tate is the Turner Prize exhibition, on until January 6, featuring the shortlisted works by Spartacus Chetwynd (installation, paintings and performers), Luke Fowler (film exploring the life of RD Laing), Paul Noble (highly-detailed drawings of a fantasy world) and my favourite Elizabeth Price (a mixture of imagery, texts and music exploring an historical fatal fire). This exhibition can take up a lot of time if you want to see everything properly.
At the National Portrait Gallery is the fascinating The Lost Prince, The Life and Death of Henry Stuart. It tells the story of the life of the boy who should have been king but died tragically young from what now is believed to have been typhoid fever – and who knows how British history may have gone if he had lived to take the throne and not his brother who became Charles I?
There are portraits of him and his family and favourites, but pictures from the collection he gathered at such a young age, plus the remaining parts of the effigy of him which went on top of his carriage as it was drawn through the streets. There are portraits by Holbein and Nicholas Hilliard, designs by Inigo Jones and hand-written poems by Ben Jonson.
There’s also letters between him and his family, showing their concern for the quality of his handwriting. A wonderful exhibition for anyone interested in history, and on until January 13.
Nearby at the National Gallery, a small free exhibition is The Late Works by Richard Hamilton, which is on until January 13. There are lots of sparse works featuring the female nude an interior design.
If you get to see all of these – it will certainly be a varied day…..