There are so many exhibitions and events set for 2018, but I have picked out a few of my must see’s.
The National Gallery has ten exhibitions in 2018
‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’ is an exhibition I will definitely be going to see. I have always loved the PRB, their variety of inspirations and ways of seeing and painting differ for each member, yet they all had one thing in common: the belief that precise representations of humble and everyday subjects was a form of high art and had a purpose in being represented. I would say that the PRB painting’s that represent this belief the best is either Ford Maddox Brown’s, Work (1863) or John Everett Millais’ Christ in the House of his Parents (1850). This exhibition explores how Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (1434), which was acquired by the National Gallery in 1842, was a major inspiration for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. It informed their major ideas of observations, colour, techniques and draughtsmanship. I always love the National Gallery’s exhibitions, and the amount of space in the galleries lends itself to a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. The Sackler Gallery at the RA is lovely and their exhibitions are amazing, but I always find that the small space leaves me feeling a bit irritated. Maybe it’s just me? Maybe not?
Another exhibition that I would love to see at the National Gallery in 2018 is ‘The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet and Architecture’ which explored Monet’s relationship with architecture. The Credit Suisse are a financial services company that have been working in partnership with the National Gallery since 2008.
Monet’s time spent portraying Rouen Cathedral will be interesting to see as he worked through phases of more picturesque views, through to the modern city and the exploration of this is quite sparse. Monet was an inspiration for Edward Hopper, and the effects of light at different times of the day on buildings is something they both experimented with in their work. When the Rouen Cathedral series was finally completed in 1895, some twenty canvases were hung together in an exhibition at Monet’s Paris dealers gallery which showed the passage of time from dawn to dusk. The painter, Camille Pissarro, was struck by their originality and wrote to his son, “I am sorry you will not be here before Monet’s exhibition closes; his Cathedrals will be scattered here and there and they should be seen as a whole.”
One of the first exhibitions of 2018 from the RA and one that I am most excited to see is ‘Charles I: King and Collector’ (27th January to 15th April 2018). This exhibition brings together works of art from Charles’ collection, including those that were separated after his execution that now remain in collections all over Europe. It will be very revealing to see his collection in one space, and I wonder if anyone can pick up on common themes between the works of art.
I hope you like my selection, let me know in the comments section if there are any you would recommend or are looking forward to seeing!