Archive for the ‘National Gallery Edinburgh’ Category

French Drawings – Poussin to Seurat – Edinburgh

Monday, April 18th, 2011

We at Intermezzo have decided to introduce an occasional blog which will cover exhibitions and assorted arts matters presented with integrity and independence, was well as clarity, insight and good English.  We will send our own incognito and opinionated man, who will report without too much pretension, and who will be pleased to receive your comments.

My first foray into the Exhibition world for the readers of the Intermezzo blog ….

French Drawings – Poussin to Seraut

National Gallery Complex Edinburgh (admission free- showing until 1 May 2011)

In three rooms on the Upper Level South of the Gallery, this consists of a selection of the hundreds of French drawings the gallery has assembled to complement its French paintings.  As well as the headliners, artists include Boucher, Ingres and Corot.   Despite the large number of visitors and the occasional tutorial in front of the works, this is a fine intimate show. 

If you haven’t seen it before, Etiennne Jeraut’s Family in an Interior is well worth the effort of negotiating the still ongoing tram works on Princes Street.

Sometimes drawings relate to paintings in the collection.  For example, Pissarro is represented with a charcoal work entitled “Figures at the Banks of the Marne near Chennevieres”   If you then stand back from this you can see into another room, where directly opposite you, is his large painting “The Marne at Chennevieres”.   A finished drawing and a preparatory sketch.

Seraut’s work is wholly self evident – always something to do with bathing!  Poussin’s life cycle “A Dance to the Music of Time” is a pen, ink and wash on paper – so good you can buy the postcard…

There is a mixture of finished drawings and sketches, so you might not be moved by much but my goodness you will, dear reader, marvel at the artistic skill on display and revel in the wonderful draughtsmanship.  Enjoy.

For more information on this Exhibition click here

Pissarro’s Chimney – April 2011

The Honourable Mrs Graham by Thomas Gainsborough

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Mary Cathcart (1757-1792) was born to the 9th Earl of Cathcart who was ambassador to Catherine the Great in Russia. Brought up in Russia she returned to England when she was 17 and married Thomas Graham, a Scottish aristocrat.  Very much in love with Mary there is a story that when she forgot her jewellery on the way to a ball, Thomas made a 90 mile round trip on horseback to fetch it for her.  She was considered a beauty of her day and was befriended by Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire, while on holiday in Brighton. 

 She died young, at the age of 35, from tuberculosis and her husband was so grief-stricken that he had her portrait covered with a cloth and then gave it to her sister, as he could no longer bear to look at it.  Mary is buried in the churchyard at Methven in Perthshire.  This painting is considered to be one of Thomas Gainsborough’s finest full-length portraits and it was bequeathed to the National Galleries in Edinburgh on the understanding that it never leaves Scotland.

Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. The son of a weaver, his artistic skills were recognised early and he left to study art in London at the age of 13.  His skills as a portrait artist moved him from Sudbury to Ipswich and then to Bath where his sitters were now authors, actors and members of high society. 

In 1768 he was elected a founder member of the Royal Academy of Arts and moved to Pall Mall in London.  He was a favourite of King George III and his wife Charlotte and was commissioned to paint their portrait.  He had an uneasy relationship with the Royal Academy and eventually withdrew from them, preferring to hang his paintings in his own studio.  Although he preferred to paint landscapes it is for his portraits that he is remembered including Mr and Mrs Andrews, Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire and of course the Honourable Mrs Graham.

You will find this portrait in Room X in the National Gallery of Edinburgh.

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