Tag Archives: Painting

Documentary: ‘Titian: Behind Closed Doors’ now on BBC iPlayer

In the winter of 1550 the most famous painter in Europe came face to face with the most powerful man on earth. What emerged from this encounter between Prince Philip of Spain and the Renaissance master Titian is seen as one of the most extraordinary commissions in all of Western art history.

Given almost total creative freedom, Titian was free to explore any subject he pleased. He returned with a set of increasingly dark and explicit images about sexual pursuit, assault and violence. Known as The Poesie, these pictures are admired for their groundbreaking brushwork and innovative composition – yet they remain Titian’s most disturbing and puzzling creations.

Now, coinciding with the National Gallery’s exhibition, which brought the paintings together for the first time in 300 years, we ask why this illusive, dark and often disturbing set of paintings has come to be seen as Titian’s greatest work.

This film includes scenes showing Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, closing the exhibition shortly after opening due to COVID-19.

First aired on 4 April 2020, the documentary is available on BBC iPlayer for the next 30 days. Click here to watch.

CANCELLED: ARTES Event: Self-Guided Tours of the National Gallery Exhibitions: Artemisia and Titian, Thursday 23 April 2020, 9:00 – 11:30 am

Artemisia Gentileschi, ‘Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria’, about 1615–17, National Gallery, London

Thursday 23 April 2020, 9:00 – 11:30 am

The National Gallery, London

You are cordially invited to self-guided tours of Artemisia and Titian. ARTES members will be able to access both exhibitions free of charge during the event (7 spaces are available).

9:00 am           

Entry via the Sainsbury Wing to the Artemisia exhibition (accessible via the Sainsbury Wing Entrance, to the far left of the main portico on Trafalgar Square, and descend to level -2). Names will be checked off a security list.

10:00 – 10:30 am

Coffee break at the National Gallery café.

10:30 – 11:30 am

Meet at the Titian exhibition entrance (via room 5) where exhibition curator Matthias Wivel will provide a brief introduction before the members’ self-guided tour.

Attendees may check their belongings into one of the Gallery’s cloakrooms. Large bags and suitcases may not be brought into the Gallery. Please note that this event is by invitation only. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

We kindly ask you to RSVP to akemi.herraezvossbrink@ng-london.org.uk by Friday 17 April 2020.

Featured Exhibition: Murillo: The Prodigal Son Restored, Hugh Lane Room, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, until 30 August 2020

Six remarkable paintings by one of the most celebrated painters of the Spanish Golden Age, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682), have been conserved and researched at the National Gallery of Ireland. They depict the parable of the Prodigal Son. Fascinating details uncovered during the conservation project and a number of related prints will be displayed alongside the series, revealing the secrets of the artistic process of this master storyteller.

Click here for more information.

Generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation

Curators| Muirne Lydon and Dr Aoife Brady

Several spaces still available for the ‘Bomberg and Spain’ discussion with exhibition curator Richard Cork at the National Gallery on Tuesday 25 February, 10:05 to 11 am [RSVP by Friday 21st]

You are cordially invited to an informal study morning in the exhibition Young Bomberg and the Old Masters (27 November 2019 – 1 March 2020)

David Bomberg
Study for ‘Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi’, about 1918–9
Oil on canvas
304.2 × 243.8 cm
Tate, London (T00319)
Purchased 1959
© Tate

10:05 am            

Meet at the exhibition in Gallery 1 (accessible via the Getty Entrance to the right of the main portico on Trafalgar Square).

Self-led tour of the exhibition and discussion (coordinated by National Gallery Spanish Paintings Curatorial Fellow Akemi Herráez). The discussion will take place during normal museum opening hours so please be mindful of other visitors.

10:30 – 11:00 am

Followed by curator Richard Cork’s overview of the exhibition and further discussion with a presentation including Bomberg’s paintings of Spain in the Wilkins Boardroom, Wilkins Building (Akemi Herráez will take the group from the exhibition to the conference room).

Attendees may check their belongings into one of the Gallery’s cloakrooms. Large bags and suitcases may not be brought into the Gallery. There is a bench in the exhibition for those who wish to sit. Please note that this study morning is by invitation only. Numbers are strictly limited to a quota of 13 people and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

We kindly ask you to RSVP to akemi.herraezvossbrink@ng-london.org.uk by Friday 21 February 2020.

ARTES Members’ Event: Discussion on Bomberg and Spain, The National Gallery, London, 25 February 2020, 10:05–11:00am (RSVP by 21 February)

You are cordially invited to an informal study morning in the exhibition Young Bomberg and the Old Masters (27 November 2019 – 1 March 2020)

David Bomberg
Study for ‘Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi’, about 1918–9
Oil on canvas
304.2 × 243.8 cm
Tate, London (T00319)
Purchased 1959
© Tate

10:05 am            

Meet at the exhibition in Gallery 1 (accessible via the Getty Entrance to the right of the main portico on Trafalgar Square).

Self-led tour of the exhibition and discussion (coordinated by National Gallery Spanish Paintings Curatorial Fellow Akemi Herráez). The discussion will take place during normal museum opening hours so please be mindful of other visitors.

10:30 – 11:00 am

Followed by curator Richard Cork’s overview of the exhibition and further discussion with a presentation including Bomberg’s paintings of Spain in the Wilkins Boardroom, Wilkins Building (Akemi Herráez will take the group from the exhibition to the conference room).

Attendees may check their belongings into one of the Gallery’s cloakrooms. Large bags and suitcases may not be brought into the Gallery. There is a bench in the exhibition for those who wish to sit. Please note that this study morning is by invitation only. Numbers are strictly limited to a quota of 13 people and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

We kindly ask you to RSVP to akemi.herraezvossbrink@ng-london.org.uk by Friday 21 February 2020.

Closing Soon: ‘Goya, génie d’avant-garde, le maître et son école’, Agen, France, until 10 February 2020

The City of Agen and its Fine Arts Museum, located between Bordeaux and Toulouse in the South-west of France, will present, over the winter of 2019–2020, an outstanding exhibition with a fresh and unexpected view on Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) and his work.


Through a selection of works in several media (paintings, drawings, engravings), the exhibition will demonstrate the essential characteristics that remain constant in Goya’s work and reveal the role played by his collaborators in his studio.


The Museum’s scientific team is assisted in this project by one of the specialists of Goya’s work, Juliet Wilson-Bareau, and the event has received personal support from the French Minister of Culture.


Nearly 90 works loaned by museums and private collections around the world (France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA) will be on display in the Jacobins’ Church (Église des Jacobins), an Agen architectural jewel and an emblematic place for the Museum’s temporary exhibitions.


Click here for an exhibition leaflet, and here for practical information.

Lunchtime Talk: Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, ‘Zurbarán: A global perspective’, National Gallery, London, 4 November 2019

Monday, 4 November 2019, 1–1.45 pm, doors open at 12.30 pm, Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Francisco de Zurbarán, 1598–1664, A Cup of Water and a Rose, about 1630. Oil on canvas, 21.2 x 30.1 cm. Bought for the National Gallery by the George Beaumont Group, 1997. NG6566.

The National Gallery holds one of the finest paintings collections by the Spanish 17th–century artist Francisco de Zurbarán in the world. They have also recently acquired a painting by his son, Juan. Zurbarán lived in Seville, the main European port to the Americas from which he sent over 100 paintings.

Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, The CEEH Curatorial Fellow in Spanish Paintings, discusses the history of collecting Zurbarán, including paintings in their Spanish context, collecting practices in the UK, and the circulation of his work in the Americas.

This event is free and no booking is required. Spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for more information.