Thursday, August 9, 2012

Top Six London Art Adventures

From Shakespeare to the Queen
by Elissa Watters, guest blogger
The foetus in the womb, c. 1511
Leonardo da Vinci
Visiting London sometime soon post Olympics?  Don’t forget to take advantage of all the art this amazing city has to offer!

1) Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist At the Royal Collection until October 7, this exhibition displays Leonardo’s extraordinary studies of the human body.  A true “Renaissance man,” Leonardo was versed in many disciplines; in addition to being an artist, he was an inventor, writer, geologist, botanist, anatomist...and the list goes on.  Leonardo’s extensive knowledge is evident in his drawings.  In particular, Leonardo's drawings of the human body reflect his understanding of the human skeleton, organs, and muscle structure; they are treasures to the human eye.
Lightness of Being, 2007
Chris Levine

2) The Queen: Art & Image Queen Elizabeth II is on display yet again.  To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the National Portrait Gallery is running an exhibition of images of the Queen until October 21.  The exhibition reveals both the ever-changing representation of the Queen in painted portraits, commissioned photographs, press images and other works of art, and “the radical changes in portraiture and profound social developments since the 1950s.”

3) Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings The Courtauld Gallery is currently showing the drawings of some of the most honored artists ever, including Dürer, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Matisse.  Some of the works in this exhibition, which will end September 9, are well-known masterpieces, while others are more obscure, but equally engaging.

4) Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye  Until October 14, Tate Modern is exhibiting the works of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944).  In addition to displaying sixty of Munch’s paintings (the medium for which he is best known), the Tate is also showing some of Munch’s less-well-known photographs and film clips.

The Sick Child, 1885
Edvard Munch

5) Royal Opera House If you enjoy opera, don’t forget to go to the Royal Opera House!  Go to the Opera House’s website to see what operas are on while you are in London, as each opera is performed for only a few days.

6) Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Treat yourself to a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.  For comedy, see “The Taming of the Shrew;” for romantic comedy, “As You Like It” (Sept 3-Sept 16); for tragedy, “Hamlet” (Aug 28-Sept 1) or “Richard III;” and for a combination of tragedy, comedy and history, “Henry V.”  Shakespeare's classic comedy “Twelfth Night” is also showing at the Globe; unfortunately, all of its performances are sold out.

Mentioned in this article @BritishMonarchy, @NPGLondon, @Tate, @CourtauldGall, @RoyalOperaHouse, @The_Globe.

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