Beyond Caravaggio National Gallery, 12th October to 15th January 2017 When Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio reached Rome in the 1590s, his emotionally charged, dramatically lit paintings caused a sensation. One painter later wrote: “The painters then in Rome were so taken by the novelty, and the younger ones especially flocked to him and praised him alone as the only true imitator of nature, looking upon his works as miracles, they vied with each other in following him.” Patrons queued up to commission masterpieces, such as the National Gallery’s The Supper at Emmaus (1601) and the recently rediscovered The Taking of Christ (1602). Beyond Caravaggio explores the artist’s decisive impact through such followers as Giovanni Baglione, Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, Jusepe de Ribera and Gerrit van Honthorst. Each took aspects of his style—painting from life, use of chiaroscuro, powerful storytelling—to develop their own approaches. This exhibition demonstrates his lasting legacy.
Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans Royal Academy, 29th October to 29th January 2017 Luc Tuymans, one of Belgium’s most celebrated contemporary artists, here curates an exhibition of works—paintings, drawings and prints—by James Ensor (1860-1949), an elusive but powerful figure within Belgium’s turn of the century avant garde. Ensor’s richly poetic and sometimes disturbing artworks range from closely observed evocations of the Belgian countryside to surreal dreams, featuring masked figures and skulls. This is the first major UK showing of his work in 20 years.
The Mythic Method: Classicism in British Art, 1920-1950 Pallant House, Chichester, 22nd October to 19th February 2017 This is another thought-provoking exhibition curated by Simon Martin, artistic director of Pallant House, casting new light on British 20th-century art. Rather than rejecting classical ideals, many artists, he suggests, embraced classicism and mythological subject matter as principles of order in a chaotic world. The exhibition will include work by Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson and Wyndham Lewis, as well as largely forgotten figures including Edith Rimmington and John Kavanagh.