Published in October 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
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.