Monday, 21 July 2014

'Building the Picture'

Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting.

(strange spaces used in many fields such as computer game design)

National Gallery - Sunley Room

Free > 21st September

A small, beautiful exhibition bisected by the main staircase to the National Gallery from Trafalgar Square, with five films showing to the right and paintings shown to the left. The films are screened in a dark corner room, which seems to be the route to the staff tea room, making the cinema sporadically and abruptly curious as people familiar with the relative darkness glide through behind you whereas you have bumped and stumbled. The films illuminate vividly the influence (and strangeness) of painted and drawn Renaissance architecture in diverse fields. Having seen the films you cross the main stairway to the paintings which, even though you may be familiar with them as they are usually displayed, become extra-ordinary and unfamiliar seen so considerately displayed in small rooms and in unusual juxtaposition. An exquisite exhibition which gives you time to really think about the representation of architecture.

Oddly there is no printed catalogue. The text, illustrations and films are all online at the National Gallery site. This is a good resource with very diminished resolution picture files online but has nothing of the vitality of the paintings. If you can do so, go and see.

Carlo Crivelli 'The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius' 1486

Antonello da Messina 'Saint Jerome in his Study' about 1440

Bramantino 'The Adoration of the Kings' about 1500

Girolamo da Treviso 'Adoration of the Magi' about 1525

Baldassare Peruzzi 'Adoration of the Magi' about 1523

Sandro Botticelli 'The Adoration of the Kings' about 1470-75

Sebastiano del Piombo 'Judgement of Solomon' 1508-10

This painting stops you still. If you do go to the exhibition enjoy the solitude of sitting on your own in Trafalgar Square with something as fabulous as this.