Pierre-Paul Prud’hon: Napoleon’s Draughtsman

Prud'hon: A seated male nude

(Dulwich Picture Gallery, until 15 November 2015)

This year there are many exhibitions designed to capitalise on the sudden flourish of enthusiasm for all things Waterloo and Napoleon. This small show at Dulwich shrewdly uses the Bonaparte connection as an excuse for bringing a little-known artist back into the limelight, and bravo to that. I say ‘little-known’ with some caution. Having spent far too long in the art world, I sometimes find it hard to judge how familiar an artist would be to the average passer-by on Oxford Street; but I think I’m safe in assuming that Prud’hon isn’t exactly a household name.

Continue reading

Murillo and Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship

Murillo: Triumph of Faith

(Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 19 May 2013)

London is the place to be for Murillo at the moment. This exhibition at Dulwich is complemented and echoed by a similar small show at the Wallace Collection, both of which will be ending soon. Yesterday I took the chance to visit both in one day, an experience which forced me to think a little more deeply about Murillo as an artist and which offered two different, but complementary perspectives on his painting. While the Wallace Collection looks at how the Marquess of Hertford assembled his collection of Murillos in the 19th century, Dulwich goes further back in time and homes in on the artist’s relationship with his key patron in Seville, the cathedral canon Justino de Neve (1625-1685).

Continue reading