Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Degas to Picasso at the Ashmolean

This special exhibition at the Ashmolean continues until 7 May, and is described on the website:
'In works by Matisse, Manet, Chagall, Renoir, Degas, Léger and Picasso, this ground-breaking exhibition tells one of the most compelling stories in the history of art – the rise of modernism.
From 1800 to the mid-twentieth century, this story was played out in France, especially in Paris where international artists were drawn by salons and dealers, the creative exchange between poets and painters and the bohemian atmosphere of such places as Montmartre and Montparnasse.
With over 100 works from a private collection that has never been seen in Britain before, the exhibition plots a course from Romantic artists such as Ingres, Gericault and Delacroix via the dramatic artistic transformations of Van Gogh and Cézanne, to the radical experiments in Cubism by innovators such as Picasso and Braque.'
The poster for the exhibition is delightful, but photographs were not permitted inside this exhibition, so the Leger painting of Mother and Child is the only one I can show here, although there are a few more on the website.
Having seen the Degas to Picasso exhibition, I went to have a look at the Hiroshige's View of Mount Fuji exhibition which is in Gallery 29 until 26 March. It's a beautiful exhibition, well worth a look:
 This first woodblock print depicts Mount Fuji behind 2 trees losing their leaves in autumn
 In this one, Mount Fuji is viewed through the split trunk of an ageing cherry tree.
 This lovely print shows 2 people fishing on the Sagami River, with egrets flying around.
 Here Mount Fuji is framed between blossoming cherry trees.
 From there I looked around the large ceramic pots thinking how attractive they would be in the garden!
 On the left is a jar decorated with palm trees, from the Loomweight Basement, Knossus, Crete 1850-1800BC. The other half of the pot is is in the Heraklion museum. The jar on the right decorated with a six-tentacled octopus and murex shells is from the Palace at Knossus, 1450-1400 BC.
 The jar below was also magnificent
I loved this Stanley Spencer painting of Cacti
 and then was very pleased to find a William De Morgan cabinet with lots and lots of wonderful pieces inside it:

 Above a snake tile panel
 Above a jardiniere and below a beautiful bowl.
 Below a carnation tile panel

 Above a Blackbird bottle, as you can see in the cabinet, there were also golds and reds, but i prefer the amazing blues and greens of these pieces.
There were also amazing blue skies when I visited the Ashmolean last week, on arrival at the bus station:
and on leaving the Ashmolean, the sky was still quite blue.


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