“The Greats”

January 3, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume | 0 Comments |

Lady Agnew daring John Singer Sargent to get on with it

(Art Gallery of New South Wales, January 2016)

As if it is not enough to give the world The Witchery, Edinburgh, in the form of her three great galleries (National, Portrait and Modern) has lent 70-or-so important works that Sydney-siders and visitors can see till 14 February 2016.

NAGVelEclectic but sumptuous, in this selection we get Botticelli’s Weymyss Madonna, Old Woman cooking eggs by Velásquez (above)…


“We tend to sneak off here for a picnic on Rent Day…”

…works by Landseer (above), Reynolds, Titian, Rembrandt, and Watteau (his chocolate-box Venetian scene is below).

NAGwatA modest and immodest brace of Gainsboroughs, a luminous little piece by Corot, and a mighty Lorrain-style landscape by the proto-impressionist Constable, featuring those endless English clouds (below)….



…Gauguin’s statuesque Three Tahitians (above), some reasonable other impressionist daubs, a king-sized postcard of Niagara Falls, an appalling lighthouse by JMW Turner, and an ‘amusing’ little parable by Goya (below).  Plus some clean, miraculous sketches by those minor artisans, Da Vinci and Raphael.


Better to call it Some of the Greats and some Others, but it is still a pleasure to see these works in their true finished form, albeit under glass.


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