The Courtauld Gallery reopened last week on the 19th of November, after a £50 million three year refurbishment and modernisation scheme, and boy does it look stunning! The moment you step in, you are met with a regal white spiral staircase and a cozy christmas tree decorated with fruit baubles. Best known for showcasing art works from the Renaissance to the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist period, the gallery has three floors, out of which one is dedicated to the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist era - which is right up my alley!
My interest was the third floor, where I was excited to see many famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings which I only got to see in my art history books. Displayed across two rooms, this collection guides you through some of Cezanne’s most significant work, and famous pieces by Georges Seurat, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Amedeo Modligani, Claude Monet, Toulouse Lautrec and Paul Gauguin. Basically, you are being walked through the major art currents of the second half of the 19th century and onwards. It’s a great opportunity to closely inspect the works of these artists and other painters as well, and compare ideas and styles of paintings that belong to specific artistic currents. If you are like me and find things such as the evolution or transition of the drawing style, colour palette, techniques and chosen subjects across artistic currents fascinating, then this collection is the perfect study place. I was thrilled to see works that belong to the impressionist, primitivist, pointillist, expressionist and cubist movements all in the same place.
Here are some of my favourite pieces of the exhibition:
From left to right: Edouard Manet,'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère'; Georges Seurat,'The Bridge at Courbevoie'; Amedeo Modligiani,'Iris Tree'; Paul Cezanne,'Still Life with Plaster Cupid'
Overall, visiting the Courtauld Gallery was a fantastic experience and I definitely recommend it! There are many fascinating art works to see, and the gallery often has other exhibitions on display as well which are great to see. I also have to mention that their gift shop is worth having a look at!
Where: Somerset House, Strand, London
You can find more information about ticketing, further exhibitions and general queries at https://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/
Written by Tímea Koppándi