With our gallery in full swing, it is only right to draw attention to the incredible works we have on display now. Our ‘What’s On?’ series will keep you in the know of exhibitions currently running at our South Kensington gallery on Gloucester Road, with a look into the amazing artists behind the collection.
Today we dive into a select few from the collection, including Tamara de Lempicka’s ‘Self Portrait’, Edwin Landseer’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’ and George Stubbs ‘Whistlejacket’.
Tamara de Lempicka
De Lempicka’s work blends influence from many artistic movements. Largely recognised as a female pioneer of art deco who had a soft & refined sense of cubism that seeped in through small geometric planes of intense colour. This, paired with her neoclassical influences from a trip to Italy in her early teens, led to her polished iconography being anachronistic during a time of post-war modernism and abstract expressionism.
Luminous fabrics swathe the bodies of women she depicts with smooth skin and intense stares. The portraits are stylised in a similar way to advertisement of the time; photographic lighting for drama with architecture of the big cities as backdrops. De Lempicka likened herself to the rich, famous & successful after becoming part of the glamour through painting celebrity portraits and choosing many a successful spouse in the years after the roaring 20’s.
Paper Size (W x H): 53 x 71 cms
Edition Size: 100
Here we have De Lempicka’s self-portrait. The piece was commissioned by the German fashion magazine Die Dame, celebrating the rising independence of women at the time. The artist depicts herself behind the wheel of a green Bugatti sports car, clutching the wheel as her scarf billows dramatically in the wind. Sharp folds of fabric, meticulous chrome detailing and striking lighting are all exemplary examples of the Art Deco style and the striking lighting provide the impression of speed as if the painting captures a fleeting moment.
We are fortunate to have a selection of 3 of Lempicka’s artworks currently on display, so we strongly advise coming to view her collection before her display ends.
From his early days, Landseer had always been inspired to paint animals, but was paused in doing so under instruction of his mentor who encouraged him to study animal anatomy to instil a greater rigor and technical correctness into his work.
It is this detailed knowledge, coupled with the extraordinary naturalism of his work, which has marked him as one of the greatest exponents of his genre. The outstanding quality of Landseer’s work is also augmented by his tendency to give the scenes he depicts a moral dimension, which made his paintings particularly appealing in an age which valued sentimentality in its art.
Monarch of the Glen
Paper (W x H): 38.5 x 40 ins
Edition Size: 85
Monarch of the Glen is a painting of a red deer stag, completed in 1851. It was commissioned as part of a series of three panels to hang in the Palace of Westminster in London. The painting was acquired by companies in Scotland to use in advertising and in 2017, became the property of the National Galleries of Scotland and it is one of the most iconic paintings of the 19th century throughout the World.
We know you’ll want to see the artwork yourself at our gallery to appreciate the technicality and precision behind this amazing work.
Stubbs made his name through his remarkable capacity to portray the anatomy, muscle structure and movement of the horse. He acquired this talent after extensive travels to study the work of Renaissance Masters in Italy and his own learned research in what he called his ‘equine pathological laboratory’, where dead horses were suspended from the ceiling for dissection.
Paper Size (W x H): 35 x 40 in
Edition Size: 50
Whistlejacket, named after a contemporary cold remedy containing gin and treacle, was beaten only four times in his racing career but was noted for his temperamental nature which was difficult to manage.
Stubbs depicts him rising to a levade and pays intimate attention to the features of Whistlejacket’s body. Minute blemishes, veins and the muscles flexing just below the surface of the skin are all visible and reproduced with almost photographic accuracy. Despite the isolation of the subject from natural surroundings Stubbs manages to bring to life the painting whilst giving the portrait a powerful physical presence.
To see this beautiful piece yourself and many others, don’t hesitate to come and visit our South Kensington gallery, located at 58 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4QT.