Constable, Gainsborough, Turner: A disappointing RA exhibition

The second part of the title of this exhibition, the “Making of Landscape”, proved too optimistic in my view. I believe that Constable, Gainsborough and Turner are pillars of the British landscape art and may well have influenced the Barbizon school (the French landscape school, which included Corot, Millet, and Daubigny, and preceded Impressionism).

However, the exhibition has too few paintings, all from the Royal Academy permanent collection, and too many prints. Turner has been featured in several interesting exhibitions in recent years (Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude; Turner Whistler Monet; Turner and the Masters) but the current exhibition at the Royal Academy disappoints. Until February 17.


2 responses to “Constable, Gainsborough, Turner: A disappointing RA exhibition

  1. Thar was not the most interesting exhibition, true. However, there are at least 2 reasons to forgive RA. Firstly, I guess this exhibition was, most probably, cheap to put together (since most exhibits were from RA collection) and its profit allowed us to enjoy Manet exhibition, which was, in my opinion, good to very good despite the absence of Olympia. Secondly, it made me think of etchings/engravings – are they the first mass (re)productions of art? do you think those are the precursors of posters/post cards we buy in museums shops to remember the exhibition and in souvenir shops to remember/show others where we have been?

    • Thanks for your interesting comment Yu. I don’t mind “cheap” exhibitions i.e. mostly put together from permanent collection. Those should be cheap or free though. The National Gallery had some of those. I agree with you on engravings. It is also a way to buy a less expensive piece. Btw Manet’s Olympia is now in Venice!

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