Oxford Ashmolean Museum:
Main Attractions: Levels: Ground, 1, 2. For Level 3m (see: Ashmolean Museum Part 2).
Duration: 1/2 day. You can, easily, combine this 1/2 day visit with another route of 1/2 day - as described in our "Oxford Centre - Day 1" blog. Please allow, at least 3-4 hours for the Ashmolean Museum. I recommend at least half a day to fully enjoy it.
Weather: The best solution in Oxford for a rainy half-a-day.
Dining: There is a restaurant on the rooftop (third floor). NOT recommended. Pricey and small, innovative (but, not filling) portions. Nice views and excellent setting. DO NOT BELIEVE THE TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS ! Crayfish salad, Fennel, orange, white cabbage, chervil: £14.90. Pricey, nice to look at, not filling, cooked and served very nicely with a twist. I' had waited 20 minutes for my portion - though I was the only diner there (quite late at 15.30).
General: A fantastic museum with incredible collections and exceptional, temporary exhibitions. A wonderful way to spend a few hour. No charge to enter (but donations expected). A busy place with vastness of space - so, you'll never feel packed or noisy. Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is Britain’s first public museum. The collections range from archaeology to the fine and decorative arts. Bears the comparison with the British Museum, but has the advantage of being less crowded: that makes the visit more pleasant.
Location: The Ashmolean Museum is located in the centre of Oxford. It is easily accessible by public transport. The bus station is approximately 5 minutes walk from the Museum. The train station is approximately 10 minutes walk from the Museum.
Access: There is disabled access throughout the Museum, with ramps into the building, lifts to all floors and wheelchairs are available.
Open: 10.00 – 17.00, TUE – SUN. FREE.
Photography: Allowed. No flash. Several displayed items are with restricted permission.
Toilets: There are public toilets (including wheelchair accessible) throughout the Museum.
Warning: Museum's staff members don't like you carrying rucksacks on your back. You have to carry them by your side or on your front. Better to use the cloakroom.
The Ashmolean Museum entrance - sculptures of Henry Moore. Three Piece Reclining Figure (1963) which is on temporary loan from the Henry Moore Foundation. The entrance is on Beaumont Street:
Reclining Figure by Henry Moore:
Ground Level - list of rooms/galleries: Aegean World - 20, Ancient Cyprus - 18, Ancient Egypt and Nubia - 22–27, Ancient Near East - 19, Cast Gallery - 14, China to AD 800 - 10, Chinese Paintings - 11, European Prehistory - 17, Greek and Roman Sculpture - 21, The Greek World - 16, Italy before Rome - 15, Rome - 13, India 2500 BC – AD 600 - Gallery 12.
The Ashmolean’s collection from ancient Egypt is among the most extensive in Britain, with objects from the Nile Valley from prehistory to the 7th century AD. Six galleries comprise the ancient Egyptian culture exhibition: 22 - Egypt at its Origins, 23 - Dynastic Egypt and Nubia, 24 -
Life After Death in Ancient Egypt, 25 - The Amarna Revolution, 26 - Egypt in the Age of Empires, 27 - Egypt Meets Greece and Rome.
Ancient Egypt - a limestone statue of King Khasekhem (2nd Dynasty, about 2700–2686 BC):
East wall of Shrine of King Taharqa (a Pharaoh of ancient Egypt of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty (between 712 and 770 BC) and king of the Kingdom of Kush), Kawa, Sudan, Late Period/Napatan, 25th Dynasty (about 690–664 BC):
This statue of Sobek was found at Amenemhat III's mortuary temple ( connected to this king's pyramid at Hawara in Faiyum), symbolizing this king's devotion to Sobek, which was an ancient Egyptian deity associated with Pharaonic power, fertility, and military prowess. Sobek is associated also with the Nile crocodile and is either represented in its form or as a human with a crocodile head. Sobek also served, additionally, as a protective deity against the dangers presented by the Nile river:
Granite statue of Amun in the form of a ram protecting King Taharqa, from the western wall of shrine of King Tharaqa. Several temples dedicated to Amun (a major Egyptian deity and Berber deity), including the one at Karnak were adorned with ram or ram-headed sphinx statues. The ram was one of the animals sacred to Amun:
Coffin of the 25th dynasty Theban Priest Djeddjehutyiuefankh, Deir el-Bahri, Western Thebes, 25 th Dynasty, 770-712 BC:
The Ashmolean’s collection of ancient Cyprus is among the most significant Cypriot collections worldwide outside Cyprus - a cultural crossroad between Orient and Occident. There are artifacts, displayed, from the earliest settlements of the island in about 10.000 BC until the Roman period, from the villages of the first farming communities of the Neolithic period to post-Medieval times. The vast majority of the objects are from about. 2000 – 300 BC. The Ashmolean's collection of ancient Greek pottery vessels is one of the finest in the world. In its range, size and scholarly importance it ranks in the United Kingdom behind only that of the British Museum. Ancient Cyprus is in Gallery 18. List of galleries of Ancient Greece: Gallery 6: Reading and Writing, Gallery 7: Money, Gallery 14: Cast gallery, Gallery 16 - The Greek World, Gallery 20: Aegean World, Gallery 21: Greek and Roman Sculpture.
Head of Man, Salamis:
Grave monument of deceased Archippus accompanied by two servants. This is probably from Smyrna from the 3rd to 2nd century BC:
The Ashmolean’s cast gallery is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved collections of casts of Greek and Roman sculpture in the UK. It contains some 900 plaster casts of statues, reliefs, and architectural sculptures.
Plaster cast slab of tomb enclosure showing detail of siege from Trysta, Lycia, 370 BC. It is decorated with friezes showing a wide variety of Greek myth. It is characteristic of Lycian architectural sculpture that, beside the myth, included scenes of near-contemporary military action (city-sieges) and of the monarch in his court (type of subject not seen in Greece proper):
Marble head of Homer, 1-100 AD, Gallery 16. Homer is thought to have been a travelling poet, following a long tradition of storytelling. All portraits of Homer were created long after his death. Artists typically
portray him as blind, so his opened eyes are quite unusual in this sculpture:
Head of Demostenes, 250 - 150 BC, Gallery 16. Found at Eski-Shehir, East Turkey (Anatolia):
In the second half of the nineteenth century, archaeologists began to focus on understanding prehistoric Greece and its extraordinary flowering during the Greek Bronze Age (about 3000–1050 B.C.). Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of wealthy tombs at Mycenae in 1876 brought to life the Heroic Age immortalized in the epic poetry of Homer, in which King Agamemnon’s palace was described as "rich in gold." Twenty-four years after Schliemann's find, the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans began excavations at Knossos, on the island of Crete, that would yield a vast complex of buildings belonging to a sophisticated prehistoric culture, which he dubbed Minoan after the legendary King Minos.
The Aegean prehistoric collections of the Ashmolean Museum are the largest outside Greece and come primarily from archaeological excavations. The Minoan collection, brought to Oxford by Sir Arthur Evans from his excavations of the “Palace of Minos” at Knossos on Crete - are the biggest outside Crete. When Arthur Evans was appointed Keeper of the Ashmolean in 1884, the Museum had a handful of Aegean objects: only one gem, which was not yet recognized as coming from the Aegean Bronze Age and a few obsidian blades from Melos. Following Evans’s purchases, donations and gifts to the Museum from his travels and researches, including his 1941 bequest, the Ashmolean today houses the largest and finest Aegean collection outside Greece, comprising more than 10,000 objects. There are three main areas in Gallery no. 20: the Early Cyclades, Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. Each area is color-coded in an attempt to facilitate the visitor’s orientation: light blue is used as the background in the Early Cyclades, red is used for Minoan Crete, orange for Mycenaean Greece. The personality that dominates the Aegean gallery is that of Arthur Evans. The story of Evans is broken down into three major periods. The first period focuses on his work at the Ashmolean (1884-1908) and the Chester seal: a gem on which Evans first identified signs of a pre-alphabetic writing system. The second section of the Evans display is appropriately dedicated to his travels and explorations on Crete (1894-1899). The third part of this tablecase focuses on his Knossos excavations (1900-1935).
The Minoan displays in the new Aegean World gallery at the Ashmolean:
The Mycenaean Greece section of the new Aegean World gallery at the Ashmolean (on the right the Schliemann story and at the back the Mycenaean pottery and figurines display):
Evans was also acquainted with the famous German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, who excavated Hisarlik in modern Turkey, thought to be the site of the mythical Troy. Schliemann also excavated shaft graves at Mycenae, Greece in 1876. There he uncovered a gold death mask dubbed the Mask of Agamemnon. The original mask is exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. What you see in the Asmolean is a reproduction...
Death Mask of Agamemnon, Troy, 1400 -1090 BC, excavated by Heinrich Schlimann (1822 - 1890):
In 1900 Evans started excavating in Knossos. Within a few months they had uncovered a substantial portion of what he called the Palace of Minos. The term "palace" may be misleading; Knossos was an intricate collection of over 1000 interlocking rooms, some of which served as artisans' workrooms and food processing centres (e.g. wine presses). It served as a central storage point, and a religious and administrative centre. Evans found two palaces in fact, dated c.2000 and 1400BC. Each belonged to the Cretan Bronze Age which Evans called the Minoan style, after King Minos. Evans himself employed skilled artists who used their artistic imagination in recreating the vivid scenes (*). They were influenced by Evans' particular ideas concerning the symbolic significance of scenes and figures. Subsequent scholars have disputed these reconstructions and proposed quite different theories.
Relief figure "Priest-King", 1700 -1450 BC, most recognizable of Knossos frescoes, Palace of Minos at Knossos, excavated by Arthur Evans. Watercolour restoration probably by E. Gillieron (*). This fresco was located in the southern portion of the complex with the remains of the “procession” fresco. First, the “Priest-King” fresco (also called “Prince of the Lilies”) was interpreted by Evans as being a depiction of king Minos (Castleden 1990). Evans found this to be completely logical because it agreed with the ancient sources and his own preconceptions about the site (Castleden 1990). However, there are several problems with his conclusion.
Nimrud is the Aramaic name for the ancient Assyrian city originally known as Kalhu, located 30 kilometres south of the city of Mosul, and 5 kilometres south of the village of Selamiyah in the Nineveh plains in northern Mesopotamia. It was a major Assyrian city between approximately 1250 BC and 610 BC. The city is located in a strategic position 10 kilometres north of the point that the river Tigris meets its tributary the Great Zab. Archaeological excavations at the site began in 1845, and were conducted at intervals between then and 1879, and then from 1949 onwards. Many important pieces were discovered, with most being moved to museums in Iraq and abroad. Oxford's Ashmolean Museum has the second largest collection of Nimrud (Gallery 19), the Assyrian capital, objects in the UK, with roughly 330 artefacts. Among the collection are three relief panels from king Assurnasirpal II's Northwest Palace: an eagle-headed genie from Room B and a human-headed genie from Room I came to the museum in 1850 as a gift from Austen Henry Layard's excavation. A further fragment of a sacred tree from Room I was purchased in 1950 from Peterborough's City Museum and Art Gallery, which had acquired it from Lady Layard in 1900.
Assyrian relief, Nimrud, Iraq, Northwest Palace, 883-859 BC:
Assyrian winged genius from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal (883-859 BC) at Nimrud. Acquired through excavation by A.H. Layard in the early 19th Century. Now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford:
China 3000 BC-AD 800 - Room /gallery 10 : Up to about 3000 years ago objects found in graves were made mostly of hard stone and low-fired ceramic. For the next 1500 years the most important burial objects were made of bronze and later, of ceramics. The earliest examples of writing in China were recorded on animal bones and bronze vessels. Later, texts were written on stone, bamboo, silk and paper. Writing had become an art form.
Wine vessel with masks:
Chinese Painting - room/gallery 11:
Qi Baishi, Landscape with Blue Mountain (1953). Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper:
India to 600 AD - room/gallery 12:
Nandi, the bull of Shiva; basalt, Deccan or South India, 1500-1700:
Level 1: Asian Crossroads - 28, Eastern Art Paintings - 29, India from AD 600 - 32, Islamic Middle East - 31, Medieval Cyprus - 34, Mediterranean World - 30, Mughal India - 33.
India from AD 600 - room/gallery 32: Many of Hindu, Buddhist or Jain images in this gallery were once installed in temple or household shrines as objects of daily pray and meditation. They convey the serenity, compassion and supreme power or insight of deities and enlightened beings. Images like these remain in worship today throughout India. From AD 600 the form of the temple was developing, within India and beyond. Spectacular towers and giant walls teem are decorated with images of gods, men, animals and plants. Very diverse regional styles of sculpture soon developed throughout the Indian subcontinent. As in earlier times, professional artisans worked for landlords or rulers of different faiths, so that Hindu, Buddhist or Jain images may share a similar regional style.
Southeast Asia: As Indian merchants settled in many parts of southeast Asia, they brought with them the Buddhism and Hinduism. Local ruling dynasties both adopted these religions and their styles of temple architecture and sculpture. Astonishing temple complexes such as Borobudur in Java (AD 800) and Angkor in Cambodia (1150) were established.
Lintel with Kala face, Central Java, 800 - 900 AD:
From AD 600 onwards, many regional dynastie flourished across north and central India. They were patrons temples, gardens, estates and sculptural creations. The dominated religions were Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. This period of creativity lasted until around 1200 when Muslim invaders from Central Asia began to occupy northern India.
Vishnu Head - Khajurau, 950-1050 AD:
Ceiling boss with 8 flying warriors, South Rajastan, 750-850 AD:
Vishnu with 4 arms, Sagar Island, WEst Bengal, 1050 AD:
Portable shrine of Vishnu as Venkateshwara, painted and lacquered wood, Tirupati, Tamil-Nadu, 1800 AD:
Shiva and Parvati, Madya Pradesh, 1000-1050 AD:
Hanuman bearing Rama (in blue) and Lakshmana on his shoulder, Bombay, early 1900s:
Angada delievers Rama's to Ravana, Bombay, early 1900s. Note that Hanuman extended his tail - thus, seating higher than the king...:
Hinduism and Buddhism became established in Nepal from 300-850 AD. The Newar artists of the Kathmandu Valley showed outstanding skills in stone and bronze sculpture, reinterpreting Indian models in new styles which also influenced the art of Tibet.
Stone slab with yaksha, or nature spirit, in relief, Nepal, 700-800 AD:
Buddhism first reached Tibet, isolated by its high mountain ranges, around AD 650. In later periods it transformed Tibetan society, with large sections of the population living in monasteries. After 1200 AD, the art and teachings of Indian Buddhism were preserved and further developed in the monasteries of Tibet. This unbroken cultural tradition survived intact until and beyond the the 1950s - when Chinese rule was imposed on this famous, isolated region.
Photo of Martine Franck (wife of Henri Cartier-Bresson), 1996, Tibetan Geh and his tutor Tulku Tenzin Tosam Rinpoche, Dratsang Monastery, Karnataka, India:
Bodhgaya, Bihar, India is the holiest of Buddhist destinations and a World Heritage site. It is the most revered of all Buddhist sacred sites. It was here, under a pipal tree, that Siddhartha Gotama arrived there around 531 BC and attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. A simple shrine was built by the emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) to mark the spot, later enclosed by a stone railing (1st century BC), part of which still remains. This shrine was replaced in the Kushan period (2nd cent. AD) by the present Mahabodhi temple, which was refurbished in the Pala-Sena period (750-1200 AD), heavily restored by Sir Alexander Cunningham in the second half of the 19th century, and finally restored by Myanmar (Burmese) Buddhists in 1882. The Bodhi tree behind the temple is believed to be a descendant of the original. At Bodhgaya, seated in deepest meditation ben
eath a fig tree, Buddha reached final Enlightenment or Buddhahood. Attaining perfect insight into the causes of universal suffering and rebirth, he conceived the way by which all beings may attain Nirvana or peace.
Votive Stupa, Bodhgaya, Bihar, 1000-1200 AD:
Buddha beneath the Bodhi tree, Bodhgaya, Bihar, 850-950 AD:
Islamic Middle East, Room/Gallery 31:
Part of Tile, Iran, 1800 - 1900, the story of Yusuf and Zulaikha. Based on the twelfth sura (chapter) of the Qur’an. In the Qur’anic version, Yusuf is a handsome slave in the service of an Egyptian man. His master’s wife, named Zulaikha in later literature, attempts to seduce him unsuccessfully. It, originally, derives from the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in the Old Testament. The left tile depicts Yusuf appearing before the women of Memphis. Overcome by his beauty, the women are faint or cut themselves with the knives they hold in their hands. Both pieces are from Iran, 1850-1900 and are Fritware, moulded, with under-glaze painting:
Tile with Qur'anic inscription:
The Byzantine Church, room/gallery 30:
Icon: Embrace of the Apostles Peter and Paul, painted by Angelos Akotantos of Crete (active: 1436 - 1450), oil on wood. Icon-painter and hagiographer who lived and worked at Heraklion, Crete, then part of the Republic of Venice. He was the first hagiographer to sign his name on his icons by writing in Greek: "Χειρ Αγγέλου" which, translated in English, means "By hand of Angelos":
The Mogul India, room/gallery 33: breath-taking Lady Impey’s Indian Bird Paintings ! This outstanding collection of paintings formed part of a great collection of natural history studies commissioned at Calcutta by Mary, Lady Impey, wife of the Chief Justice Sir Elijah Impey, between 1777 and 1782. The Impeys assembled an extensive aviary and menagerie at their Calcutta home. Lady Impey commissioned meticulous, life-sized pictures of Indian birds and animals from three Mughal-trained artists: Shaikh Zain ud-Din, Bhawani Das, and Ram Das. By the time the Impeys left India in 1783, these artists had produced over two hundred works on large sheets of imported English paper, mainly of birds though also of animals, fish and reptiles. The most prolific of these painters was Shaikh Zain ud-Din, and all but one of the works shown here are by him. The local Indian artists emulate, on a greatly enlarged scale, the refinement of 17th century Mughal natural history paintings. DO NOT MISS THIS COLLECTION OF MASTERPIECES !!!
Male Nukta or Comb Duck, Shaikh Zain-ud-Din, Calcuta, 1779, Gouache on paper:
Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) on a custard apple branch, Shaikh Zain-ud-Din, Calcuta, 1777, Gouache on paper:
Black-necked Stork, Shaikh Zain-ud-Din:
A lady seeks shelter from the rains, India, Punjab Hills, C. 1820, Gouache on paper:
Krsna in the guise of Indra, advises Raja Mandhatr (from the Mahabharata), 1598, By Sadiq and manohar - Mughal, North India:
Krsna and Radha in two pavilions, India, 19th century:
Elegant Brass ewer with Dragon heads, 16th or 17th century, height 51 cm. A refined product of the Indo-Islamic style, with the spiral fluting of its body and its tall, tapering neck. It is also known as the Butler ewer. It was previously in the collection of Dr A.J. Butler, Bursar of Brasenose College:
Planetary deities, painted on soapatone (alabaster), Jaipur, Rajashan, 1880-1885. Maharaja of Jaipur craftsmen produced brightly painted soapstone (alabaster) images of Hindu and Jain deities in great numbers in the late nineteenth century:
China from 800 AD, room/gallery 38:
Visiting Stonehenge, Fang Zhaoling (1914–2006), Ink and Color on paper, 1994, a female painter with expressive calligraphic strokes. She lived and travelled in Europe and America, and attended both Hong Kong and Oxford Universities:
Seated Bodhisattva, fig tree wood, 1200-1300:
Ming and Qing Porcelain, figures from the novel Shuihu Zhuan (The Water margin), 1680-1720. During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) China began to engage in world trade. This included exporting porcelain to Portugal and Spain in exchange for silver. As the dynasty neared its end, imperial patronage of porcelain production ceased and Japan and The Netherlands were the biggest overseas markets, but after 1700 England became the greatest importer:
Blue-and-white porcelain tile with a landscape, Jingdezhen kilns, c. 1690:
Suit of Armour of a Samurai, 1700s, Gift of Prince Chichibu to Magdalen College in Oxford:
Bodhisattva Jizo, protector of children, travelers and women. Jizō is a Bodhisattva – enlightened being who devote his life to freeing others from suffering. Bodhisattvas are not worshipped, but inspire others to reach enlightenment. Jizō is shown as a monk with a shaven head and pilgrim’s robes. Jizō also carries the bright jewel of Buddhist truth, a symbol of the endless power of Buddhism. He has a third eye on his forehead and elongated ears, both symbols of enlightenment:
Vase with winter landscape, around 1910:
Second Level :
Room/gallery 35, West meets East:
Two Chairs, Japan, 1600s. Made for the Dutch settlement in Nagushki harbor:
Ottoman embroidered hanging, Turkey, 1550-1650, Cotton + silk. Tulips, pomegranates and elongated, serrated leaves are part of the Ottoman decorative repertoire and are found in ceramics as well as works on paper. Ottoman interiors were comfortably furnished with carpets and cushions. Woven and embroidered textiles of different kinds were used for bedding, fireplace covers, cushion covers and wall hangings. This large embroidered textile is made of three panels of white cotton embroidered with coloured silk threads. Embroidery enabled the craftsmen to create complex, multi-coloured patterns without having to weave them into the fabric:
Oxford - Ashmolean Museum - Second Floor - room/gallery 35 - Tapestry, The Battle of the Animals, 1723, France, Sold to Emperor Chien Lung, 1769, looted and returned to Europe in 1861:
Room/gallery 40 - European Ceramics:
Ornamental tile William de Morgan (1839-1917), most known pottery maker in England:
Room/gallery 41 - England 400-1600 AD.:
Statue of Henry VIII:
The Cuddesdon Bowl - of brilliant blue glass with fine trailed decoration, the bowl is probably Kentish, and was made about 600 AD. The bowl came to light during the building of a palace for the Bishop of Oxford, then William Wilberforce; it passed into his possession and was eventually sold with the contents of his house and lost from view. It was recognized by Miss Jocelyn Morris, curator at the Warwick Museum:
Room/gallery 39 - Music and Tapestry:
Violins and Violas, 16th and 17th centuries:
Violin, Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737), Cremona, Italy, with the original label 'Antonius Stradivarius Cremoensis/Faciebat Anno 1716'. Known as the Messiah, this is one of the most famous violins in the world.
Musical Party, tapestry, Spain, 1650:
From here we continue to Level 3M (free) and Level 3 (Special Exhibitions - with separate fee) in the Ashmolean Museum - turn to the "Oxford - Ashmolean Museum - Part 2" blog.
Tip 3: The Artisans' Quarter and The Museu de Cultures del Món:
The Artisans Quarter is located around the crossing of Carrer de Montcada and Carrer de la Barra de Ferro. The formerly Fruits Market had been refurbished and transformed into Artisans stalls and shops. You'll find textile and leather design stores and gift shops with attitude. Each corner opens a world of surprises and local Avant-garde, especially at night with vibe, snacks and tapas everywhere.
A leather products shop:
. Public Transport: Metro L4 (Yellow line) - Jaume I station or Buses: 45, 120, V15, V17. Opening hours: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 19.00, SUN and bank holidays: 10.00 - 20.00. Closed on Mondays (except bank holidays). Closed: January 1st, May 1st, June 24th and December 25th. Prices: adult - € 5, concessions (people aged 16 to 29, people aged 65 and over, families with a maximum of two accompanying adults, on condition that at least one of them is one parent or the legal guardian. It is essential that at least one family member is under 16) - € 3,50. Temporary exhibition: adult - €2,20, concessions - €1,50, free admission with the ticket of the permanent exhibition. The museum has WONDERFUL private art collections from the MOST EXOTIC places and cultures around the world. It displays highly valuable pieces from countries and islands including New Zealand, the Marquesas Islands, Tonga and Rapa Nui - just to name few of them. A hidden treasure in La Ribera / El Born. The museum has an wealth to offer. Every culture is represented in this museum. There are several floors. It starts out with the African culture and it goes on to Asian, Mesoamerican, etc. If you have to choose between this and the Picasso museum choose this one !!! it has a lot more to offer. Stunning and overwhelming permanent exhibition. The best activity for a rainy evening or a extremely hot one ! WELL WORTH AN HOUR (at least):
A mask from Congo:
A mask from Burkina- Faso:
Masks from New Guinea:
A mask from Indonesia:
The Moguls of India Art:
Tantrics Rituals from Tibet:
Victoria and Albert Museum - not to be missed by anyone with an interest in fashion, ceramics, history, interior design or art. Wonderful mix of modern, traditional, and historically themed galleries. Amazing breadth and depth of subject matter.
Start & End, Acess: Tunnel to the South Kensington Tube stop.
Admission: Free admission.
Duration: Like the British Museum, this is a place you could spend an hour or several days. This museum is so huge and endless that one visit is not enough! Far too much to see in one visit so if you have limited time do your research before you arrive to make the best use of your time you need to be selective.
Food: The restaurant is enormous but very popular so if you want lunch you need to be aware that at peak times it's crowded. The restaurant is excellent with great variety of food and a magnificent setting in the original decorated 19th century dining halls.
The Morris Room, designed by William Morris:
Tips: Go to the cafe it is beautiful, often a piano player on Saturdays.Go in the spring or the summer and sit outside by the pond.
The V&A is enormous, probably a little overwhelming. Free guided tours will reveal details of a small sample of the exhibits - for days or weeks. Or just admire the design and workmanship as you explore the galleries. This is an amazing building with an interesting collection of exhibits. Visit this imposing building and its contents, you won't be disappointed.
The building itself is astonishing:
Entrance from Cromwell road. Dale Chilhuly chandelier in the entry:
The Photography Gallery:
Robert Frank (born 1924), London Street, 1951:
A messenger with a letter - from a family tomb:
Qifao Manchofe - 1644-1919, Chinese dress of the elite':
Lady Portrait Qins Dynasty 1830-1900:
Heroic soldier 2nd Century AD:
Tomb guard man, retaliates ghosts, Tang Dynasty 700-750 AD:
Laozi - Old man riding on ox - Qing dynasy 18th century:
Bodhisattva, Jin dynasty 1115-1234:
Cloud on a mountain, modern art work, year 2000:
Ivory model of ship, 1800 AD:
Head of Buddha, Ming dynasty (1368-1644 AD):
Karaov -Chinese dress of women in cermonial events, year 1980:
Inro - small parcels for carrying money, medicines and stamps, Edo period, 1615-1868:
Amida -Buddhist figure, king of the wetern paradise, 1200-1300:
One of (ten) judges of Hell:
Oyoroi - Armour, 1100-1200 AD:
Guan Di, 1640-1700, Qing Dynasty, famous General that fought in the civil wars 2nd-3rd centuries AD:
Modern silk dress, year 1995:
Shiva, Nataraju-Chola, 8th - 10th centuries AD:
Parsvanetha - one of the Jain religion saints:
Famous Tipoo's Tiger, Mysore, India, musical instrument:
Part of tent, South India, 1640:
Surya, the Sun God holds Lotus flowers, middle of 13th century, Karnatha, India:
Black hot dance, part of dancer apron, Tibet, 19th century:
Wish Fullfilling Cow, Hindu, 1900-1950:
Room 48a: The Raphael Cartoons. Photos not allowed:
This room houses the surviving designs painted by Raphael, one of the greatest of all Italian Renaissance artists, for tapestries commissioned in Rome in 1515 by Pope Leo the 10th. These were to be hang in the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican, Rome on the walls beneath the ceiling by his contemporary Michelangelo. Although, originally, only designs (known as 'cartoons') to guide the weavers, they are now among the greatest artistic treasures in Britain. Owned by the British Royal Family since 1623. They have been on loan to the Museum since year 1865. Leo X commissioned a set of tapestry designs, or cartoons, from Raphael in 1515. The ten cartoons depicted episodes from the lives of Saints Peter and Paul. The scenes, whose content Leo X most likely worked out in discussion with Raphael and Vatican theologians, all served to emphasise the pre-eminence of the Roman Church and the legitimacy of papal succession. His choice of Raphael as designer of the tapestries was a bold move. Tapestries had long been a speciality of Flanders, with Flemish artists providing the designs and doing the weaving. By commissioning tapestry designs from one of the giants of Italian art, Leo X was creating something special - a combination of Italian Renaissance aesthetics and Flemish weaving expertise:
Raphael, The Healing of the Lame Man:
Raphael, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes:
Raphael, Christ's Charge to Peter:
Raphael, The Sacrifice at Lystra:
Retablo of St. George, from a church in valencia, Spain:, 1410 AD:
The Middle Ages section:
The Boppard Altar piece, wood relief, 1500-1510 AD:
Clay relief, Andrea de la Robia, 1500-1510 AD:
Virgin of the Misericordia - Bartholomeo Bon, Venice School:
Copy of relief on a warrior tomb, Verona, Italy:
Middle Ages and Renaissance sculptures:
Metalwork of Coventry, Francis Skidmore, The Hereford Screen:
Samson slaying a Philistine, Giovanni Bologna:
Leonardo-de-Vinci Codex. The V&A has five of Leonardo's notebooks in its collections. Known as the Codex Forster, the notebooks were owned by John Forster and bequeathed by him to the V&A in 1876.
British Galleries, room 57a. The Great Bed of Ware, 1590:
Young Man among Roses (Portrait miniature), ca. 1587, England,Hilliard, Nicholas:
Three portraits of Charles I, ca. 1750:
Cabinet of John Evelyn, 1664-1665:
The State Bed from Melville House, Fife, is the most spectacular single exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum's British Galleries, 1700:
George Friedrich Handel, 1738:
Paintings, room 87. Life-Boat and Manby Apparatus Going Off to a Stranded Vessel Making Signal (Blue Lights) of Distress
Turner, born 1775 - died 1851:
Hove Beach with Fishing Boats, John Constable, England, early 19th century:
East Cowes Castle, William Turner:
Middle East section:
Picnic Mosaic, Isfahan, Iran, 1600-1700 AD:
Carpet from Isfahan, Iran:
Portrait of Fath Ali Shuh, 1800-1830 AD:
Mosaic of Mecca and the Black Stone, Iznik, Turkey:
Miniature of Gaht, Tiruchirappalli, India:
Gold, Silver & Mosaics, room 70:
The Lafayette Vase, given as a gift to Gilbert du Motier' Marquis de Lafayette who assisted in the French Revolution and the USA Independence War in 1830:
Silver tray for holding babies in wealthy families:
Design and Furniture Galleries:
The Library, design from 1945:
Quasimodo, Lindvall, Jonas, born 1963, Sweden, 1995:
Dyson Vacuum Cleaner, designed for the Japanese market, 1979:
Cucumber Sandwiches; Weeds, Aliens and Other Stories (Bench), 1998, London, Anastassiades, Michael:
Chair, Sweden, 1994-1997, Dahlström, Björn, CBI (manufacturer):
Chair Thing, Murdoch, Peter, born 1940:
Chair, Mackintosh, Charles Rennie, born 1868 - died 1928:
Japanese Drawers cupboard, 1970:
Radio sets 1920-1960:
Patriot Midget (Radio), 1940, United States, Bel Geddes, Norman:
The Cast Court (Note: some of the large works are actually copies made...):
Relief from Santo Domingo de Silos Monastery, Spain:
Reliefs from Aixe-de-Provence and bronze bodies of British nobles from the Rouen Cathedral:
Jesus carries the Cross, from a church in Nuremberg:
Troy conquest - from a church in Rome:
Figure of woman, Italian sculpture from 1472. Exhibited in Berlin Museum, destroyed in WW2 and restored:
Copy of Verrochio sculpture (original in Florence), David and Goliath:
"The Becket Casket." V&A Museum, London. From Limoges, France, ca. 1180-1190:
The Sculptures Court:
Albert Einstein, 1933, by Jacob Epstein:
Propspero and Ariel, 1931, by Eric Gill:
Crouching Boy, Manfred Turner, 1934:
The Age of Bronze, circa1876, by Auguste Rodin:
Balsac, Rodin, 1891-1892:
Michelangelo's Moses, 1513-1515 (cast):
Donatello, David, 1425-30 (cast):
Caius Gabriel Cibber, 1680-1690:
Three Lions from Rosenburg castle, Copenhagen:
The Historical Fashion Exhibit is a major highlight of interest to young and old even if fashion isn't necessarily your thing and of major international importance:
Grace Kelly, Style Icon exhibition, evening dresses, the 20ths of the 20 century:
Grace Kelly, Style Icon exhibition, Day dresses, 1935:
John Madjesk Garden - V & A Museum inner court:
St. Petersburg - - Hermitage Museum - General Staff Building - The Impressionism Exposition:
Duration: 1/2 day.
View of the General Staff Building from the Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Square):
The General Staff Building (Zdanie Glavnovo Shtaba, Здание Главного штаба), (6-10 Dvortsovaya Embankment), is an edifice with a 580 m. long bow-shaped facade, situated OPPOSITE the Winter Palace. It is a grandiose monument in the Empire style, erected in the course of the reconstruction of the Palace Square in 1819-29 (designed by Carlo Rossi), in commemoration of Russia's victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 and the campaigns of 1813-14 against Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The building complex included the construction of two wings which are separated by a triumphal arch adorned (decoration forming compositions of arms and armour) by sculptors Stepan Pimenov and Vasily Demuth-Malinovskyof. The construction of the Triumphal Arch, connecting both parts of the building was completed in 1829. The arch links Palace Square through Bolshaya Morskaya St. to Nevsky Prospekt and it also commemorates the Russian triumphs against Napoleon. The Triumphal Arch is crowned by the Chariot of Glory - from the (southern side) Palace Square side.
The homogeneity of the main elements of the General Staff building and the Winter Palace creates the impression of integrity of the Palace Square ensemble. The majestic Triumphal Arch forms a symmetrical axe with the central part of the Winter Palace.
Until the capital was transferred to Moscow in 1918, the building served as the headquarters of the General Staff (western wing), Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry (eastern wing). Since 1993, the Hermitage has had control of both wings of the building, and uses them to display a variety of permanent exhibitions of applied art connected to the history of the building, completed at the height of the Russian Empire, soon after Russia's victory against Napoleon.
Three halls on the second floor of the building, running along the northern facade (the Palace Square side), house a permanent exhibition, The Art of Modern. It features art works created by Western European (mostly, French) and Russian artists in late 19th – early 20th century: garments, lacework, articles made of porcelain, ceramics and glass. Nearby rooms in the former ministerial block of the General Staff Building accommodate an exposition devoted to the History of the Ministry of Finance. From 1830 to 1918, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Empire, Provisional Government and the Russian Soviet Republic was headquartered here. The complex of ministerial premises included Office of the Minister of Finance with Chamber, Library and Credit Chancellery Office.
Several large halls on the third floor are devoted to the Russian painting of the 19th – early 20th century. Art works by such artists as K.P. Bryullov, A.A. Ivanov, V.A. Tropinin, K.S. Petrov-Vodkin, B.M. Kustodiev, I.N. Kramskoy, V.E. Makovsky enable us to trace the development of the Russian school of painting.
A part of the Russian Guards Museum’s collection, Russian Guards in the 18th century, will be shown in halls on the third floor of the General Staff Building, facing the Moika River Embankment. Visitors will have an opportunity to see uniforms, weaponry, combat banners and colours, as well as gifts – valuable regalia, preserved by Russian officers’ descendants and returned to Russia after staying abroad for a long time.
A permanent exhibition Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia: St. Petersburg’s Era 1802-1917 is placed nearby; it details the history of the Russian Foreign Ministry starting from the date of its foundation by Emperor Alexander the First to 1917, featuring paintings and graphics, photographs, historical relics and pieces of decorative and applied arts.
An exhibition entitled 'Realms of the Eagle' compares French and Russian decorative art and costume in the Imperial Age, contrasting the cultural influences of Napoleon and Alexander I. Housed in the former offices of the General Staff, - the halls, designed by the great Russian architect of the first quarter of the 19th century, K.I. Rossi, and painted by P.I. Scotti. The collection is not particularly rich, but has a clear and cleverly presented concept, exploring the different ways these two empires chose to represent themselves.
The halls devoted to Carl Fabergé are one of the most fascinating parts of the new museum complex. They demonstrate the heritage of the firm, founded by renowned Carl Fabergé, as well as further developments and achievements of contemporary jewellery and stone-cutting art.
From 7 December 2014, when the State Hermitage Museum celebrated its 250th anniversary - the permanent exhibition Modern European Art is held in the eastern wing in the fourth floor, the Memorial Gallery devoted to S.I. Shchukin and the Morozov brothers. The Hermitage's superb collection of Modern European Art, the bulk of which is made up of French impressionist and post-impressionist painting, is divided between those works that were received into the Hermitage collections after the Revolution, and art seized from Germany after World War II. The former are displayed on the museum's fourth floor, and include some of the world's largest collections of works by Picasso and Matisse. But, far more Impressionists' masterpieces are included in the 4th floor extensive collection: Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Gaugin and many others.
The new exposition is unique in the way that for the first time, the Hermitage collection of the 19th-20th century French painting is demonstrated in full, without dividing artworks based on the principle of receipt. The Gallery opens with Claude Monet’s hall featuring fourteen paintings by the artist; then the theme of Impressionism is continued in Edgar Degas’ hall with his Place de la Concorde, a room with still-life paintings by Henri Fantin-Latour, a hall of landscape paintings by Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. The next two halls hold an exceptionally rich collection of art works by Auguste Renoir. Further, works of art by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin are demonstrated, followed by Les Nabis painters’ halls. After 10 years, canvas by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis returned back to the General Staff Building.
The fourth floor exhibition ends with a small collection of pre-Revolutionary Russian modern art, including canvases by Vasiliy Kandinskiy and Kazimir Maleevich - the most and significant names of the Russian avant-garde. Now they have only one hall with Kandinsky and other avant-gardes - but soon there will be much more rooms.
The modern Art exposition is NOT easy to find and NOT really well advertised - so hurry up, before this building will be flooded by thousands of visitors every day. It is an astonishing experience. it's far of being jam-packed like the Hermitage. We went to the Impressionist era exhibition in July, a regular weekday, at 14.00. It is right the middle of the school holidays (busiest time at the museums in Russia) and there were hardly more than 10 visitors in the whole floor. It is unbelievable how the Hermitage emerged as one of the leading museums in the world of Modern Art - as well. It is amazing the taking photographs is FREE and how close you can get to the paintings.
Temporary Exhibitions: wonderful expositions of: Tibetan Art, Finnish Modern Architecture etc' are held during the period from NOV 2015 to Spring 2016 in the General Staff Buildings.
Prices: Separate ticket - 300 RUB. Free - for students (country does not matter). Combined tickets: The Main Museum Complex and its branches:
the General Staff Building, the Winter Palace of Peter the Great,
the Menshikov Palace, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory - 600 RUB (valid for two consecutive days). FREE admission for all visitors: The first Thursday of every month.
Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday, , Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30 - 18.00, Wednesday 10.30 - 21.00. Closed: Mondays, as well as January 1 and May 9.
Getting there: Metro: Admiralteyskaya:
Practicalities: The small cafe' or restaurant is out of the cashiers and security control mechanisms. So, you CANNOT eat or rest and return to the expositions in the floors above.
Head straight up in the lift to the fourth floor and enjoy!
Now, your best advice: buy the combined (one-day or two-days) ticket in the General Staff Building. Start your day in the Modern European Art exhibition and continue to the Winter Palace OR rush, with your ticket to the Hermitage Main Complex entrance - skipping the l-on-g queues there !!!!
Exterior: The building itself is awesome and a real treat because it's so brilliant and modern in comparison to the Hermitage. The inner yards have been covered with glass roofs. Magnificent modern staircases have been installed inside. These modern aspects work extremely well with the historic building, the historical interiors (that are well preserved) and the fabulous pieces of art that are exhibited. The whole blend - IS SPECTACULAR !
The first atrium in the new wing of the Hermitage Museum:
Another sensation you cannot miss - a moving exposition of a Roman Mosaic found in Lod, Israel. Breathtaking ! :
Impressionism - Shchukin Gallery - 4th Floor:
Matisse Room: Two Russian art collectors stood out at the beginning of the 20th century: the cloth merchant Sergei Shchukin (1854–1936) and the textile manufacturer Ivan Morozov (1871–1921). Both acquired modern French art, developed a sensibility for spotting new trends, and publicized them in Russia. In 1906 Sergei Shchukin met the young artist Henri Matisse, and became one of Matisse's main patrons, acquiring 37 of his best paintings over an 8-year period. Shchukin also commissioned several large-scale pictures from him that would later acquire worldwide fame. In order to come to terms with these huge canvases and their radical simplicity, Shchukin shut himself away alone with them in his palatial house for several weeks. Many of his visitors reacted with bafflement to these latest purchases. Shchukin jokingly remarked, “A madman painted it and a madman bought it.” Shchukin and Matisse would develop more than just a commercial relationship. With Shchukin’s support and backing, Matisse was free to strive toward even greater artistic challenges. Henri Matisse’s (1869–1954) early years were spent in northern France where his middle-class family owned a general store. Although he studied in Paris to be a lawyer, in 1890, while confined to his bed for nearly a year after an operation, he chose drawing as a pastime. When he recovered, he decided that painting would be his career. At first Matisse followed in the footsteps of the Impressionists, but he soon abandoned their more delicate palette and established his characteristic style, with its flat, brilliant color and fluid line, a style that came to be known as Fauvism. Like many avant-garde artists in Paris, Matisse was receptive to a broad range of influences. He was one of the first painters to take an interest in non-European art, studying Persian miniatures, Japanese prints, and African sculptures, but a visit to Moscow where he saw early icon painting seemed to hold special importance to him. He once commented, “What interests me most is neither still life nor landscape but the human figure. It is through it that I best succeed in expressing the nearly religious feeling that I have toward life.”. Matisse traveled widely in the early 1900s when tourism was still a new idea. Brought on by railroad, steamships, and other forms of transportation that appeared during the industrial revolution, travel became a popular pursuit. As a cultured tourist, he developed his art with regular doses of travel and in 1911 visited his patron Shchukin’s collection in Moscow. During the trip Matisse encountered Russian icons. This would have a tremendous impact on his future work. Matisse is known to have said, “I spent 10 years searching for what your artists already discovered in the 14th century. It is not you who need to come to us to study, but it is we who need to learn from you.”. As we can see from Girl with Tulips, which was completed a year before his visit to Moscow, by 1910 Matisse was already working with luminous color and simplified forms. The model for the painting is Jeanne Vaderin, or Jeannette, as Matisse called her. She was the subject of several of his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Matisse arrived in Moscow on October 23, 1911. The next day, he visited the Tretyakov Gallery and asked to be shown their collection of Russian icons. Matisse was delighted by the icons and declared that to see them was more than worth the arduous trip. Matisse spent much of his time in Moscow frantically visiting monasteries, churches, convents, and collections of sacred images. Excited by what he saw, he shared it with all who came to interview him during his stay in Moscow. “They are really great art,” Matisse excitedly told an interviewer. “I am in love with their moving simplicity.… In these icons the soul of the artist who painted them opens out like a mystical flower. And from them we ought to learn how to understand art.”:
Matisse - Ballerina:
Matisse - Family Portrait:
Matisse - Fruits, Flowers, the Dance:
Matisse - Conversation:
Matisse - Harmony in Red:
Jean Joveneau. - Still Life with a Mirror, 1912:
Marie Laurencin, Artemis,1908:
It was through Matisse that Shchukin got to know Pablo Picasso, who became the final master in his collection. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Shchukin owned the largest collection of Picassos in the world. 51 pictures covered the walls of an entire room, right up to the ceiling. The Picasso collection covers his most popular early periods, and includes Sisters, from the painter's Blue Period, and several cubist masterpieces including Three Women (1908) and a stunning Still Life of 1913:
Picasso - Absinthe Drinker, 1901:
Picasso - Nude, 1909:
Picasso - Woman Playing Mandoline, 1909:
Picasso - Violin and Guitar, 1913:
Picasso - Bust of a Nude, 1907:
Picasso - Dance with Veils, 1907:
Picasso - Friendship, 1908:
Picasso - Woman with a Fan, 1908:
Picasso - Three Women, 1908:
Maurice de Vlaminck - View of a Small Town,1913:
Andre Derain - Harbor in Provence. André Derain (10 June 1880 – 8 September 1954) was a French artist, painter and sculptor. He attended painting classes under Eugène Carrière, and there met Matisse. In 1900, he met and shared a studio with Maurice de Vlaminck (see picture above) and began to paint his first landscapes. His studies were interrupted from 1901 to 1904 when he was conscripted into the French army. Following his release from service, Matisse persuaded Derain's parents to allow him to abandon his engineering career and devote himself solely to painting. Derain and Matisse worked together through the summer of 1905 in the Mediterranean village of Collioure and later that year displayed their highly innovative paintings at the Salon d'Automne. The vivid, unnatural colors led the critic Louis Vauxcelles to title their works as les Fauves, or "the wild beasts", marking the start of the Fauvist movement. In March 1906, the noted art dealer Ambroise Vollard sent Derain to London to compose a series of paintings with the city as subject. In 30 paintings (29 of which are still existing), Derain put forth a portrait of London that was radically different from anything done by previous painters. These London paintings remain among his most popular work. In 1907 art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler purchased Derain's entire studio, granting Derain financial stability. He moved to Montmartre to be near his friend Pablo Picasso and other noted artists. At Montmartre, Derain began to shift from the brilliant Fauvist palette to more muted tones, showing the influence of Cubism and Paul Cézanne. Derain supplied woodcuts in primitivist style for an edition of Guillaume Apollinaire's first book of prose, L'enchanteur pourrissant (1909). He displayed works at the Neue Künstlervereinigung in Munich in 1910, in 1912 at the secessionist Der Blaue Reiter and in 1913 at the seminal Armory Show in New York. He also illustrated a collection of poems by Max Jacob in 1912. At about this time Derain's work began overtly reflecting his study of the Old Masters. The role of color was reduced and forms became austere; the years 1911–1914 are sometimes referred to as his Gothic period. In 1914 he was mobilized for military service in World War I and until his release in 1919 he would have little time for painting, although in 1916 he provided a set of illustrations for André Breton's first book, Mont de Piete. After the war, Derain won new acclaim as a leader of the renewed classicism then ascendant. With the wildness of his Fauve years far behind, he was admired as an upholder of tradition. In 1919 he designed the ballet La Boutique fantasque for Diaghilev, leader of the Ballets Russes. A major success, it would lead to his creating many ballet designs.The 1920s marked the height of his success, as he was awarded the Carnegie Prize in 1928 and began to exhibit extensively abroad—in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio. During the German occupation of France in World War II, Derain lived primarily in Paris and was much courted by the Germans because he represented the prestige of French culture. Derain accepted an invitation to make an official visit to Germany in 1941, traveling with other French artists to Berlin to attend an exhibition by Nazi sculptor Arno Breker. The Nazi propaganda machine naturally made much of Derain's presence in Germany, and after the Liberation he was branded a collaborator and ostracized by many former supporters.A year before his death, he contracted an eye infection from which he never fully recovered. He died in France in 1954 when he was struck by a moving vehicle:
Renoir - Ball at the Moulin de la Gallette, 1879: (many more Renoir pictures - see at the Morozov Gallery, see below).
Impressionism - Morozov Brothers Gallery - 4th Floor:
Claude Monet - Garden, 1873. Claude Monet was a famous French painter whose work gave a name to the art movement Impressionism, which was concerned with capturing light and natural forms:
Degas - Place de Concord, 1876:
Edouard Manet - Mme. Isabelle, 1879. Édouard Manet, 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a key figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism:
Jean Jacques Henner - Woman in Red - 1890. THIS IS A STRIKING PICTURE. Jean-Jacques Henner, 15 March 1829 – 23 July 1905, was noted in painting nudes, religious subjects, and portraits. Henner was born at Alsace. He began his studies in art as a pupil of Michel-Martin Drolling and François-Édouard Picot. In 1848, he entered the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, and took the Prix de Rome with a painting of Adam and Eve finding the Body of Abel in 1858. He first exhibited Bather Asleep at the Salon in 1863 and subsequently contributed Chaste Susanna (1865), now in the Musée d'Orsay. The Levite of the Tribe of Ephraim (1898) was awarded a first-class medal. Henner also took a Grand Prix for painting at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1873, Officer in 1878, and Commander in 1889. In 1889, he succeeded Cabanel in the Institut de France. Henner died at age 76 in Paris:
Henri Fantin Latour - Still Life - 1865. Best known for his flower paintings and group portraits of Parisian artists and writers:
Alfred Sisley - La Garenne - 1872. Alfred Sisley, 30 October 1839 – 29 January 1899, was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life in France, but retained British citizenship. He was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape outdoors. He deviated into figure painting only rarely and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, found that Impressionism fulfilled his artistic needs. Over the years Sisley's power of expression and color intensity increased. Among his important works are a series of paintings of the River Thames, mostly around Hampton Court, executed in 1874, and landscapes depicting places in or near Moret-sur-Loing. The notable paintings of the Seine and its bridges in the former suburbs of Paris are like many of his landscapes, characterized by tranquility, in pale shades of green, pink, purple, dusty blue and cream:
Camille Pissarro - Fair in Dieppe - 1901. Camille Pissarro, 10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903, was a Danish-French Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54. In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886. He "acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists" but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin:
Camille Pissarro - Boulvard Montmartre - 1897:
Camille Pissarro - Place du Theatre, Paris - 1898:
Now we arrive to a long and impressive series of pictures by Auguste Renoir. Auguste Renoir, 25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919, was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. A painter of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality. His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women. As a young boy, he worked in a porcelain factory. His drawing skills were early recognized, and he was soon employed to create designs on the fine china. He also painted decorations on fans before beginning art school . He moved to Paris in 1862 to study art, where he met Frederic Bazille, Claude Monet, and Alfred Sisley, all great impressionist painters. By 1864, he was exhibiting works at the Paris Salon, but his works went largely unnoticed for the next ten years, mostly in part to the disorder caused by the Franco-Prussian War. Later, during the Paris Commune on 1871, Renoir was painting on the banks of the Seine River, when he was approached by a number of members from the commune, who thought he was a spy. They threatened to throw in into the rive, but he was saved by the leader of the commune, Raoul Rigault, whom he had protected on an earlier occasion. He experienced his first artistic success in 1874, at the first Impressionist Exhibition, and later in London of the same year. In 1881, Renoir began his world travels, voyaging to Italy to see the works of the Renaissance masters, and later to Algeria, following in the footsteps of Eugene Delacroix. It was in Algeria where he encountered a serious bout with pneumonia, leaving him bed ridden for six weeks, and permanently damaging his respiratory system. In the later years of his life, not even severe rheumatoid arthritis, which left him confined to a wheelchair and limited his movement, could deter Renoir from painting. His arthritis eventually got so bad as to leave a permanent physical deformity of his hands and shoulder, which required him to change his painting technique to adapt to his physical limitations. Before his death in 1919, Renoir traveled to the Louvre to see his paintings hanging in the museum alongside the masterpieces of the great masters. He was a prolific artist, created several thousands artworks in his lifetime, and include some of the most well-known paintings in the art world:
Auguste Renoir - A Young Woman with a Fan - 1880:
Auguste Renoir - Lady in Black - 1876:
Auguste Renoir - Lady on Stairs - 1876:
Auguste Renoir - Actress Jeanne Samary - 1878:
Auguste Renoir - Girl Arranging Her Hair - 1887:
Auguste Renoir - Girl with a Whip - 1885:
Auguste Renoir - Girl with a Hat - 1872:
Auguste Renoir - In the Garden - 1885:
French artist Paul Signac was born in Paris on November 11, 1863. He began his artistic career in 1880 after viewing an exhibition of Monet's work. A friendship with Neo-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat led him to adopt the new Divisionist style in such works as "The Dining Room," "Women at the Well" and many seascapes of the French coast. Signac was committed to anarchist politics and was a mentor to younger avant-garde artists, including Henri Matisse. He died in Paris on August 15, 1935.
Paul Signac - Port of Marseille - 1906-7:
Paul Cézanne, 19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906, was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all.":
Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) - Girl at the Piano - 1869:
Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) - The Pool - 1876:
Paul Cézanne - Bathers - 1890-1:
Paul Cézanne - Smoker - 1890-2:
Paul Cézanne - Lady in Blue - 1900:
Paul Gauguin, 7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903, was a French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and style that were distinctly different from Impressionism. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Paul Gauguin is one of the most significant French artists to be initially schooled in Impressionism, but who broke away from its fascination with the everyday world to pioneer a new style of painting broadly referred to as Symbolism. As the Impressionist movement was culminating in the late 1880s, Gauguin experimented with new color theories and semi-decorative approaches to painting. He famously worked one summer in an intensely colorful style alongside Vincent Van Gogh in the south of France, before turning his back entirely on Western society. He had already abandoned a former life as a stockbroker by the time he began traveling regularly to the south Pacific in the early 1890s, where he developed a new style that married everyday observation with mystical symbolism, a style strongly influenced by the popular, so-called "primitive" arts of Africa, Asia, and French Polynesia. Gauguin's rejection of his European family, society, and the Paris art world for a life apart, in the land of the "Other," has come to serve as a romantic example of the artist-as-wandering-mystic. After mastering Impressionist methods for depicting the optical experience of nature, Gauguin studied religious communities in rural Brittany and various landscapes in the Caribbean, while also educating himself in the latest French ideas on the subject of painting and color theory (the latter much influenced by recent scientific study into the various, unstable processes of visual perception). This background contributed to Gauguin's gradual development of a new kind of "synthetic" painting, one that functions as a symbolic, rather than a merely documentary, or mirror-like, reflection of reality.
Seeking the kind of direct relationship to the natural world that he witnessed in various communities of French Polynesia and other non-western cultures, Gauguin treated his painting as a philosophical meditation on the ultimate meaning of human existence, as well as the possibility of religious fulfillment and answers on how to live closer to nature. Gauguin was one of the key participants during the last decades of the 19th century in a European cultural movement that has since come to be referred to as Primitivism. The term denotes the Western fascination for less industrially-developed cultures, and the romantic notion that non-Western people might be more genuinely spiritual, or closer in touch with elemental forces of the cosmos, than their comparatively "artificial" European and American counterparts:
Paul Gauguin - Conversation - 1891:
Paul Gauguin - Pastoral Tahiti - 1892:
Paul Gauguin - Two Sisters - 1892:
Paul Gauguin - Woman Holding a Fruit - 1893:
Paul Gauguin - Canoe - 1896:
Paul Gauguin - Still Life with Sunflowers on an Armchair -1901:
Vincent van Gogh, 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890, was a Post-Impressionist painter. He was a Dutch artist whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. Van Gogh painted portraits, self portraits, landscapes and still lives of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. He drew as a child but did not paint until his late twenties.Many of his best-known works were completed during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints:
Van Gogh - Landscape - 1889:
Van Gogh - Madame Trabuc - 1889:
Van Gogh - Arena at the Arles - 1888:
Van Gogh - Lilac Bush - 1889:
Édouard Vuillard - Madame Vuillard by the Fireplace - 1899-1900:
Édouard Vuillard - In the Room - 1900:
Édouard Vuillard - Children in the Room - 1909:
Maurice Denis, November 25, 1870 – November 13, 1943, was a French painter and writer, and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories contributed to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art:
Maurice Denis - Bacchus and Ariadne - 1907:
Pierre Bonnard, 3 October 1867 – 23 January 1947, was a French painter and printmaker, as well as a founding member of the Post-Impressionist group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis. Bonnard preferred to work from memory, using drawings as a reference, and his paintings are often characterized by a dreamlike quality. The intimate domestic scenes, for which he is perhaps best known, often include his wife Marthe de Meligny. His compositions rely less on traditional modes of pictorial structure than poetic allusions and visual wit. Regarded as a late practitioner of Impressionism in the early 20th century, Bonnard has since been recognized for his unique use of color and his complex imagery:
Pierre Bonnard - Early Spring - 1909:
Pierre Bonnard - Morning in Paris - 1911:
Pierre Bonnard - Evening in Paris - 1911:
Floor 2 - The Art of Modern: Art works created by Western European and Russian artists in late 19th – early 20th century - very few pictures:
Franz Xaver Winterhalter ( Born: 20 April 1805; Menzenschwand, Germany, Died: 08 July 1873; Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Field: painting, lithography, Nationality: German, Art Movement: Neoclassicism, Romanticism) - Portrait of Countess Olga Shuvalova - 1858:
François Flameng - Reception at Compiegne in 1810, 1894-96. François Flameng produced a series of paintings devoted to Napoleon Bonaparte. The four paintings treat episodes in the emperor's biography as genre scenes with an almost intimate approach. The paintings were acquired by the Russian emperor Nicholas II and presented to his wife, Alexandra Fiodorovna:
Scholz - Prostitute - 1929:
Wassily Kandinsky, 16 December 1866 – 13 December 1944, was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30. In 1896 Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe's private school and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914, after the outbreak of World War I. Kandinsky was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Communist Moscow, and returned to Germany in 1921. There, he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He then moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art. He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944:
Wassily Kandinsky - Winter Landscape - 1909:
Wassily Kandinsky - Landscape - 1913:
Wassily Kandinsky - Composition VI - 1913: