Russians: National Portrait Gallery, London

Mussorgsky by Ilia Repin, 1881. © State Tretyakov Gallery

Detail of Mussorgsky by Ilya Repin, 1881. © State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

An unprecedented cultural exchange between the National Portrait Gallery in London and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow — marking the 160 anniversary of the foundation of both galleries — Russia and the Arts  is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see masterpieces that rarely leave Russia. Presenting celebrated portraits of key figures from a golden age of the arts in the country, it is one of the most important Russian exhibition ever to take place at a British museum. Read more

Valadon and her studio in Montmartre

 Valadon (1865 – 1938)

Suzanne Valadon (1865 – 1938) with her son, Maurice Utrillo.

Suzanne Valadon (1865 – 1938) was a French painter and artists’ model. In 1894, Valadon was the first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, although she never actually attended the academy or had any formal training at all.  Illegitimate, and brought up in poverty, she lived in Montmartre and started modelling at the age of 15 for artists such as Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. However, Valadon spent nearly 40 years as an artist in her own right.

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Delacroix and his museum in Paris

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) was a French artist who is regarded as the leader of the French Romantic school. For 40 years Eugène Delacroix was one of the most prominent but controversial painters in France. His works were often criticised and scandalising, never the less, he received many official honors and commissions during his lifetime. Complex, contradictory, a rebel, and an outsider, he had a profound and lasting influence on his contemporaries and future generations.

 

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Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Paris

 

Madame Grand, 1783. Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

Detail. Madame Grand, 1783. Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

There were a small number of eighteenth century women artists that became prominent for their talent and teaching, the stylistic innovations they created, and their influence on other artists. Nowhere can this be better seen than in the life and works of the French painter Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. Read more