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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Delacroix’s "Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi," featuring the monumental painting, on view for the first time in Los Angeles. Painted in 1826 by Eugène Delacroix, the leading French Romantic painter of the day, "Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi" is one of the most celebrated French paintings of the 19th century. The work is held in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, France, and has seldom traveled.

“This exhibition is an extremely rare opportunity to showcase a masterwork by one of the 19th century’s most important painters,” said Leah Lehmbeck, curator of European Painting and Sculpture at LACMA. “The picture itself is profoundly rich with political, cultural, and artistic detail, and therefore speaks to a range of issues through its engaging dramatic context.”

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London’s Victoria and Albert Museum announced that they discovered a previously unknown oil sketch by English Romantic painter John Constable. The sketch of trees, which dates back to 1821 or 1822, was found tucked beneath another work by the artist, “Branch Hill Pond: Hampstead.” Conservators had removed the painting’s lining while preparing for the upcoming exhibition, “Constable: The Making of a Master.”

Constable’s daughter donated the contents of the artist’s studio -- including 92 oil sketches, 297 drawings and watercolors, and 3 sketchbooks -- to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1888. The recently discovered sketch is currently on view at the institution.    

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London’s National Maritime Museum is currently hosting Turner and the Sea, the first large-scale exhibition to explore J.M.W. Turner’s lifelong fascination with the sea. The British Romantic painter, who is often called the “painter of light,” was drawn to the sea’s sublime yet dangerous nature and spent decades trying to capture its wild beauty.

Turner and the Sea includes 120 works from some of the world’s most prestigious institutions including London’s National Gallery, the Tate, the Yale Center for British Art, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Works on view range from Turner’s transformative paintings of the 1790s to his unfinished works created towards the end of his life. Highlights include The Battle of Trafalgar, Turner’s largest painting and only royal commission; Fishermen at Sea, the first oil painting Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy; The Wreck of a Transport Ship, which has not been seen in London since the 1970s; and The Wreck Buoy, Turner’s last exhibited marine painting.

Turner and the Sea will be on view at the National Maritime Museum through April 21, 2014.

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Best known for his paintings of stark diner scenes, snapshots of city life, and quiet portraits of the American landscape, there is much more to Edward Hopper’s (1882–1967) oeuvre than one might think. Referred to as a romantic, a realist, a symbolist, and even a formalist, the exhibition, Paintings by Edward Hopper (1882–1967) currently on view at the Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales in Paris aims to explore each facet of Hopper’s artistic identity.

Divided chronologically into two main parts, the first section of the exhibition covers Hopper’s early work from 1900 to 1924. During this time Hopper studied at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri, the founder of the Ashcan School of realism. Hopper also spent nearly a year in Paris in 1906, followed by shorter stays in 1909 and 1910.

The first part of the exhibition sets out to compare Hopper’s early work to that of his contemporaries as well as to the art he saw while in Paris. While in Europe, Hopper was influenced by such things as Degas’ original angles to Vermeer’s use of light. He was also moved by the soft, harmonious nature of Impressionism, which is reflected in his work from the time. This work is in sharp contrast to the almost gritty realism Hopper favored back in the United States.

1924 marked a turning point in Hopper’s career. After successful exhibitions of his watercolors of neo-Victorian houses in Gloucester, Massachusetts at the Brooklyn Museum and the Franck Rehn’s Gallery (New York), Hopper enjoyed commercial success and was able to fully devote his life to his art. Hopper’s watercolors mark the second section of the Grand Palais exhibition and feature the iconic paintings most people associate with the artist.

Curated by Didier Ottinger, assistant director of the MNAM – Center Pompidou, the exhibition of Hopper’s work will be on view through January 28, 2013.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012 00:12

Three Turner Paintings Aren’t Fakes After All

Three paintings left to the National Museum Wales in 1951 by notable Welsh collectors, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, have been reclassified as authentic after spending decades in storage. In 1956 it was decided that that the paintings, Off Margate, Margate Jetty, and The Beacon Light, were either fake or not fully by the English Romanticist J.M.W. Turner’s (1775–1851) hand.

Turner experts have examined the paintings intermittently during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to similar ends. Thanks to today’s modern methods such as X-ray, infrared, and pigment analysis, the seascapes were finally vindicated. The process unfolded on the BBC program, “Fake or Fortune,” proving that the paintings’ materials were consistent with the materials notably used by Turner.  

Although the three paintings’ values have subsequently skyrocketed, they will remain in the National Museum’s collection. The Davies sisters who built one of the most important Impressionist and 20th century art collections in Britain, bequeathed seven Turner paintings to the Museum in the early 1950s. All of the paintings will go on display together starting September 25th.

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