An email from my dear friend Bianca who lives in New South Wales, Australia.
I went firstly to see the Handwriting Exhibition with exhibits going back as far as The Venerable (Saint) Bede (673-635) to early 1900s. Michelangelo’s handwriting was so beautiful and Marie Curies was perfectly formed. Napoleons was terrible. It was really exciting to see the handwriting of so many historically famous people. On Friday we went to see the Renaissance exhibition. The works were from the early period right through to the late period of the Renaissance. I found it most interesting to see the development from the stiff, flat expressionless figures of the early works, to the full rounded and expression filled figures of the final period. The richness of colour in the later works is amazing.
Of all the masterpieces, my favourite was by a lesser known painter, Cosme Tura ‘Madonna and Child’ (stylish in its composition, but the subtle expression of suffering on both faces reflects what is to come), plus Carlo Crivelli ‘Madonna and Child’ with all its symbolism, Bernardino Di Mariotto ‘The Lamentation of Christ’ (which(for me) could almost be a modern painting) and Jacopo Bassano ‘Madonna and Child with the young Saint John the Baptist’ so full of tenderness and love. Andrea Solario’s ‘Ecce homo’ (Behold the man) is a small scale painting, which held me transfixed for quite some time.
The portraits of Giovan Battista Moroni left me without words to describe them. If you can Google them, look up his painting ‘Portrait of a child of the house of Redetti’ and ‘Portrait of an old man seated’. The exhibition is well worth seeing.
I then was able to take in an exhibition by the Australian photographer, Frank Hurley from his Antarctic collection.