- Created: 23 September 2016 23 September 2016
Am I Rembrandt? (8 Nov – 5 March 2017), the final display in Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Making Discoveries series will bring the Dutch Master’s flamboyant Self-Portrait, Wearing a Feathered Bonnet, 1635, (on loan from Buckland Abbey, National Trust) to London for the first time. The display will also delve deeper into the Gallery's own works by the painter with Girl at a Window, 1645, shown for the first time with its surviving preparatory study.
X-Ray of the painting
The status of the self-portrait as an authentic work by Rembrandt has been questioned in the past, but following extensive technical analysis and investigative work by the National Trust and leading Rembrandt specialists, it was firmly attributed to the Master in 2014. The self-portrait will inspire a wider display, exploring how curators and conservators worked together to authenticate the painting. It will also examine the authorship of other works by Rembrandt, acquired by the Gallery's founders in the late 18th century.
Dulwich’s paintings Jacob de Gheyn III, 1632, and Girl at a Window are undisputed works by Rembrandt that are often used as a standard by which to judge unsigned paintings from the same periods. Conversely, A Young Man, perhaps the Artist’s Son Titus, 1663, was previously doubted as a genuine Rembrandt due to its degraded condition, whilst Jacob’s Dream, 1710-15, was once a much admired Rembrandt until the restoration process revealed the signature of Rembrandt’s last pupil, Aert de Gelder. Seen together these works and accompanying analysis offer a special insight into the often challenging practise of attributing Old Master works, drawing upon a curator’s knowledge of the artist’s style; surviving documentation relating to the work’s history; and analytical investigations that reveal the artist’s materials and techniques.
Girl at a Window - Rembrandt
Girl at a Window, one of the Gallery’s most celebrated works by Rembrandt, will be displayed next to the only known preparatory study for the work, on loan from The Courtauld Institute of Art (Count Antoine Seilern Bequest). This will be the first time both painting and study have been displayed together, revealing how Rembrandt transformed a quick graphite sketch, made from life, into the finished painting. Seen together, the works offer a unique insight into the artist's creative process.
Am I Rembrandt? is the final of four displays in the Making Discoveries: Dutch and Flemish Masterpieces series, which has thus far explored works by Van Dyck, Rubens and Dou in Dulwich’s collection. Bringing together recent historical and scientific research, the series has revealed intriguing discoveries, shedding new light on these familiar works. This research has been achieved through the recently published catalogue of the Dutch and Flemish paintings collection at Dulwich Picture Gallery, which will be launched on 10October 2016. It is the first comprehensive catalogue covering this part of the collection and includes over 220 paintings, detailing their provenance and historical significance. It is available to buy online and from the Gallery shop.
The Making Discoveries series is curated by Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator Dr Xavier Bray with support from Assistant Curator, Helen Hillyard.
- Created: 21 September 2016 21 September 2016
We were in Streatham a few days ago and decided to pop into a favourite restaurant for some noodles. Lo and behold, our beloved Oishii had gone and in its place was Saigon Bistro (or will be very soon).
We’d been going to Oishii fairly regularly since it opened about fifteen years ago. When our daughter was born, she had come with us. When she was a little older, the staff gave her bowls of rice on the house. Later she became a fan of chicken katsu don and crispy aromatic duck. As a creatures of habit, I usually went for yaki udon and my partner for a salmon ramen. All delicious and fresh tasting and the waiters always friendly.
Perhaps Saigon Bistro will be lovely too but we miss Oishii and it made me think of other favourite restaurants that had vanished. I used to go to a nicely-faded, Italian place on Moor Street in Soho, called Centrale. My habit here was fusilli broccoli with a dish of dried chillies and a black coffee. I was a regular back in the late eighties, with colleagues from a company called Export Network, also defunct. I was a more occasional visitor after and then one day in 2004, Centrale had closed. There was a note on the door saying it would reopen nearby but it never did.
Still in the West End, a narrow staircase on Tottenham Court Road led to the basement home of Ikkyu. The joy of this Japanese restaurant was a menu full of small, interesting and cheap dishes. My favourite was grilled ochre for a pound. The routine was to order a great slew of dishes to share with friends from Little Iceland aka the block of flats over Warren Street tube station.
The final place on this little memorial list is The Gallery, near the top of Brixton Hill. The difference is that it still there, even if it’s called the Luanda Grill these days. The olives and bread, king prawns and grilled chicken in various spicy sauces and sloshes of Sagres or vinho verde were wonderful and the setting better. The galleried restaurant was painted as if the diners were in the middle of a Portuguese square. It’s on this list because the owners opened a cafe next door and cut a great doorway through to it, ruining the atmosphere and bringing a cold breeze from next door. After that act of vandalism, I never went back.
This is my personal little memorial list. Any to add to it?
- Created: 12 September 2016 12 September 2016
I went to the Florence in Herne Hill for a few pints last night. Truman’s Lazarus was the beer – light in colour, flavour and alcohol content (4.2%), which made it just right for a relatively balmy, midweek evening. Anyway, I hadn’t been to the Florence for a while and noticed that the children’s play room in the garden had mutated into The Lupino Room, named after Ida, the actor, director and local girl - there’s a blue plaque on the house she was lived in, on Ardbeg Road.
She was tough in real life, battling the studio system and played a lot of tough characters on screen. She was in films like The Light That Failed, They Drive by Night and High Sierra, the last two with Humphrey Bogart. Alongside this, she became one of a handful of female directors in old Hollywood, choosing some controversial topics for her films; rape in Outrage, bigamy in The Bigamist and polio in Never Fear.
Ida Lupina directing 'The Hitch-Hiker'
Lupino’s best film as director is probably The Hitch-Hiker, the proverbial “taut little thriller”. She got great performances from Frank Lovejoy and Edmond O’Brien as weary and very believable old buddies, engaged in a battle of wits with William Talman’s homicidal hitch-hiker in Baja California. One thing that really stood out was that the scenes with only Mexicans in were in Spanish, with no subtitles, which somehow made the film seem very modern.
The movie’s in the public domain so even those with an old-fashioned conscience about paying for content can watch it online, guilt-free!
- Created: 09 September 2016 09 September 2016
News that scientists examining human remains found during the Crossrail excavations have identified the bacterial cause of the Great Plague of London (it’s Yersinia pestis), had the Today programme dipping into its copy of A Journal of the Plague Year. Rather than descriptions of symptoms and mass burials, here’s a peep at what Daniel Defoe had to say about our neck of the woods in his novel about the 1665-6 outbreak.
Dulwich actually gets but a single mention, in which Defoe describes how people fled plague-ravaged Limehouse and Wapping, heading for the open and woody country of Dullege and nearby Camberwell, Norwood and Lusum (Lewisham). Unfortunately, the locals were scared of getting infected themselves and didn’t dare to help them. Some of those luckless people ended up starving to death in the woods.
The Great Plague killed nearly a quarter of London’s population. Vanessa Harding, professor of London history at Birkbeck, University of London, told Today that those who fared best were people that got out of London. The Dulwich vignette shows that didn’t always work.
Dulwich itself didn’t escape the plague though. J. F. D. Shrewsbury’ A History of Bubonic Plague in the British Isles reports 35 deaths among Dulwich residents, though the college was largely untouched, with two poor scholars, the kitchen boy and the cook succumbing.
- Created: 10 June 2016 10 June 2016
Watch: wedding planning tips from the ultimate pros. No matter what your budget: a must see interview with the world's no.1 wedding planner:
- Created: 30 April 2016 30 April 2016
Pecorino is typically associated with the cheese from Italy, however, today it's gaining fame for being both old and new white wine from South Eastern Italy, along the Adriatic. Old due to the grape variety being considered only good enough for large-scale blending for cheap wine and today because a growing number of winemakers are busy discovering its potential as single variety.
Light yellow in colour and freshly tasting of sweet pineapple with slight hint of Turkish delight. There is a little spice and a touch of a bitter finish. You can easily smell variety of Bon-bons, in English hard boiled sweets, reminding you of a summer childhood evening with sticky fingers.
For vegetarians, serve with something like a Greek salad topped with Feta cheese and freshly cut red onions, don't forget plenty of fresh herbs!
For meat eaters you could bring to the table grilled chicken with spinach mixed with roasted tomatoes and fresh mango.
A nice little bargain from Wairtrose for £5.99
- Created: 08 April 2016 08 April 2016
If you thought Lambeth Council's behaviour couldn't sink any lower, then think again. For all of this week cllr's Jim Dickson, Michelle Agdomar, and Jack Holborn have barred access to local businesses working in a separate wing of the Carnegie Library building.
Nearly 20 business owners have been refused access to their own work places this week and have become embroiled in a dispute with their own Landlord, London Arts Base, who have a running agreement with the council to let the space.
The rental income is one of the current sources of revenue that suits the library building very well as the number of small business owners in the UK continues to grow.
Many now question the legality of the councils position in stopping access to tenants who have paid rent and have had their property trapped in the building. The treatment at the entrance to the library by council representatives reduced one of the tenants to tears as the stress of not being able to work over came her.
However, the council are now allowing business owners access to their desks to take property away but not to work. The cumulative losses incurred are being calculated and compensation is going to be sought from Lambeth.
Another business owner says that he has had at least 3 deliveries go astray, that were necessary to finish a project, during this fiasco. Now more time has to be spent tracking and possibly replacing them instead of working.
The general feeling is that the council are trying to turn the business owners against the library occupiers. This has already backfired as the anger is now being directed at the "spiteful" and "out of touch" Lambeth council who will seemingly attempt anything to push their agenda through.
The Carnegie Library issue has attracted national & international press, as well as large community sites like Brixton Buzz keeping residents up to date. Local businesses around the area from Brixton to Herne Hill and Dulwich are displaying posters and fliers of support.
This week over 200 authors and illustrators declared public support for the occupation of the library and more support from groups in Switzerland have also been received. The issue is set to continue as residents and local businesses demonstrate their support for keeping Carnegie Library as a functioning community library.
A huge public march against Lambeth Council plans to turn the listed Carnegie building into a "health & wellbeing" business, is scheduled for Saturday 9th April putting more pressure on the council to listen to the people they are supposed to represent.
- Created: 03 April 2016 03 April 2016
As the community asserts a stronger desire to keep their local library open, the local council employ more draconian measures to close it.
Access to people who rent space in the library is now being blocked in an attempt to put pressure on the seperate "occupy Carnegie" effort. This action brings into question the legality of the action taken by Lambeth council against the local community and also the police who are tryig to manage access to the building.
For councillors to take on a local community is obviously very brave. This issue is spreading, not just across London and the UK, but from even traditionally neutral countries like Switzerland where knowledge is prized above cries for austerity.
It would appear the Carnegie Library protest is the canary in the coal mine. The people of South London are not willing to have their beloved library taken from them by uncompromising, high-handed officials.
The question is not so much whether the Occupy movement will sustain, but rather should the councillors resign over this issue. Being wrong is one thing, being hopelessy out of touch with the people you represent is quite another!
‘The Revenant’ feels the St. Valentine’s love at the ee british academy film awards in 2016 scooping 5 awards
- Created: 15 February 2016 15 February 2016
The Revenant received 5 BAFTAs last night at the EE British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House, including Best Film, Director, Cinematography, Sound and Leading Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio. Mad Max: Fury Road also picked up four awards for its return to the big screen: Costume Design, Production Design, Make Up & Hair and Editing. Brie Larson won the Leading Actress award for her role in Room and Outstanding British Film went to Brooklyn. Sir Sidney Poitier was awarded the Academy Fellowship, BAFTA's highest accolade, in recognition of his outstanding and exceptional contribution to film.
Champagne Taittinger, official Champagne Partner to the British Academy for the 14th year running, once again added extra sparkle to the proceedings, not least through the attendance of Vitalie Taittinger. Vitalie is the Marketing Director at Champagne Taittinger and daughter of President, Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger.
- Created: 05 February 2016 05 February 2016
her Royl Highness Queen Sonja of Norway oficially opened the new exhibition, "Painting Norway" by Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928), at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The exhibition is filled with beautiful prints and paintings that define the interactions between light and landscape, expressed in striking memorable colours.
HM Queen Sonja said: "Nikolai Astrup has contributed significantly to shaping our understanding of Norway. In that sense, the title of this exhibition is indeed fitting: Nikolai Astrup. Painting Norway. He transformed his own, private visions of the natural environment into scenes of universal relevance...Astrup visited London in 1908, with the main aim of studying the paintings of John Constable, an artist he admired greatly. In a sense, we could say that he has now returned, with the fruits of his studies."
Visitors to Norway are always notably struck by the force of nature upon the psyche. This exhibition of over 90 works of Astrup's work, brings that personal experience to life in a timeless way and this show is another must see for visual art lovers in London.
Exhibition runs until 15 May 2016.
Address: Gallery Rd, Southwark SE21 7AD
Hours: Open today · 10am–5pm
Architectural style: Modern architecture
Phone: 020 8693 5254