Must See: Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision, Courtauld Gallery, London WC2
Portraits by the artist as a young man in pursuit of pleasure
The Independent’s former comment editor, Adrian Hamilton writes a weekly column largely on international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues. Before joining the paper he was deputy editor of the Observer newspaper.
Saturday 10 November 2012
Of all the foreign artists who came to Britain, Peter Lely made the greatest name for himself and the biggest fortune.
As official painter to Charles II, he became synonymous with a style of full-busted, fresh-faced women, standardised pictures that could be produced with repetitive ease.
But an intriguing exhibition at the Courtauld shows us a different painter, with wider artistic ambitions, who set off from the Netherlands to London as the Civil War broke out in 1643.
This was a young man with a desire to show off a full range of subject matter, including religious subjects, pictures from mythology and portraiture.
His portraits from this time make up some of the finest pictures he did. He continued during the period of war and the Commonwealth with his "subject paintings" of biblical subjects and of Arcadian landscapes, works of romantic sentiment and no little eroticism. What unites them is a youthful sense of pleasure in the flesh and joy in life.
(020 7848 2526; courtauld.ac.uk) to 13 Jan
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Mal Peet dead at 67: Tributes to children's author who was 'universally adored'
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Jimmy McGovern's new TV series 'Banished': Why Australia's past has such resonance today
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'