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National Gallery

February at the National Gallery

23 February - 22 May 2005
Sainsbury Wing. Admission charge
Supported by the American Friends of the National Gallery.

This will be the first significant exhibition to be held in the UK of the late paintings of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), the most original and influential Italian painter of the 17th century, and a modern icon. Caravaggio revolutionised the art of his time by shunning the prevailing standard of ideal beauty in favour of compelling realism that shocked and moved his audiences. Using dramatic lighting with great expressive force, Caravaggio gave his paintings a truly remarkable sense of actuality that continues to engage and astonish. Included will be the monumental Flagellation (Naples, Museo di Capodimonte), the Annunciation (Nancy, Musée des Beaux Arts), and the Crucifixion of St Andrew (Cleveland Museum of Art). The exhibition will feature one of Caravaggio's most heartfelt paintings, The Adoration of the Shepherds (Messina, Galleria Regionale), never lent outside Italy before. This exhibition will also include The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula, (Naples, Banca Intesa) the last picture Caravaggio painted before his early death. Today Caravaggio is celebrated as the first great realist and a prototype of the rebellious, tormented genius in literature, film, philosophy, psychoanalysis, criticism and journalism.

John Virtue
Sunley Room. Admission Free.
Sponsored by Hiscox.

John Virtue is the sixth National Gallery Associate Artist and this exhibition marks the end of his two-year period at the Gallery. Central to the Associate Artist scheme is the idea of making new works in response to the art of the past. Virtue's relationship to the National Gallery Collection runs deep. He vividly recalls his first trip to the National Gallery as a schoolboy in 1964 and the artists, Turner, Constable, Rubens and other painters of the great European landscape tradition, who have left an enduring legacy on his work. Virtue has made 11 new paintings for this exhibition. These works are all dominated by the river Thames and represent the London cityscape looking down-river towards St Paul's Cathedral.
Executed solely in black and white, this series of paintings of London are on a scale never before attempted by any other artist. They are monumental works, the largest of which is over seven metres wide.

The Passion. The Pain. Caravaggio Film Season Until 14 May 2005

The films in this season all reflect some aspect of Caravaggio's paintings or life: the street models he painted realistically and used to convey the spiritual message of his paintings are animated in Mean Streets and Mamma Roma; his theatrical, often violent, interpretation of subjects is echoed in the unflinching narrative and overt staginess of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and in the rich, visceral colours of La Reine Margot; while his sense of composition suggests itself in the way characters are framed in the elegant study of repressed passion, In the Mood for Love. The season opens with Derek Jarman's recreation of Caravaggio's life and art and ends with Federico Fellini's intimate portrait of Rome, the city where Caravaggio first achieved fame and from which he was later forced to flee after killing a man.
Screenings are on Saturdays, 2.30pm, Sainsbury Wing Theatre. Tickets £5

To Book:
Call The Phone Room on 0870 990 8453 or online

Wednesday Lates
Free admission. Sainsbury Wing Foyer

Wednesday Lates take place every week, with additional activities on the first Wednesday of every month. Whilst talks, a bar and live music will be providing entertainment in the Sainsbury Wing Foyer, education will be organsing a series of evening lectures throughout the month on subjects ranging from the current exhibition Caravaggio, Conservation and Love (see Adult Events)

Special Wednesday Late
2 February 2005, 6-9pm.

Education Events - To book please call 0870 990 8453 (booking fee)


Evening Lecture
Talking Points: Conservation
Wednesday 2 February
6.30pm, Sainsbury Wing Theatre

How does one keep paintings that are up to seven centuries old, many of them extremely fragile, looking good but at the same time acknowledge their importance as historical objects? The preservation of art for future generations is a central function of the National Gallery. In this talk, David Bomford, Senior Restorer at the Gallery, discusses some of these issues and looks at a number of case studies.
Evening Event
The Art of Seduction: Great Lovers at the National Gallery Wednesday 16 February 6.30-8pm, Sainsbury Wing Conference Room 1 In this informal evening, we discuss paintings of momentary lust and true love, from illicit affairs to long-term relationships. We also see people using seduction to further their own particular aims - the power of erotic attraction can be very strong indeed.

Events for Families
Free Workshops and Storytelling for families.


Magic carpet storytelling Tuesday 15 - Friday 18 February, at 11.30am Join us on the Magic Carpet as it comes to land in front of a different painting each day.
Meet in the Education Centre Foyer, Orange Street Entrance. No need to book


Every Saturday and Sunday at 11.30 am, join us for a themed children's tour of paintings. Aimed at families with children aged 5 to 11. Meet in the Education Centre Foyer, Orange Street Entrance.


Join us on the second weekend of each month for our regular, gallery-based, family drawing event. Each month a different theme is explored. Sessions last one hour and include a lively talk and drawing activity. All materials are provided and participants receive a free souvenir pencil. All children must be accompanied.

? My Funny Valentine
12 & 13 February 2005
11.30am, repeated 2.30pm. Meet in Room 58

For families with children aged 5-11

? Casting a Glance
Tuesday 15 - Saturday 19 February 2005
11am-1pm and 2-4pm (19 February 11am only)
Meet in the Education Centre Foyer, Orange Street Entrance.

SUNDAY 19 February 2005, 2pm - 5pm


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