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What makes art great? The direct observation of nature or the study of the masterpieces of the past? We find out at the Royal Academy of Arts in company of the most illustrious painters and sculptors in history. In the 1700s, when the prestigious institution was founded, male nudes were considered essential to an artist’s portfolio. And the tradition was the principal inspiring muse of a colossus like Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy’s first president. Yet, just a few years later, John Constable and William Turner would change everything, giving landscape painting the same dignity as historic painting. A breath of fresh air blew into the Academy - natural phenomenon, like clouds, wind and tempests became the subjects of sublime paintings, while a new way of treating light would set the foundations for the impressionist revolution. Artistic milestones offer a look at these transformations in this exhibition recently inaugurated at the Royal Academy, moving through time to the very origins of the great art of the West. In fact, on display are jewels of the Renaissance like Tondo Taddei by Michelangelo and an almost-full-sized copy of The Last Supper by Leonardo, as well as the moulds of masterpieces of classical sculpture, such as the Belvedere Torso.
The last decade of work by the New York artist is narrated by a rich selection of paintings and drawings. There’s a special focus on the works against the violence against African-Americans, because art can also bear witness.
The first large exhibition in the United Kingdom which explores the theme of sin in art, reuniting works that span centuries, including artists such as Bruegel and Velázquez, Tracey Emin and Andy Warhol.
More than 50 artists, half a millennium of art and the immense variety of the planet’s cultures - a fascinating journey awaits at the Camden Art Centre, exploring the intimate tie between humans and plants.