'Manet: Portraying Life' at the Royal Academy

I recently went to see the Manet exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts… alongside most of London it seemed!  In what was the most overcrowded of shows I’ve been to in a long time (advance bookings were among the highest in the academy's recent history) I saw more that sixty of Édouard Manet's portraits.  Unfortunately, the quality of the work exhibited, much of which was not shown during the artist’s lifetime, was desperately uneven (several were even unfinished) and I found myself searching for the more well known of Manet’s paintings, omitted from this show.  However, as well as learning a lot about the artist’s life, there were some obviously excellent pieces to admire, especially those of Manet’s sister-in-law Berthe Morisot (above) and that of the Monet family in their tranquil garden at Argenteuil (below).

The show closes this Sunday but there are extended opening hours this weekend until midnight.  Tickets RRP. £15.00 available Here

First Official Portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge Unveiled

If the camera adds ten pounds, does the paintbrush add ten years?!   The first official, highly anticipated, painting of the Duchess of Cambridge was unveiled today and no, you would not be alone in thinking you just woke up in the year 2023.   The portrait, called HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and painted by the artist Paul Emsley. Despite the portrait clearly not doing the pretty thirty-one year old Duchess any justice, ageing her quite dramatically, when affronted with the painting and it’s artist Catherine graciouslyand politely praised the work as, "just amazing. Absolutely brilliant."   Someone get that canvas some eye serum pronto...!