Archives for London

National Gallery Shows Masterpieces by Michelangelo and Sebastiano

AN UNUSUAL relationship between the Renaissance master, Michelangelo and lesser known Venetian artist, Sebastiano del Piombo is the focus of a new exhibition at The National Gallery in London. The show, which opens this spring, endeavours to gain greater recognition for Sebastiano whose talents have been largely overshadowed by his association with Michelangelo but whose work was highly regarded by 19th century collectors.

Their creative partnership, which is evidenced through paintings, sculptures and working drawings, took place during a time of great political upheaval, heated theological debate and in powerful opposition to their artistic rival, Raphael. Central to the show are Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s remarkable collection of original letters, which disclose the intriguing details of their professional and personal life and whose writing styles reveal much about the artists’ respective personalities.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersThe Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Michelangelo’s controversial sculpture, The Risen Christ, condemned by the biographer Romain Rolland to be “the coldest and dullest thing he ever did”, although much-admired by the artist’s contemporaries, is displayed for the first time in contrast with a plaster cast from his second version. The exhibition also presents a rare opportunity to view Sebastiano’s work, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as Viterbo Pietà which marks the beginning of the artists’ collaboration.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersChrist carrying the Cross by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1513-14.
Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Sebastiano, who was ten years younger than Michelangelo, was born in Venice 1485. The artists first met in Rome while Michelangelo was just completing  work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Sebastiano, a talented oil painter was an ideal partner for Michelangelo who was eager to undermine the success of his rival, Raphael.

After their initial success with Viterbo Pietà, the artists collaborated on two other major projects, the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro and the Raising of Lazarus which was created in fierce opposition to Raphael’s Transformation for the Cathedral of Norbonne in France. However, their friendship ended acrimoniously when Sebastiano tried to force Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgement for the Sistine Chapel in oils rather than his preferred medium of fresco.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersLamentation over the Dead Christ by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1512-16,
Museo Civico, Viterbo. Courtesy of Comune di Viterbo

by Miranda Charalambous

The Credit Suisse exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano opens from 15 March to 25 June 2017 at The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Front page image: The Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Martin Parr New Show at Photographer’s Gallery, London

MARTIN Parr, the British documentary photographer, photojournalist and avid observer of social class has captured the foibles and absurdities of the general public for three decades. His droll and uncompromising images of Britain in the ‘90s exposed a brash nation of resolute flag-wavers, voracious fast-food addicts and overcooked walruses broiling on Benidorm’s beaches.

However, a new exhibition which opens at the Photographer’s Gallery in London next week reveals Parr’s earlier work to be more observational and far less derogatory. The show, entitled The Ceremony of Life: Early Works by Martin Parr displays rare black and white prints from the photographer’s first major series which document the people and places he encountered in England and Ireland during the ‘70s and ‘80s.


Martin Parr, The Photographer's Gallery, London
Martin Parr, Steep Lane Baptist Chapel buffet lunch, Sowerby, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England, UK, 1977.
From the series “The Non-Conformists”, Courtesy of Martin Parr/Magnum Photos/Rocket Gallery


After graduating from Manchester Polytechnic in the 1970s, Parr moved to Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire where he set up a workshop with two fellow students. Fascinated by the traditional way of life around him, he immersed himself in the local scene and with camera in hand, assumed a familiar presence at church services, street parties and village fetes. The writer, Val Williams described Parr’s as “a cunning photographer, sidling his way into situations where he shouldn’t always be, looking as ordinary as the people he photographs.”

Offbeat and eccentric for their time, these works display the quirkiness that would later hallmark his distinctive style.

Martin Parr, Photographer's Gallery, LondonMartin Parr, Morecombe, Lancashire, England, UK 1976, Courtesy of Martin Parr/Magnum Photos/Rocket Gallery


Parr’s early scenes seem nostalgic and poignant like this windswept beach at Morecombe, recorded at a time when Britain’s pleasure parks were in full swing and bouncy castles were a novelty. Ballrooms like this one at Drumshambo in Ireland became regular venues for showbands but later, their entertainment provided a welcome respite from the farming crisis that hit the communities around it.

Martin Parr, Photographer's Gallery, LondonMartin Parr, Mayflower Ball, Drumshambo, County Leitrim, Ireland 1983.
From the series “A Fair Day”, Courtesy of Martin Parr/Magnum Photos/Rocket Gallery


Martin Parr is a full member of Magnum Photographic Cooperative and has exhibited widely including the Barbican Gallery and the National Media Museum in Yorkshire. He has also been guest curator at the New York Photo Festival, the Brighton Photo Biennial and Artistic Director for Rencontres D’Arles.

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, The Ceremony of Life: Early Works by Martin Parr opens at The Photographer’s Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW

Telephone: +44 (020) 7087 9300



Front page image: Martin Parr, Steep Lane Baptist Chapel buffet lunch, Sowerby, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England, UK, 1977, From the series “The Non-Conformists”, Courtesy of Martin Parr/Magnum Photos/Rocket Gallery





Longstaff Longstaff Presents Loungewear for Valentine’s Day

LUXURY brand Longstaff Longstaff offers a range of silk loungewear for Valentine’s Day. The collection includes silk robes, tunics, pyjamas and camisoles which are available in four different styles with each one first being designed on paper before being digitally prepared for printing on silk.


collage-2From left to right: Meadow pyjama blouse and shorts; Circles Pyjama blouse and trousers;
Lotus robe and Indigo trousers

Inspiration for the collection comes from founder Sophie Barnard’s Russian background. These roots, inherited through her mother, led her to develop a passion for fresh vibrant colours and decorative patterns such as those used by Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin and the costume designs of Leon Bakst. Also as a child Sophie loved dressing up and her dressing-up box was full of bearskin hats, sarafans and a beautiful kokoshnik, a traditional Russian head-dress, which also inform and influence her designs.

collageFrom left to right: Peppermint trousers, Lotus robe, Silver shorts


The brand, named after Sophie’s paternal grandmother, who was one of seven sisters all with the middle and surname Longstaff, is designed, sourced and manufactured in Britain. Sophie has always been captivated and inspired by the stories of elegant parties, wild adventures and handsome suitors from her grandmother and pays homage to the British eccentricity from her father’s heritage through her designs.

by Alice Fiancet

The Longstaff Longstaff collection can be found here.

Turkish Millinery Brand Merve Bayindir Moves to London

BESPOKE Turkish millinery brand Merve Bayindir have moved their creative operations to the British capital amid ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East. The melting pot that is London offers the mother-daughter duo, who are already reputed designers in their homeland, the chance to exercise their creativity and further develop their label, in a city that welcomes and positively supports emerging sartorial talent.

A Merve Bayindir SS17 hat © Merve Bayindir

Their stunning and thoroughly original SS17 collection is certainly illustrative of that talent. Each of the designs is representative of one of the four elements – striking shapes, magnificent colours and intricate details artistically, subtly and rather cleverly combined to embody earth, air, fire and water.

Another Merve Bayindir hat for SS17 © Merve Bayindir

The line also explores the effect produced when these elements merge to create new materials and the collection is thus further segmented into three main themes – each with its own colour palette. Brilliant yellows, oranges and crimsons symbolise fire, whilst black, white and red pieces represent embers. The particular glamorous black, gold and glittered pieces encapsulate the beauty of gemstones.

A hat from Merve Bayindir’s collection for SS17 © Merve Bayindir

Each of the designs are created by hand, and each is therefore a truly bespoke, entirely unique item to cherish for life, with fascinators starting at £350 and more elaborate hats priced up to £1,400.

A hat from Merve Bayindir’s collection for SS17 © Merve Bayindir

by Hannah Bergin

Merve Bayindir collections are exclusively stocked at Idylist Showroom (by appointment only)
26 Elvaston Place, Chelsea London SW7 5NL

Jasper Conran Launches Eyewear Collection

BRITISH fashion designer Jasper Conran has launched a new collection of eyewear for SS17. The range includes 24 designs encompassing both men’s and women’s style. The collection is set to include a range of colours as well as the classic tortoiseshell style for both men and women.

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-18-55-54Jasper Conran men’s eyewear for SS17

Conran has been designing since 1978 when he launched his first womenswear collection in New York. Since beginning his career, Conran has diversified from womenswear into all areas of fashion as well as interior design and the performing arts.

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-18-56-01Jasper Conran women’s eyewear

In 2008, Conran was awarded an OBE for his services to retail and has had his collections stocked in Debenhams and Boots for many years.

by Alice Fiancet

Voir Lab Expands into Global Market


LONDON-based fashion brand Voir Lab is to make its collections available across the world. Founded in 2015 with the objective of providing women with contemporary, affordable fashion of exceptional quality, while simultaneously supporting smaller sartorial businesses, Voir Lab sources garments from a diverse range of lesser known – though highly-talented – designers from across the globe.

Voir Lab AW16 © Voir Lab


Voir Lab AW16 © Voir Lab

The label aspires to embolden their valued customers, by providing styles that encourage them to “see” the best version of themselves – confident, unique and beautiful – thus deriving its motto and indeed its name from the French verb voir, “to see”.

by Hannah Bergin

The Voir Lab collections are available from the brand’s website

Maviada Jewellery Opens Online Store

LONDON-based, Turkish-born, and Mediterranean-inspired, Maviada Jewellery has launched an e-commerce shop, allowing its customers to purchase the brand’s characteristically refined, highly sophisticated pieces online for the very first time.

Antibes Single Earrings. Photograph: Maviada

The collection comprises earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pendants, each made from 18ct gold vermeil or 18ct solid gold, in rose, yellow and white hues. The classic designs feature a number of ethically sourced gemstones such as aquamarine, purple amethyst and pink tourmaline which add a subtle touch of the exotic, which indeed inspired and remains at the very heart of the brand’s character and aesthetic.


Bodrum Bracelet Photograph: Maviada

Maviada was founded in 2009 by Istanbul-born Eda Elbirlik, who grew up in the USA but remained profoundly attached to and infinitely inspired by her Turkish heritage. “My inspiration for a Maviada collection comes from many sources, but mainly, my summer holidays on the Aegean coast in Turkey. The blue green turquoise sea waters of the Mediterranean were, and continue to be, a calming influence on me and help me balance my life accordingly. From the soothing colours of the sea, the silver green hues of the olive trees, the bright, multi-coloured glow of the ceramic tiles — they all add to and influence my design concepts for each collection,” she says.


Antibes Cascade Earrings. Photograph: Maviada

by Hannah Bergin

The collection is available from the Maviada website.
Prices start at £155 with limited edition 18ct pieces priced at £3,025.

Nominations for 37th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards announced

THE nominees for the 37th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards have been announced with Moonlight and Love & Friendship leading with seven nominations each including Film of the Year.

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-18-44-39Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen-inspired film Love & Friendship

Also contending for Film of the Year is Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake and Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea. Rosi’s immigration-themed film, Fire at Sea, is also nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film and Documentary.

Hosting the ceremony this year are actor-filmmakers Alice Lowe and Steve Oram who won the critics’ Breakthrough Filmmakers prize in 2012 for their screenplay for comedy film Sightseers.

Last year’s ceremony saw George Miller win both Film and Director of the Year for action-adventure film Mad Max: Fury Road.

Sponsoring the gala event is The May Fair Hotel and also Suqqu  – the award-winning Japanese beauty brand of choice to some of the world’s leading make-up artists such as Morag Ross who has won BAFTAs for her work in the film industry on films such as Lost in Translation and Orlando.  The high-quality range, whose name is derived from the Japanese word sukku-to, meaning “posture with attitude”, offers a beautiful and gentle range of skin products that work effectively on your complexion. Suqqu was created to nurture and enhance the sophistication one gains with age.

by Alice Fiancet

The ceremony will be held on Sunday January 22, 2017 at The May Fair Hotel.

Paul Smith and Google Collaborate on British Fashion Project

BRITISH fashion designer Paul Smith is installing a Virtual Reality (VR) Experience Booth at his London flagship shop in Mayfair to mark the launch of the British Fashion Project.

paul_smithPaul Smith. Photograph: Liton Ali


Visitors to the shop at No. 9 Albemarle Street will be able to experience the British Fashion exhibition on Google Arts and Culture and trace the history of British fashion over the decades. In association with the British Fashion Council, visitors to the store will be able to immerse themselves in 25 multimedia stories, made up of 140 videos and three VR experiences showcasing the backstage world of fashion. Viewers will discover the secrets behind the creative process of some of Britain’s most significant brands and have the heritage, creativity and craftsmanship of British fashion brought to life before their eyes.

Paul Smith has redesigned the Google cardboard viewer for the experience, by creating a special edition version with a floral motif taken from the SS17 collection and a playful spectacles graphic. The designer has also created an online experience based on five objects that represent his creative vision.


Paul SmithPaul Smith showcasing his redesigned Google cardboard viewer. Photograph: Courtesy of Paul Smith


The Google Arts and Culture project aims to educate and inspire young fashion creatives and future generations to continue creating fashion with British values at its core.

by Alice Fiancet

Paul Smith No. 9 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BL
Tel: +44 20 7493 4565

Atlas Gallery Reveal New Surrealist Photography Show

THE Atlas Gallery in London unleashes the creative power of the unconscious in a new show which explores how avant-garde photographers responded to Surrealism. The exhibition, which opens this week, traces the history of the iconic movement through five decades beginning with its launch in Paris in the 1920s by poet, André Breton.

The Psychic Lens: Surrealism and the camera displays almost 50 works by well-known photographers which include Man Ray, Florence Henri and Bill Brandt and work by lesser known artists such as Franz Roh and Vaclav Zykmund. Their work also reveals a diverse range of skills comprising photo-montage, double exposures, solarisation and combination printing.

Atlas Gallery, Surrealism, photography, exhibitionVisit in Night, 1951 © Toshiko Okanoue

The Surrealists sought to uncover the unconscious mind and merge it with reality. They created dream-like imagery by lifting objects from their familiar contexts and re-positioning them in unlikely groupings. The Japanese photographer, Toshiko Okanoue, started making photo collages as a fashion student at Bunk Gakim College during the 1950s. After the Second World War, Japanese goods were in short supply and many were imported from abroad.

Cutting scraps from fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Okanoue began to create imaginative compositions arranged from body parts, animals and architectural elements. Although having no knowledge of Surrealism at the time, she realised later that, “Without being aware of it, I have planned such delicate nuances of a woman’s heart and sown seeds of such sentiments into my works.”

Atlas Gallery, Surrealism, photography, exhibitionPortrait Composition (E), 1937 by Florence Henri © Galleria Martini & Ronchetti, Genova

Influenced by Constructivism and Cubism, the American artist Florence Henri experimented with mirrors to add greater perspective to her imagery. She overlaid reflections in shop windows and made photo-montages from photographic clippings of classical architecture. She explained

“Volumes, lines, shadows and light have to obey my will and say what I want them to say. This happens under the strict control of composition, since I do not pretend to explain the world nor to explain my thoughts.”

Apart from distorting perspective and the size of objects, Surrealist photographers sometimes used words in their imagery. The German magazine cover designed by Dutch photographer, César Domela-Niewenhuis depicts a giant signpost of painted text looming above the sprawling Port of Hamburg to reveal a cluttered scene of cranes, building and steamships parts.

Atlas Gallery, Surrealism, photography, exhibitionHamburg, 1929 by César Domela-Niewenhuis © 2014 César Domela/
Artists RightsSociety (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, The Psychic Lens: Surrealism and the camera runs from November 24 to January 28, 2017 at Atlas Gallery, 49 Dorset Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7NF
Telephone: +44 207 224 4192

Front page image: Ruths-Speicher, photomontage, 1928 by César Domela-Niewenhuis © 2014 César

Domela/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris