Sunday, 16 November 2008

HOT: Campaign For The Titians, National Gallery

Titian's Diana and Acteon and Diana and Callisto are considered the greatest paintings in the Bridgewater Collection, and now they're up for sale. The public campaign needs to raise £50 million to buy the first of these paintings (with an option to buy the second at the same price later) to preserve their public display. I wanted to have a greater understanding of the impact and significance of these paintings, so I joined a free talk with the Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, the Head of Education at the National Gallery and art historian/TV presenter Matthew Collings. The most interesting aspect of their discussion was the link made between the spontaneous work style of Titian and the 'painterly' approach of Abstract Expressionism as exemplified by Jackson Pollack, and when they explained to a crotchety member of the audience why it was worth spending £50 million on a bit of canvas and paint during a recession. The dynamic and brightly hued Diana and Acteon is on display with the National Gallery's Death of Acteon until 20 November - see it while you can and support the campaign.

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