I found myself in London with a bit of spare time on Friday and ended up on a bus heading up the strand. When I saw the entrance to Somerset house I decided to pay one of my favourite spaces in London, the Courtauld Gallery, an impromptu visit.
Art fund card holders entry is free. I was also told by the ticket lady that if you flash your Art Fund card in the gift shop you get a discount. I did not try this but its worth a go.
I enjoyed a wonder through the galleries seeing old favourite as well as new discoveries, either that I missed on previous visits or have been changed by the gallery.
Included with this ticket was entry in to a complimentary temporary exhibition called Unfinished works, looking at unfinished works from the Galleries collection. Some of these pieces were rightfully given that title and in fact very rare to have survived in an unfinished state considering the big names of some of the artist within this small exhibition. However there were others that to an unschooled eye like mine would question the “unfinished status” of some of these pieces.
A picture of flowers in a vase by none other than Claude Monet looked to me to have been finished.
Why does the Courtauld have so many unfinished pieces? Well it is a centre of excellence for the study of art and these rare unfinished pieces allow students to see how some of the greats from art and different periods of art constructed paintings and art.
My favourite pieces were possibly the earliest pieces n the show, they were The holy family with St John the Baptist by Perino del Vaga a pupil of Raphael’s. What is so amazing is that we can see how the artist was planning out the picture on the wood panel.
Next to it is a picture of Venus in a landscape by Vecchio. From a distance this image looks complete however as you get closer you notice how the artist wanted to add a small town in the distance in front of the hills cape and can see the outlines. The beautiful venus is however mostly complete in her modesty barely covered by a stunning drape of pink cloth.
Other big names to be found in the exhibition include Cezanne, Degas, Manet and Rembrandt.
The exhibition will be there to see until the 20th September as part of their summer showcase. do go and see this wonderful gallery.