2015 December: Goya Friends Event


The Duchess of Alba, New York Hispanic Society, New York

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) is one of Spain's most celebrated artists.  He was considered a supremely gifted portrait painter who took the genre of portraiture to new heights.  Deeply affected by his deafness, the result of serious illness in his mid-40s, Goya was able to communicate through portraiture. Goya's reputation grew quickly after he secured his first important portrait commission from Spain's Prime Minister, Count Floridablanca.  Ambitious and proud of his status, he gained patrons from the entire breadth of Spanish society; from the royal family and aristrocrats, from intellectuals, politicians and military figures, and of course he painted his own friends and family.  Goya: The Portraits traces Goya's career from his first commission to his more intimate later works during his self-imposed exile in France - a career that spanned revolution and restoration, war with France and the cultural upheaval of the Spanish Enlightenment.  


2015 November: Candida Höfer: Memory in London

Candida Höfer: Memory

Selected Works from the State Hermitage Museum Exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts

13 October – 27 November 2015   Private View for Friends on 24 November! Book now!

Ben Brown Fine Arts, 12 Brook's Mews, London W1K 4DG

Candida Höfer achieved major international success after she started taking photographs of empty public spaces to capture an elusive connection between people and places where they exist. In summer 2014 the artist spent nearly two weeks working in St. Petersburg and its suburbs. The photographs she created in Russia build seamlessly on the main architectural and functional preoccupations that so interest her: the Mariinsky Theatre and Yusupov Palace theatre, the palaces of Pavlovsk and Pushkin, the Russian National Library, and, of course, the halls of the Winter Palace itself. Ten of these works, carefully selected from the 25 that made up the St Petersburg show, are now on display in London.


Copyright Candida Höfer / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015. Courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

2015 November: Catalogue of Hermitage British Silver Published

In November 2015 the full catalogue of the British silver in the Hermitage collection, the work of internationally-respected curator of silver Marina Lopato, was published by Yale University Press. This volume has been financed by the Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, which has done much to bring the Hermitage's British art to wider audiences over the last twenty years. The Hermitage Foundation UK celebrated the event with a party for Friends and specialists.

From a blockbuster show of British paintings, drawings, silver, ceramics and engraved gems that travelled to three venues in the United States in 1996 (British Art Treasures from Russian Imperial Collections in the Hermitage) to Julia Kagan's groundbreaking survey of engraved gems (Gem Engraving in Britain From Antiquity to the Present with a catalogue of the British engraved gems in the State Hermitage Museum, 2010) and Elizaveta Renne's full catalogue of British paintings (State Hermitage Museum Catalogue. British Painting, 2011), the Mellon Centre has made a huge contribution to promoting British art and the ties between Britain and Russia's greatest museum. 

For those of you who enjoyed Houghton Revisited, the display of paintings from the Walpole collection sold to Catherine the Great in 1779 but returned to Houghton for the summer and autumn of 2013, it was the Mellon Centre that initiated the major study of the Walpole collection undertaken by a team of international scholars from the Hermitage and Great Britain. The results were published as: L. Dukelskaya, A. Moore, eds, A Capital Collection: Houghton Hall and the Hermitage (Yale University Press, 2002).