Family Matters – Millenium Gallery, Sheffield

This is on till the 29th April I think. It’s well worth a look as they’ve got many paintings on display that I’ve only ever seen as reproductions before. Seeing the actual works in the flesh you can really appreciate the sheer scale of them and the subtleties of the paint reproductions can never capture. I could talk about pretty much all the pictures on display, I had to work really hard to narrow it down.

“Sir Thomas Moore , his Father and his Decedents” In the style of Hans Holbein the Younger  – Rowland Lockey (1593)

This is an absolutely huge painting with the figures being pretty much life size. I think they might be slightly larger. It’s really interesting seeing the changes in fashion on the left and right hand sides.

“The Prodigal Daughter”  – John Collier (1903)

The conflict between generations is nothing new as this painting shows with the daughter apparently being a follower of the Arts&Crafts Movement. This was a time when William Morris was seen as edgy rather than representative of stuffy middle-class middle-England. Shows where today’s edgy will be in a couple of centuries time.

I think this picture is also begging for a caption competition. I’m going for “What HAVE you done to the dining-room curtains child?”

“Melaine and me Swimming”- Michael Andrews (1978-9)

This is an absolutely beautiful painting in the flesh. What the reproduction fails to show is the delacacie of the shades of blue of the water and the way it interacts with the two swimmers’ bodies. I also have a suspicion that the artist may have used an air-brush on this. It shows up in the very smooth finish and the beautiful graduations of colour.

“The Wide Sargasso Sea” – Paula Rego (2000)

What can I say. Rego does such amazing things with pastels. This duo is huge, 180 x 244cm for the top half and little panel underneath being 59 x 244cm. I just stood in front of it and drooled over her use of colour and line and texture.


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