The Courtauld Gallery Exhibition and Special Display Programme 2017

2017 Exhibition

Soutine’s Portraits: Waiters, Cooks and Bellhops

19 October 2017 – 21 January 2018

The Courtauld Gallery’s major exhibition for 2017 focuses on one of Chaim Soutine’s most important series of portraits: waiters, cooks and bellhops who sat for him in Paris and the South of France during the 1920s. These works helped to establish Soutine’s reputation as a major avant-garde painter, seen by many as the 20th century heir to Van Gogh, and today are widely considered to be among the artist’s greatest achievements. Soutine’s Portraits will be the first time that this outstanding group of masterpieces has ever been brought together and it will be the first exhibition of Soutine’s work in London for over 30 years, providing a unique opportunity to experience the power and profound emotion of Soutine’s art.

The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery Displays

Reading Drawings

21 January – 29 May 2017

Inscriptions on drawings reveal essential information regarding their authorship, dating, subject, purpose and provenance. A selection of drawings from The Courtauld Gallery’s collection demonstrates the reasons and circumstances behind annotations on drawings, from straightforward signatures to lengthy captions, invented languages and records of ownership. Artists and collectors often had no reservations about writing on their works, as evidenced by this display, ranging from the sixteenth through early twentieth centuries. 

William Henry Hunt: Country People

24 June – 17 September 2017

Taking its lead from W. H. Hunt’s watercolour The Head Gardener, c. 1825, that is part of The Courtauld Gallery’s permanent collection, this focused display will be first to investigate Hunt’s depiction of rural figures in his work of the 1820s and 1830s.

Consisting of around 20 drawings borrowed from collections across the UK, William Henry Hunt: Country People will bring together watercolours depicting country people in their working or living environments, from farmers and gamekeepers to stonebreakers and gleaners. Treated with dignity and respect, the representation of these rural figures and types raises important questions about the changing relationship with rural labour and the land during Hunt’s lifetime. These profound changes are also reflected in the literature of the period.

One of the most admired British water-colourists of the 19th century, Hunt first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807. His watercolours were sought after by collectors, notably John Ruskin, a serious champion of his work.

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