December 9, 2010


Shelley's Ghost: Reshaping the Image of a Literary Family

This major exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford brings together material from its own collection and the New York Public Library, some previously unseen, that sheds light on the tangled lives and creative careers of Percy Bysshe Shelley, his wife Mary Shelley and her parents, political philosopher William Godwin and pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Highlights include Mary Shelley's original handwritten draft of Frankenstein, with additions and corrections by her husband, his gold-and-coral baby rattle, and the spyglass he took with him aboard the Don Juan on the day he drowned in July 1822. A book of the same title by Stephen Hebron and Elizabeth C. Denlinger accompanies the exhibition. The show closes in Oxford on March 2011; a version of the exhibition will open in New York in February 2012.


Nilbar Güres: Window Commission 2010

Rivington Place's annual window commission showcases the work of an emerging artist. This year, it is the turn of Nilbar Güres, who divides her time between Vienna and Istanbul but has never been seen in Britain before. She is fascinated by freedom and constraint and specialises in theatrical tableaux of women, drawing on both performances and everyday life. Beekeeper, on display from 10 December to 5 January 2011, is a four-part photographic composition centred on a woman in an idyllic orchard, whose face and body are concealed by layers of clothing. Yet in the surrounding panels these items are cast off and hung from the nearby trees...


The World of Lucas Cranach: An Artist in the Age of Dürer, Titian and Metsys

Lucas Cranach (1472-1553) has long been regarded as one of the greatest artists of his era, yet he has recently attracted an unprecedented depth of attention. In parallel with Cranach: L'Altro Rinascimento in Rome's Galleria Borghese (until 13 February 2011), the Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts has brought together 150 paintings, drawings and rarely seen engravings in The World of Lucas Cranach, which runs until 23 January 2011 before transferring to Paris' Musée de Luxembourg (9 February to 23 May 2011). These represent the first major retrospective exhibitions ever held in Italy, France and the Benelux countries. Although Cranach is probably most celebrated for the lush sensuality of his female nudes, he also spent much of his time as a court painter who was quite capable of producing a notably austere wedding portrait for Martin Luther.


Richard W. Boardman and Patrice Lombardi: New Works

This is the artists' third joint exhibition held at the Medici Gallery in London (until 4 January 2011). American-born Lombardi, who builds up 20 or 30 layers of oil paint on canvas or wood, here presents a series of shimmering, attention-grabbing images, largely inspired by classical Greek sculpture, which strive to realise an ideal form of beauty relevant to the concerns of the present day. Boardman became fascinated early in life by the animal imagery featured in Russian folk tales. He now produces bronze sculptures, and smaller sculptures in silver, of real and imaginary creatures such as elephants, birds, wild boar, sphinxes and flying pigs.


A Flea in Her Ear

When a husband in Belle Epoque Paris seems to have lost interest in sex, there can be only one explanation - he must have found a younger mistress. So what is a suspicious wife to do but test his fidelity by sending him a letter from an anonymous admirer suggesting a rendezvous in the louche Hotel Coq d'Or? Georges Feydeau's 1907 masterpiece of marital mayhem and mistaken identity, A Flea in Her Ear (La Puce à l'oreille), ranks as the one of the most dazzlingly inventive farces of all time. John Mortimer's slick translation was first performed at The Old Vic in 1966. It has now been revived at the same venue (until 5 March 2011) in a new production by Richard Eyre starring Tom Hollander.

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