You enter a troubling parallel universe in Henry Fuseli’s drawings of women: a place of exaggeration and highly sexualised imagery, where his subjects engage in role-play and the theatrical and erotic and idiosyncratic collide. It’s an inventive, private realm: not one of the drawings in the Courtauld’s fascinating exhibition was displayed in public during the artist’s life.
Plus: the remarkable career of Marianne Werefkin; the making of John Singer Sargent’s notorious Madame X; the occult modernism of Rudolf Steiner; and reviews of the artists who saw in stereo, a history of tomb raiding in Egypt and the memoir of Ibrahim El-Salahi
• Jil Sander refashions the English garden in Hamburg
• Annette Messager on the art of making the strange familiar
• A dazzling Medici table-top in focus
• On Jeju Island, the Hawaii of South Korea
Plus: the restored Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Inigo Jones’s Banqueting House, Joseph Wright of Derby’s brush with the divine, and reviews of Cézanne in Chicago, Milton Avery in London and a history of fancy dress
Plus: William Kent’s heavenly ceilings, New York’s terrible new skyscrapers, the market’s obsession with young painters, the artists who channel their inner child, and reviews of Walter Sickert, Raphael and Winslow Homer
Plus: The women artists gazing at men, the portraits of Glyn Philpot, and Elizabeth David’s taste in Old Masters; and reviews of Donatello in Florence, Boilly in Paris, Kafka’s drawings and Stephen Shore’s memoir.
Is Francis Bacon really the greatest painter of the 20th century?
It was not an enormous surprise that an exhibition of works by Francis Bacon at the Royal Academy that is supported by Christie’s should swiftly be followed by an announcement of the auction house offering a large work for sale. Triptych 1986-7, whose central panel depicts the artist’s partner John Edwards, with Woodrow Wilson on one side and the assassinated Trotsky’s study on the other, is being offered in the sale that takes place on 1 March with an estimate of £35m–£55m. Nor is it a surprise that an auction house should drum up interest in one of their lots using superlatives. But Rakewell was a little taken aback by the claim on Instagram from a Christie’s specialist that ‘Francis Bacon is unmistakably on of the greatest painters of the 20th century.’
An interview with Howardena Pindell + Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and friends +The Humboldt Forum finally opens + Medieval Christian art in Georgia + Plus: Kazakh gold in Cambridge, Dürer’s wanderlust, rocks that look good enough to eat – and are New Towns old hat?