Review: ‘Inspired By The East: how the Islamic world influenced western art’ @ the British Museum

The exhibition runs at the British Museum until 26 January 2020 (£12 for student concessions).

If you happen to be in London over the Christmas break, I would really recommend making a trip to this exhibition. The exhibition was laid out skilfully as you would expect from the British Museum, yet it is still worth carefully choosing your time to attend. Ideally go early or late so you have a chance to get close to the artefacts and are able to double back and see things in light of later objects. Some of the first things you see are drawings of Ottoman costumes which still have the vivacity of a contemporary sketch by a designer. These drawings work in brilliant concord with the later portraits. These draw on Ottoman models or are drawn from life. One particular portrait which stood out to me was of Sir Robert Sherley, by Anthony van Dyck, which shows an Elizabethan gentleman who was also the envoy to the Papal court for Shah Abbas I of Persia. As such you can see how complex identity can be and how fashion, as a form of art, expresses culture and social affiliations. Continue reading Review: ‘Inspired By The East: how the Islamic world influenced western art’ @ the British Museum

Cultural Exchange

Back in April, Tracey Emin launched a major new arts project for Radio 4, called Cultural Exchange. Each weekday on Front Row, 75 leading creative figures will reveal their passion for a favourite book, piece of music, film or other work of art. Cultural Exchange launched on Front Row on Monday 22 April with Tracey Emin on Vermeer’s painting Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid, which you … Continue reading Cultural Exchange