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Thursday, 9 September 2010

Close Examination at The National Gallery

‘Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries’ explores and displays revelations about some of the Old Master paintings in The National Gallery. A topic I find particularly interesting as my mother is a restorer of paintings similar to those on display.

It is a large exhibition with completely free entry. As you wander round you inevitably learn a bit of art history too... the interactive nature of the show meant I began to feel slightly like a detective, desperately trying to work out the anomaly in a particular painting and the reason why it had made it into this exhibition. An interesting final room features works by, and not by, the Renaissance master, Botticelli – it is surprisingly difficult to spot the differences! The pretty pictures sit alongside case studies explaining the background and discoveries in a clear and informed way.

I cannot say much here without giving away secrets, but if you happen to be near Trafalgar Square go in and see this show, I found it accessible and intriguing. Considering that fakes and forgeries are commonplace in the art world, an exhibition of this type is long overdue.

Exhibition continues only until 12 September, 2010.

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