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Unseen Pre-Raphaelites

Posted By Tom on March 21, 2014

Until 21st April. 14 Broad Street, Oxford

A recently discovered cache of Pre-Raphaelite art has gone on display at Aidan Meller Fine Paintings.

The beautiful drawings had lain neglected for the best part of a century before Mr. Aidan Meller received a phone call from an Abingdon resident, alerting him to their existence. He bought the works as a complete collection and has since been studying them. Gallery staff and leading experts have been working to match the designs to churches and other buildings – both in Oxford and much further afield. The collection includes designs for Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Canon’s Ashby and even one for a window which was destroyed by a Nazi bomb

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raid on Bromley in 1941.

Nativity scene, attrib. Heaton, Butler and Bayne

Nativity scene, attrib. Heaton, Butler and Bayne

Many of these enigmatic cartoons – designs for stained glass windows – were made by leading artists at Heaton, Butler and Bayne; and James Powell and Sons. These companies created inspired, technologically innovative expressions of religious experience, elevating British design and the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic on the global stage.

The exhibition is a chance to discover how the sensual aesthetics of Pre-Raphaelitism – once deemed an outrage in academic circles – eventually came to pervade artistic and religious spheres. The visionary work of Pre-Raphaelite artist and window designer Robert Turnill Bayne features strongly in this show, epitomising the boldness and universality of these artists’ approach to the sacred.

­Also featuring in this exhibition are rare drawings by John Everett Millais, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Pre-Raphaelitism has strong connections in Oxford: key figures such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris lived locally, and the Burne-Jones windows at Christ Church are a particular highlight of the movement’s impact on the city.

The reappearance of this rare collection in Oxford, which is attracting the interest of leading experts in the field, is a unique opportunity to experience an exciting and influential period in art history afresh.

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Rivals – Matisse and Picasso

Posted By Tom on March 21, 2014

Matisse and Picasso were the very best of enemies, as a new exhibition at Aidan Meller Modernism reveals. Although of different nationalities and different generations, the two were obvious competitors. At the dawn of the twentieth century, each artist was determined to stake his claim as the leading light of the revolutionary modernist movement.

Both Matisse and Picasso burst onto the scene with works that pushed the limits of good taste. Matisse with the shocking fauvist colours of master works such as Woman with a Hat, Picasso with the stark and angular Les Demoiselles D’Avignon, which even his closest supporters thought ugly. Neither liked the other’s paintings on first sight, and when they were introduced in 1906, it was through a collector whose patronage both

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needed: Gertrude Stein. Matisse once compared their relationship to a boxing match, while Picasso, twelve years his junior, always felt the urge to better the man he so admired.

Despite falling out on a number of occasions, Matisse and Picasso were inexorably drawn together. By 1907 they were persuaded to trade paintings. Each artist saw that the other was the only real match for his own genius. Each felt compelled to stay abreast of what the other was doing, and often to paint his own version of what the other was painting. In later years, they found themselves living just miles apart in Provenance. Although each would vigorously defend the other against his critics, their relationship was still prickly, Picasso mercilessly teasing Matisse about his age and ill health.

This exhibition is a chance to enjoy selected works on paper by both artists. It gives the viewer a chance to trace the differences between their two modernisms, but also to reflect upon the underlying similarities they share. While so much about the two artists’ work remains open to debate, what this show makes clear is that rivalry spurred both men on to even greater heights.

27th February – 14th April. 105 High Street, Oxford, OX1 3AS
Enquiries: [email protected]

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The High Aesthetic: Victorian High Society

The High Aesthetic: Victorian High Society

Posted By Tom on January 30, 2014 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

Runs until end of February 2014. This exhibition of rare drawings, etchings and other graphic works documents some of the fascinating tensions in late Victorian art. Contrary to the popular conception of Victorians as buttoned-up conformists, the artists who followed on from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were passionately obsessed with finding the truest expression of the […]

The Rise of Paris: Cradle of Innovation

The Rise of Paris: Cradle of Innovation

Posted By Tom on January 30, 2014 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

Until end of February 2014. This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary creativity of Paris in the 20th century with original works by Matisse, Picasso, Chagall and Dalí. These were the key figures in modernism, a movement which reasserted the totemic power of the artwork at a time of technological and social change. By the time Picasso […]

The Grand Opening of Aidan Meller Fine Paintings

The Grand Opening of Aidan Meller Fine Paintings

Posted By Tom on December 3, 2013 Category: News Tags:

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David Freud and Debbi Mason

David Freud and Debbi Mason

Posted By Tom on December 3, 2013 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

Exhibition runs from 28th November 2013 to 20th January 2014 Aidan Meller Galleries are delighted to announce a striking new exhibition by David Freud and his partner Debbi Mason, co-founder of Elle Magazine and former Fashion Editor for US Vogue. David is the son of Lucian Freud (1922 – 2011), whose psychologically penetrating studies of […]

Behind the Scenes at Kelmscott

Behind the Scenes at Kelmscott

Posted By Tom on December 3, 2013 Category: News, Research Tags:

An inside look at the research that goes into running a gallery Tucked away in the picturesque surroundings of the Cotswolds, Kelmscott Manor is one of Oxfordshire’s rarest hidden gems. To enter this charming home is to travel through the imagination of its most famous resident, the great artist and designer William Morris. As Aidan […]

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