As I have an annual ticket to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, I made sure to use it to visit the most recent exhibition before it closed. In fact, there were two exhibitions: Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer and High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson.
I began by visiting Masters of the Everyday, which looked at Dutch art of the seventeenth century, mainly focused on everyday life: families, children, music, food. One of the highlights was Vermeer’s ‘A Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman’, but my personal favourites were the Rembrandts: seemingly simple but demonstrating incredible skill – I almost felt as if the figures in the paintings were going to step out of the frames and speak to me.
The second exhibition, High Spirits, focused on the work of Thomas Rowlandson (1757–1827), the English caricaturist, whose satirical work was popular in his time and remains significant today. His cartoons offer political commentary and observations on contemporary society. I liked this exhibition too: the crisp colours and sharp lines belied the age of the works, and their content was a fascinating and often amusing look into the life of the era.
Both exhibitions close on 14 February, so there’s still time to see them if you want to.