Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Gifts to the Queen
'A Bearded Man Looking Down' by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, 1945-1650
Until the 16th March you can see two art exhibits for the price of one at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace. Both show examples of fine print work, but are centuries apart. Entry to the gallery is £9.50 for adults, £8.75 concessions, or £4.80 for 5-17 year olds.
Giovanni Benedetto Castigione was born in 1609, during the Baroque era. This form of art is characterised by its ornate forms, something for which the Italian was well known.
Although Castigione tried his hand at painting, drawing and printmaking was what he was most appreciated for. He even invented his own printmaking technique, called monotype. Monotype is when you engrave a picture onto non-absorbant materials such as copper, zinc, or glass, and then transfer the image onto paper by pressing the two materials together. You could say that it is thanks to him that children can enjoy painting with stamps.
Castigione's violent and erratic lifestyle led to his death in 1664, and while George III was still a fan of his work in 1762 (he bought a substantial collection), over time Castigione was forgotten. The lost genius', is now being brought back into the limelight for us all to admire.
If you would like to learn more about his printmaking techniques, a short talk on the 6th February will compare it to a modern approach by Norman Ackroyd.
The second exhibit presents over a hundred works on paper that were given as a gift to the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee by members of the Royal Academy of Arts. The academy was approved by George III in 1768, and students gave annual exhibitions, and gifts to the monarch.
The academy's long association saw students create gifts for the Queen on her Coronation in 1953, and her Silver Jubilee in 1977. Artists include Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker, and Grayson Perry.