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The Dutch genius’s self-portraits go on display in London, the Tudors are in Bath and Coventry opens its windows to the art world – all in your weekly dispatch
Exhibition of the week
Van Gogh: Self-Portraits
Harrowing and intimate encounters with a man who saw right through himself.
• Courtauld Gallery, London, from 3 February to 8 May.
A claustrophobic installation by an artist whose gothic imagination can claw at you.
• Matt’s Gallery, London, from 3 February to 5 March.
Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
Humans and other animals in some of the most uneasy masterpieces of modern art.
• Royal Academy, London, from 29 January to 17 April.
Britain’s most impressive royal dynasty glare on from their portraits.
• Holburne Museum, Bath, until 8 May.
Show Windows with the British Museum
George Shaw and Kathe Kollwitz star in an innovative public art display.
• Various shop windows in Coventry until 1 May.
Image of the week
Fraud in the Garden (1930) by Yves Tanguy
A surrealist masterpiece that was believed to have been lost or destroyed when a fascist mob raided an arthouse cinema in 1930s Paris has made a triumphant return. Fraud in the Garden, painted by Yves Tanguy, is back, with its wounds healed by a restorer’s surgery. Its rediscovery has been confirmed by Professor Jennifer Mass, an American conservation scientist, who said that the painting had been presumed “lost to history”. Read the full story here.
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
Portrait of Girolamo (?) Barbarigo by Titian
His sharp eyes and even sharper nose call you from across the gallery and order you to stand in front of him. This is one of the seminal portraits in art history. Rembrandt emulated its pose in a self-portrait the National Gallery also owns. That’s because Titian discovers here how to go beyond a depiction of outward appearances, and convey the enigma of the man behind the nonchalantly leaning, silk-sleeved arm. His pose appears momentary, as if he’s about to rush off, and this adds to the sense of energy and dynamism he projects. He also seems to be sharing a joke or conversation with the painter. Although the title reflects the latest theory about his identity, he lives forever as a mystery man, at once social and secretive, communicating in his alert self-consciousness the complexity of the self. What a piece of work.
• National Gallery, London.
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