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Venice in Peril, Part 2

You've just been to one exhibition about Canaletto and Venice, and then a second one comes along straight away, a bit like delayed vaporettos on the Grand Canal.  Canaletto's Venice Revisited at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich contrasted the painter's classic views of the lagoon city with the threat it faces today from rising sea levels and mass tourism, and  Canaletto and Melissa McGill: Performance and Panorama  at the Lightbox in Woking takes a similar tack. But if Greenwich's display of statistics about population decline and increasing flooding and an array of disposable plastic boots for tourists left us rather depressed, we found something surprisingly soothing and uplifting about the American artist Melissa McGill's attempt to alert us to the same problems.  Back in 2019, McGill created the Red Regatta project, which saw dozens of traditional Venetian sailing boats hoisted with sails she had hand-painted in varying shades of red traversing the ci

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What's On in 2022

We're on the cusp of 2022, but the New Year has a 2021 ring to it as some galleries play catch-up, putting on Covid-cancelled exhibitions that we had already highlighted as this year's ones to look forward to. And a couple of shows mentioned below were also on the schedule for 2020. This round-up of some of what's caught our eye among the displays planned by museums and galleries around Europe for the next 12 months may not be definitive, but it is in chronological order as we publish. Watch out for our monthly What's On for precise dates nearer the time. Here goes, with fingers crossed now that museums in various countries are closed again....  


The Courtauld Gallery in London has just reopened after renovation, and its first big exhibition since then starts on February 3: Van Gogh Self-Portraits. It will bring together more than 15 pictures, around half of Vincent van Gogh's total output of self-portraits across his career, and is the first devoted to his depictions of himself throughout his life. As well as the Courtauld's own Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, the exhibition will include works from Chicago, Detroit and Washington. Until May 8. 
There's a rare chance in Europe to see a selection of Impressionist masterpieces from the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo at the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Renoir, Monet, Gauguin: Images of a Floating World, from February 6 to May 15, brings together around 120 pictures from the two galleries. Of course, whether it will be any easier to travel to Essen than Tokyo is another matter. 

Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddle-Duck: They'll all be at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London from February 12 for an exhibition about their creator in Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature. The show, in collaboration with the National Trust, aims to help visitors discover Potter's life not just as a children's author but as a scientist and conservationist, exploring the places and animals that inspired her work. On until January 8, 2023.

The British Museum has put together an exhibition on The World of Stonehenge, looking at its purpose and the people who created it as well as the wider story of prehistoric Europe. Among the treasures on show will be the Nebra Sky Disc, the oldest surviving map of the stars, on loan from Halle in Germany, and Seahenge, an ancient timber circle uncovered on the Norfolk coast. This journey back thousands of years is on for five months from February 17 to July 17. 

Opening at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen on February 24 is Suzanne Valadon -- Model, Painter, Rebel. The show, looking at how Valadon overcame a childhood of poverty in France to become first a successful artists' model and then an artist who challenged convention, comes direct from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, where it's had rave reviews. On in the Danish capital until July 31.


You don't really associate the Impressionists with the decorative arts, do you? An exhibition at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris starting on March 2 aims to overturn that view, with some 80 works by Cassatt, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro and Renoir drawn from around the world. Until July 11. A version of this show had been scheduled for London's National Gallery as well, but there's no sign of that now happening as we write.

And a bit more Renoir (and the other Impressionists) at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, again from March 2. Renoir: Rococo Revival examines their interest in the Rococo period and brings together around 120 works from both the 18th and 19th centuries. This show is on until June 19.
And another Van Gogh show too: it's Van Gogh and the Olive Groves at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from March 11 to June 12, showcasing the results of new research into why olive trees were such a favoured motif for the artist. He made 15 pictures and they're now reunited. This show was on in Dallas beforehand, and it received excellent reviews.

Donatello's David was one of the most influential sculptures in Renaissance art, and from March 19, the Palazzo Strozzi and Musei del Bargello in Florence will be presenting Donatello, The Renaissance, juxtaposing his work with that of other great Italian artists of the period. Running until July 31, this show will transfer to Berlin later this year and is due to head to the V&A in spring 2023. 


Raphael is the subject of an exhibition that starts on April 9 at the National Gallery in London. This will be one of the first shows to explore the artist's complete career, the National says, with loans from the Hermitage, the Uffizi and the Vatican among others. It runs until July 31. 


The Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands is devoting an exhibition to one of the leading exponents of pointillism: Théo van Rysselberghe -- Painter of the Sun. The show, running from May 17 to September 4, will feature the Belgian's landscapes and sea views as well as society portraits.

Back at the Courtauld Gallery, May 27 sees the start of Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen. The show features 18 Munch pictures from the KODE museums, the first time a comprehensive group of paintings from the collection has been shown outside Norway. This one runs until September 5. 


Donatello: Founder of the Renaissance arrives in Berlin on September 2; this will be the first ever exhibition devoted to him in Germany. It's on at the Gemäldegalerie until January 8, 2023. 

The renovation of the Frick Collection in New York provides Europeans with the opportunity to see on home soil paintings that left the old continent for the New World more than 100 years ago and haven't been back since. A selection of masterpieces from the Frick, including a Rembrandt Self-Portraitwill be at the Mauritshuis in The Hague from September 29 until January 15, 2023.


The first major exhibition of Lucian Freud's work for 10 years opens at the National Gallery in London on October 1. Lucian Freud: New Perspectives will feature more than 60 paintings from seven decades. It runs until January 22, 2023. 

Starting on October 6 at Tate Modern is Cézanne, a career-spanning survey that will include many works being shown in the UK for the first time. This show will be on at the Art Institute of Chicago before it comes to London, and it's scheduled to run at the Tate until March 12, 2023.


Our final show in this preview presents a group of German woman painters of the 1920s that are not particularly well-known in Britain. Making Modernism at the Royal Academy in London from November 12 to February 12, 2023, features Paula Modersohn-Becker, Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin, among others. Many pictures won't have been seen in the UK before.


Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887, The Detroit Institute of Arts/Bridgeman Images
Suzanne Valadon, Nude Sitting on a Sofa, 1916, The Weisman & Michel Collection
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Woman with a Fan, c. 1879, The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Image courtesy Clark Art Institute
Raphael, Terranuova Madonna, c. 1504-05, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie. Photo: Jörg P. Ander 
Paul Cézanne, The Basket of Apples, c. 1893, The Art Institute of Chicago


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