Friday, June 15, 2007

Street art

The National Gallery took it's art to the masses this week, hanging reproductions of some of its most famous paintings around the streets of London.

There were Turners in Soho, Rembrandts in Covent Garden - all intended to give new audiences a taste of the Gallery's treasures.

The 45 full sized copies were framed and displayed with a plaque, as in the museum. Passers-by could also phone a number to hear an audio guide on each work.

For the next 12 weeks, passers-by can stumble across this "urban intervention" as part of an initiative called The Grand Tour, which is aimed at "getting the public to look and think about art", according to the gallery.

The gallery has created a map marking the locations of all the works, with themed tours that cater for lovers, or take in the more "heavy-hitting" works by Titian, Seurat and Van Eyck.

Other works on show included Leonardo da Vinci's The Virgin of the Rocks, displayed in a side road off Regent Street, Bartoleme Bermejo's St Michael Triumphs over the Devil outside the London Fire Station on Shaftesbury Avenue, and George Stubbs' equestrian portrait Whistlejacket, hung outside the Palace Theatre, which is currently showing the musical Spamalot.

The highlights

The Ambassadors (1533) Hans Holbein the Younger, 27-29 Berwick Street

The Arnolfini Portrait (1434) Jan Van Eyck, 109 Wardour Street

The Fighting Temeraire (1839) Joseph Mallord William Turner, 33 Golden Square

Mr and Mrs Andrews (1750) Thomas Gainsborough, 12-26 Lexington Street

Three Men and a Boy (1647-8) The Le Nain Brothers, Little Marlborough Street

A Grotesque Old Woman (1525) Attributed to Quinten Massys, 33-43 Fouberts Place

The Virgin of the Rocks (1486) Leonardo da Vinci, Marlborough Court

Bathers at Asnieres (1884) Georges Seurat, Hamley's, 188 Regent Street

Samson and Delilah (1610) Peter Paul Rubens, Ganton Street

The Entombment (1500-1) Michelangelo, 64-72 Regent Street

Venus and Mars (1485) Sandro Botticelli, Kingly Court

Sunflowers (1888) Vincent Van Gogh, 43 Frith Street

The Water-Lily Pond (1899) Claude-Oscar Monet, 40 Neal Street

Belshazzar's Feast (1636-8) Rembrandt, Wardour Street

Bacchus and Ariadne (1523) Titian, 124-126 Wardour Street

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