A Poet In Paradise: Lord Lindsay And Christian Art

Lindsay's poetic vision It seems apt that a millennial exhibition which will celebrate the spiritual beauty found in early Italian Renaissance religious artworks should be displayed alongside the National Gallery of Scotland's already outstanding collection of religious masterpieces.

A Poet In Paradise: Lord Lindsay And Christian

Art is an exhibition which brings together a selection of remarkable paintings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, maiolica and textiles from the collection formed by Scottish aristocrat Lord Lindsay in the mid 19th century.

Lord Lindsay, a dedicated Christian, and a conceivably eccentric Victorian writer and thinker, wrote a number of books, including Sketches Of The History Of Christian Art published in 1847. This was the first book in English to consider early Italian Renaissance art and its relation to later Renaissance art. Lindsay's book is doubly significant due to his approach, which opposes the Vasarian notion that art evolved to the high standard of Michelangelo, and instead advocates the opinion that it was the earlier artists, and artists who followed in their tradition, who conveyed the highest sense of purity and spirituality.

Discussed in Sketches . . . was the work of artists such as Giotto and Duccio, who heralded a new epoch of art at the beginning of the 14th century by translating the graceful figures of Gothic sculpture into the language of painting; Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca, who represented sacred scenes with a similar beauty and simplicity 150 years later; and High Renaissance artists like Raphael and Botticelli who also created seemingly effortless and flowing works, which are nonetheless spiritually evocative. The art that Lord Lindsay championed was, at that time, much less popular than that of forcible artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo. It was also seen as being inferior to the work of artists like Uccello and Mantegna, who adhered to the laws of perspective, attempting to marry art and science, often actually losing the sense of atmOSpheric spiritualization in massed figures and orthogonal grids.

The works that are on show at the National Gallery

lllSIi'il i AT'OII Ragna R6bertsd6ttir * ‘k ‘k t

The Icelandic artist’s impressive Iavascape

more a black square on a white wall

ltédq.‘ . w I- - A i m‘ ‘,:.:_ I. In“ $.I ._. A ) -

First yOu encOunter a reception desk. Next, a flrght of steps that run down into a basement, then a corridor and then a door that leads off from the fight. Open the door and walk in. Welcome to Sleeper, a subterranean art space beneath an architect's OIIICG. In thrs rectangular, all-white room is one work. From afar it looks as if a mass of tea leaves have been adhered to the wall. Forming a perfect square, it's intnguing. Move closer and yOu focus on thousands of shards of volcanic rock.

Ragna RObertstttir is an Icelandic artist works With the outpounngs of Iceland’s volcanoes And here in an underground room in Edinburgh, RObertstttrr has created an extraordinary memorial to an anCient volcanic eruptron of bOilrng lava that Free.

who frequently

Virgin and the child with Saints lerom and Sebastian by Pietro di Domenico

exhibition date from the late 13th to the 16th century, and do not lose any sacred piety through stylistics. They include rare and beautifully intricate gold-ground paintings from the 13th century, a series of exalted crucifixes, including one by Duccio, and a selection of fluid and elegantly curving devotional sculptures. Despite his obvious preferences, Lindsay also said, ‘do not think me blind to the beauties of classical art.’ Hopefully the visitors to this exhibition will have their eyes opened to the exquisitely divine works of Lindsay's collection, as well as learning something about Lord Lindsay himself. Certainly a poet in his own paradise. (Claire Mitchell) a A Poet In Paradise: Lord Lindsay And Christian Art, National Gallery Of Scotland (Venue 63) 624 6200, 25 Aug—79 Nov, Mon—Sat 70am—6pm, Sun 77am—6pm (extended hours until 3 Sep). Free.

took place on an island in the Atlantic Ocean It's poetic stuff Your eyes can’t help but ceaselessly trarl the numerous shards of rock A constellation here, a denser thicket there of blackish bits of lava. You c0u|d almost believe that you were looking at an aerial photograph of a swathe of forestry: c0untless trees spread across a landscape. But position your head against the wall and look across the shards. they become a blanket of blackness

Step back and the work becomes once more a black souare on a white wall and this SlmpllClly is seductively beautiful RObertstttir makes coolly powerful art Out of nature. (Susanna Beaumont) Ragna RObertstttir, Sleeper, 225 8444, until 74 Sep, Mon—Fri 2—5pm.


The shows guaranteed to deliver a visual sensation

Shirin Neshat

Dealing with sooal, cultural and religious codes of Muslim societies, Iranian-born artist Shinn Neshat shows her award-Winning Video installation Turbulent along With the first UK screening of So/i/oquy. Shir/n Neshat, FrUitmarket Gallery, 225 2383, until 23 Sep, Mon-Sat

l lam—8.30pm, Sun noon—8.30pm. Free

The Private Klee: Works By Paul Klee From The Burgi Collection

Edinburgh gets the only UK showing of work by one of the 20th century's most innovative artists, Paul Klee, drawn from the outstandrng BUrgi collection. The Private Klee: Works By Paul Klee From The BUrgi Collection, Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Venue 66/ 624 6200, until 22 Oct. [4 ([3), jOint With Dali [6 (£4.50).

Ragna Robertsdottir

See revrew, let’t, Ragna RObertstttir, Sleeper, 225 8444, until 74 Sep, Mon-Fri 2—5pm. Free,

Alan Currall

The Glasgow-based artist parodies the Encyclopaedia Britannica as fnends and family deliver their personal Views on a mutually agreed SUbJECl to camera. See revrew. Alan C urral/ Encyclopaedia And Other Works, Stills Gallery, 622 6200, until 23 Sep, Tue—Sat 70am—8pm, Sun & Mon noon—8pm lextended opening hours until 27 Aug only). Free,

Building Scotland: Burlding Debate

Six architects reveal therr thoughts on the way modern archrtectural challenges should be tackled See reView. Building Scot/and Building Debate, Royal Fine Art Commission For Scot/and (Venue 732) 556 6699, (MM 2 Sep, daily

I lam—4pm Free.

Men Of The Clyde: . . StanleyS encersVision At Por Gas ow (1940—194

Spencer’s Shipburi’ding On The Clyde paintings not only capture the IabOurs of tne workforce at Lathgow's shipyard, but reveal his extraordinary Visron. Men Of The Clyde: Stanley Spencer’s ViSion At Port Glasgow / l 940— 794 7), National Portrait Gallery / Venue 44) 624 6200, until 1 Oct, Mon—Sat 70am—6pm, Sun 77am—6pm. Free.


62 THE lIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 24 Aug—2 Sep 2000