EXCAVATING EMPIRE

David Talbot Rice and the Rediscovery of Byzantium From the 1920s through to the 1950s, renowned archaeologist and art historian David Talbot Rice conducted some of the first examinations of the ruins of the Byzantine Empire. Exhibited here for the first time, photos, drawing and field notes from these studies mark his contribution to bringing … Read more

EXCAVATING EMPIRE

Gold, Silver and Bronze in Byzantium Discover Byzantium – the once-great empire whose glittering capital was the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul )- through this intriguing exploration of its coinage and economy. Constantinople’s majesty astounded visitors from across the medieval world. However, the Byzantine empire was eclipsed in popular imagination by its earlier Roman incarnation … Read more

Johann Heinrich Tischbein (1751-1829)

Study from ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’ Rome, about 1780 Black chalk on paper 490 x 365 mm Tischbein made this drawing in Rome during a study trip to Italy (1779-1781). This was a common journey for artists at the time, giving them the chance to study and copy works of Renaissance masters. Here, Tischbein focuses … Read more

Valentine Green (1739-1813)

Miravan Breaking Open the Tomb of His Ancestors London, 1772 Mezzotint, third state 528 x 391 mm Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797) painted the original of this work in 1772 and regarded it as one of his finest paintings. The tale of Miravan was penned by the poet John Gilbert Cooper, who reworked the Greek historian Herodotus’ account … Read more

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)

Portrait of a Woman, called ‘La Belle Ferronnière’ Paris, about 1802-06 Black chalk, stump and wash on paper 525 x 418 mm Ingres’ study of a much-debated portrait by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) depicts the so-called ‘La belle ferronnière’ (Louvre Museum, Paris). Legend stated the sitter was the wife of an ironmonger (a ferronnier) who became the … Read more

TUMBLEWEED

Hannah Honeywill The intricately ornamented and gilded historic picture frames that surround so many of the paintings in the Barber’s galleries are the starting point for this new sculpture by Hannah Honeywill. An emerging London-based artist and recipient of prestigious Wellcome Trust Arts Award funding, Honeywill combines the exploration of the function and form of … Read more

COPYING THE MASTERS

Paintings have always been copied by other artists and reproduced by printmakers for study or commercial gain. Although, if unauthorised, artists usually condemned the sale of such facsimiles as fraudulent, they have often encouraged printmakers to replicate their work – thereby raising the profile of the original. This display explores the reasons for the popularity … Read more

WORKS OF MERCY

Photographs by Attilio Fiumarella A painting by the great Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio, depicting the seven corporal acts of mercy of traditional Catholicism, is the inspiration for this outstanding series of 14 dramatic images. Like his predecessor, Birmingham-based photographer Fiumarella uses real people as his models – in this case, the homeless and prostitutes from … Read more