Young Bomberg and the Old Masters, National Gallery - FREE - ★★★★ - Until March 1, 2020

The Mud Bath (1914) by David Bomberg.

David Bomberg (1890-1957) may not be an artist with whom you are familiar but this small exhibition offers a wonderful introduction to his work. It also serves to bring a fresh perspective to some familiar pieces. Nine works are presented with some of the paintings from the collection of The National Gallery which inspired Bomberg. The exhibition presents his self-portrait which is a quite traditional in its echoing of Botticelli's "Portrait of a Young Man" and then shows the artist's developing boldness in his reworking of tropes from the masters. Michelangelo's "The Entombment" becomes an inspiration for his own masterwork "The Mud Bath." This exhibition is a fascinating look at the development of an artist and a reminder of how 20th century Modernism did not spring from nowhere. The movement had clear antecedents in the past. We are reminded that art comes from a context even when artists' claim to reject the tradition they work in. The opportunity to trace the parallels and echoes that are present here is a fascinating undertaking which is made all the more interesting by Richard Cork's thoughtful curation. Don't miss this window into Bomberg's vision and the exciting chance to reappraise some old favourites.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until March 1, 2020
Sat - Thu: 10 am - 6 pm
Fri: 10 am - 10 pm
National Gallery, Room 1
Nearest tube: Charing Cross
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/young-bomberg-and-the-old-masters

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