Kate Douglas

Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France

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This exhibition looks at key moments in the development of art from the French Revolution to the Second World War.

The main subject matter of European art from the 15th century onwards had been the ruling classes and their possessions. Realism had been the dominant artistic form. However, the successive political upheavals of the 19th century encouraged the spirit of rebellion in the arts.

William Blake: Apprentice and Master

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William Blake

The poet and engraver William Blake was one of the great revolutionary artists. Some of his best works were inspired by the French Revolution. He courageously donned the famous symbol of liberty and equality — the “bonnet rougein”. In 1780 he took part in a riot in which the notorious Newgate Gaol was burnt to the ground and its prisoners freed. In 1803 he stood trial for sedition.

Throughout his working life he used all his talents to wage war on the institutions of the state and the church, which he passionately believed were instruments of repression and corruption.

Cezanne and the Modern

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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 22 June

This is the first European exhibition of the Pearlman collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, and it's a real treat.

Henry Pearlman was a rich American businessman who was as proud of the wheeler-dealing it took to acquire the paintings as he was of the paintings themselves, but don't let that put you off.

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