Review Round Up: Charles I: King and Collector, Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts reunites King Charles I’s art collection – for the first time since the 17th century. Here’s what critics have had to say about it… 

The Guardian: **** ” Nationalise the egregious monarchist folly that is the Royal Collection. Put these wonderful paintings and sculptures in our public galleries where anyone can see them for free, any time we like. As this gorgeous and enraging exhibition proves, that would instantly give Britain the best national art galleries in the world.”

The Times: ***** “Go into the second gallery. Close your eyes and conjure a picture from the Elizabethan era. Then open them and sweep your glance round the room. The contrast is utterly discombobulating.”

Evening Standard: ***** “a tremendously well-presented and toughly thought-out presentation of 140 works that represent only a fraction of the original royal art collection in number but are so well chosen that you really feel you’re getting an education in what the original collection was about.”

The Upcoming: **** “Grandeur emanates from every room in this exploration of the extraordinary collection of King Charles I, and the positioning of each object is both elegantly done and provides a generous amount of space for contemplation.”

Time Out: ***** “Ostentatious, over-the-top, and brilliant.”

London Visitors: “This fascinating and remarkable exhibition illustrates how art was used in the 17th century for the self-aggrandisement of monarchs and leaders. Charles I was not the first and will not be the last leader to learn the lesson that using the nation’s wealth to finance your own vanity projects usually ends in disaster. ”

The Telegraph: **** “the show gives the impression of offering both an embarrassment of riches and slightly too many makeweight paintings. Of the four Titians, only the mesmerising Supper at Emmaus is a real stunner. Virgin and Child with Saints by the minor painter Dosso Dossi feels like a poor stand-in for the work it superficially resembles, Raphael’s La Perla from the Prado, the painting which fetched the highest price when Charles’s collection was sold off by the Parliamentarians in 1649.”

Charles I: King and Collector is on display at the Royal Academy of Arts from the 27th January until the 15th April. To book tickets click here or visit Encore Tickets


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