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When the back-to-school feeling hits in September and the holidays are over, it’s easy to feel a little low.  Fear not: below we give details on some standout shows to look forward to this autumn. From Picasso to Munch and Michelangelo to Jasper Johns, they are sure to brighten anyone’s mood:

Picasso / Lautrec at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid: although these two artists never met, yet Lautrec’s radical work and particular understanding of the multi-faceted nature of modern life had a deep impact on Picasso.  This exhibition represents the first comparative study of the two great masters and covers their shared thematic interests, such as caricature portraits, cabarets, theatres, circuses and brothels.  (17 October 2017 – 21 January 2018)

Jasper Johns at the Royal Academy of Art, London: a catalogue raisonne on Johns, one of America’s biggest influencers on 20th century art, was published earlier this year, documenting the artist’s career from 1954-2014.  This show likewise focuses on the different chapters of his life and brings together paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings.  (23 September – 10 December)

Edvard Munch: Color in Context at the National Gallery of Art, Washington: an exhibition of 21 prints that considers the choice, combinations and meaning of colour in light of the spiritualist principles that were developed in the second half of the 19th century.   Discover how Munch’s works are charged with specific associations as well as being strikingly personal.  (3 September 2017 – 28 January 2018)

The Cinquecento in Florence From Michelangelo and Pontormo to Giambologna at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence: an unmissable exhibition uniting works by masters of 16th century Florentine art including Bronzino, Vasari, Rosso Fiorentino, Michelangelo, Pontormo and Giambologna.  It explores a period of outstanding cultural and intellectual talent marked by both the Council of Trent and its Counter Reformation and by one of the greatest artistic patrons, Francesco I de’Medici.  (21 September 2017 – 21 January 2018)

Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand at the de Young Museum, San Francisco: discover the leading Maori protagonists of 19th century New Zealand in this show bursting with arresting and powerful images by the country’s most prolific portrait painter.  The mesmerising works document a fascinating and tumultuous period of cross-cultural interactions and give tribute to many individuals who served their communities during this upheaval, peacemakers, warriors, politicians and more.  (9 September 2017 – 1 April 2018)

Portraits by Cézanne at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris: explore the pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne’s portraiture and reflect on the changes and developments of his style and method throughout his life.  Described as ‘the father of us all’ by Matisse and Picasso, Paul Cézanne was one of the most influential artists of the nineteenth century and this show gives great insight into the more personal genre of portrait painting.   Highlights include Boy in a Red Waistcoast (1888-1890) and Self-Portrait in a Bowler Hat (1885-86). The exhibition ends on 24 September, but will then move to the National Portrait Gallery, London from 26 October – 11 February 2018.


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