Exhibition of the week
A Taste for Impressionism: Modern French Art from Millet to Matisse
A newly discovered Van Gogh is among the highlights of this survey of Scotland’s love affair with impressionism and its legacy, along with Monets and Matisses galore.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburghfrom 30 July until 13 November
This haunting photographer focuses her lens on the things we leave behind.
Stills Centre, Edinburghuntil 8 October
Young and Wild?Art in 1980s Germany: Punk, Painting & Prints
Germany’s 1980s neo-expressionist scene in all its riotous intensity, including Elvira Bach, Ina Barfuss and Georg Baselitz.
Ashmolean Museum, Oxfordfrom 30 July until 20 November
Houses Fit for People: Tessa Lynch
Prints that explore alternative models of housing and collaborative play.
Edinburgh Printmakersuntil 18 September
George Shaw: The Local
This painter sucks you into his melancholy vision of modern Britain.
The Box, Plymouthuntil 4 September
Image of the week
The Italian Magnum photographer Ferdinando Scianna has reached the end of a glorious six-decade career, but in a highly entertaining and insightful interview he gave us, he claims to think that only a tiny percentage of the pictures he took – including this one of shadow play in his Sicilian home town – were any good. Read the full interview here
What we learned
Masterpiece of the week
Christ Crowned with Thorns, workshop of Dirk Bouts c. 1470-75
Crystalline spheres of salt water hang on Christ’s face. The shocking reality of his tears is just one of the ways this painting sets out painful to harrow you with the most, pitiful, direct encounter it can create with the suffering of God’s incarnate son. His eyes are bloodshot with sorrow and suffering, their redness mirroring the dark blood pouring down his forehead as the crown of thorns cuts into him. Flemish painters discovered a raw eye for reality in the late middle ages that allowed them to create a work like this where matter-of-fact physical detail builds up to nightmarish intensity. Bouts, whose apprentices or assistants probably painted this in his style, takes this cocktail of the fantastic and real to a disturbing extreme in his masterpiece The Fall of the Damned. This little painting (43.8 x 37.1 cm) almost makes Christ himself look hellbound.
National Gallery, London
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