Polymath William Kent (1685 – 1748) was a man of prodigious talent, completing works in architecture, interior decoration and gardens as well as painting, furniture, and metalwork, theatrical design and costume. In short there wasn’t anything really that he couldn’t turn his hand to.
William Kent was on a mission to be at the centre of everything his wealthy patrons were striving to achieve. In so doing he became a leading light of his generation, and from Bridlington to Burlington Kentino or Signor, as he was affectionately known, helped transform the art of living in style.
William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain will be the first major exhibition devoted to this extraordinary prominent architect and designer of his day and will be at the Victoria and Albert (V &A) Museum at London from 22nd March to 13th July, 2014.
Kent influenced the rich and powerful, gained both admiring and vitriolic comments, one of those designers in history who also seemed to polarize critics. He was among the highly influential ‘class of ‘85, brilliant men born in the year 1685 the year Charles II died.
On his tour in Italy Kent adopted Italian art, mannerisms and layered his speeches and correspondence with Italian phrases. He referred to himself as Guglielmo (Italian for William) and it was therefore inevitable that when he came to design English estates he would recall the example of Italy.
Kent worked with considerable success in each field of endeavour he took on. In Rome he encountered the paintings of Claude Lorrain and if the idea of such a landscape could be re-created in England with his noblemen friends, who had actually seen the landscape of Italy, Kent worked himself into a position to produce them.
‘He felt the delicious contrast of hill and valley changing imperceptibly into each other, tasted the beauty of the gentle swell or concave scoop and remarked how loose groves crowned an easy eminence with happy ornament’;
Kent was the right man in the right place at the right time and planted himself at the very essence of English cultural evolution.
He “leaped the fence, and saw that all nature was a garden’ and his ideas as a designer of gardens were far more suited to an English climate than the more formal Italian parterre.
Kent championed the classical or Palladian style in architecture, which would become the hallmark of the Georgian age in Britain.
He set his stamp upon the entire interior design of his period, completing drawings for furniture and ornament of every kind, becoming the fashionable oracle of his day.
Baroque music produced on original instruments in stunning ‘golden mean’ designed spaces where music resonates gloriously off its architectural surrounds, has given rise to an increasing interest in the different types of voices around the world, especially the natural countertenor.
His is a voice unique in the world of singing and in terms of population the countertenors currently appearing internationally performing in this range could be likened to mystery fragments of a rare blue diamond, plucked from a midnight sky to dazzle us mere mortals here on earth.
Barcelona born Countertenor Xavier Sabata, whose well received album Bad Guys presents a diverse array of arias composed by German born London based composer Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759), is attracting a great deal of international attention.
Sabata will be performing an exclusive concert of arias composed for some of the not very nice, even devilish characters in operas mostly composed by Handel. This will take place in the acoustically grand Federation Hall at Hobart Tasmania on Saturday 29th March as part of the early music festival Hobart Baroque 2014.
Architecture, literature and philosophy are integral to the intellectual and artistic life of every society in every age, with its spirit expressed through its music. Handel in all wrote some forty-two musical dramas between 1705 and 1741, becoming a central figure in the world of opera at London during the eighteenth century.
His productions were not only unique in the brilliance of the style of music he composed, but also for his innovative staging.
On the program Sabata will also perform an aria each by well known Italian composers Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) and Nicolo Porpora (1686-1768).
Hobart Baroque is all about orchestras, ensembles and individual musicians contributing to the vibrant and burgeoning national classical music scene and it is the very first event dedicated solely to performances of works from the 17th and 18th centuries in Australia.
Artistic Director Hobart Baroque Leo Schofield says…
There is something special about award winning British fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic.
Every time I see one of her pieces in print, before I have read the credits, I know it’s her!
I love a designer with such a strong instantly recognisable aesthetic.
Rather like Sydney design duo “Romance Was Born”, there is no second guessing who owns these individual looks.
Roksanda was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1977 to a successful business man father, Lazar and avid Yves Saint Laurent collector mother, Ranka.
Developing her love of fashion from a young age, she has continued in her mothers footsteps, and is the proud owner of around 500 pieces of …
Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court: Museo del Prado will be on show at the NGV (National Gallery Victoria) International on St Kilda Road, from the 16th May 2014 – 31st August 2014. The show represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australians to see some of the most extraordinary works of Italian art produced during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, many for the Royal Court of Spain.
An exclusive exhibition for Melbourne, the works come to Australia from the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The display will feature over 100 works, including 70 paintings of vast conception and proportion, hanging side by side with some simply superb drawings by masters of the genre.
Director of the NGV Tony Ellwood noted that the holdings of Italian art in the Museo del Prado, are unique and unrivalled in museums outside Italy. He said “The exhibition will reflect the taste of the Spanish Royal Court whose Kings and courtiers avidly collected Italian art and will present more than 70 Italian masters”.
The selection includes a fine portrait of Phillip II of Spain by Titian, painted in 1551, as well as other sacred, secular and spectacular works by celebrated Italian painters Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino 1483 -1520), Correggio (Antonio Allegri da Correggio 1489-1534), Tintoretto (Jacopo Comin 1518 – 1594) and Tiepolo (Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 1696- 1770), to name a few.
Displaying versatility and inventiveness as he arranged Georgian houses to suit stylish modes of living, William Kent will be the subject of a show at the V & A
'Bad Guys' countertenor Xavier Sabata will perform music by Handel, Vivalid and Porpora at a penultimate night of opera arias at Hobart Baroque 2014 in Tasmania
Bravo will be everyone’s shout of tribute when they examine the diversity of the musical program for Hobart Baroque 2014, featuring the opera Orlando by Handel
Tait Memorial Trust supporting Australian artists abroad recently announced it will launch soprano Elena Xanthoudakis recording Jewels of the Bel Canto, April 1
The Jean Paul Gaultier sidewalk to catwalk show opens at the National Gallery Victoria October 17, 2014 presenting 140+ garments including those for celebrities