The Sainsbury Wing

We spent the afternoon in the Sainsbury Wing, a great treat as all the slots for Artemesia Gentileschi were sold out, meaning that we were able to spend time with the permanent collection, after a long period of enforced starvation of works of art.

I had not truly registered how much the Sainsbury Wing has benefitted from its 2018 re-hang and also, I suspect, from the loan of works to the exhibition in Japan. I’m afraid I think that these two things have been a gigantic benefit, enabling a much richer and more diverse hang, more clearly historical and geographical, moving away from a display of great masterpieces only to a demonstration of the amazing wealth and depth of the National Gallery’s collection, enriched by loans from the Courtauld, including a case of incredibly beautiful ivories.

Having just re-read Dinah Casson’s Closed on Mondays, I was alert to the value of Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s windows looking outside and to the benefits of a re-hang which makes one look at work afresh, including, as it happens, the Madonna of the Pinks:-

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