Exhibition of the week
Leading commercial galleries offer their samplings of influential contemporary artists from Victoria Miro’s delve into the work of British conceptualist Stephen Willats to Helly Nahmad’s presentation of Antoni Tapies. All the fun of the fair without leaving home.
• Art Basel online until 27 March.
Last chance to virtually visit the National Gallery’s ravishing exhibition of Titian’s mythological canvases.
• National Gallery online until 31 March.
Dismal Thoughts: Thomas Carlyle on Race
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery investigates the racial beliefs of this famous Victorian historical thinker who was one of its founding figures and was powerfully photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron.
• Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh online.
This provocative selection of works about democracy, including Richard Hamilton’s Northern Ireland history painting The State, and Bob and Roberta Smith’s All Schools Should Be Art Schools, can be enjoyed online until the show opens for real at Tate Liverpool in May.
• Tate Liverpool online.
Royals and Rebels
The V&A has the finest collection of India’s art outside India. This talk about the history of the Sikh empire sheds light on one aspect of the cultural complexity it reflects.
• V&A, London, online until 29 March.
Image of the week
Work by British artist Sacha Jafri consisting of the world’s largest painting on canvas was sold for $62m (£45m) at an auction in Dubai. The Journey of Humanity is split into 70 framed sections spanning 1,595.76 sq metres – equivalent to almost four basketball courts. Organisers said the work sold for $62m, double the amount targeted, with the money going to charities helping children. Read more here.
What we learned
The Great British Art Tour uncovered an inspiration for suffragettes, tarnished hopes, Gypsy culture, the dignity of Paul Robeson and riots on the streets of South Wales
Masterpiece of the week
Master of Saint Veronica, Veronica with the Sudarium, circa 1420
This German medieval painting depicts one of the spookiest and strangest Christian artistic traditions. Saint Veronica holds up the cloth she is said to have offered Christ so he could wipe his sweaty face as he carried his cross to Golgotha. When he gave her hanky back, an image of his face was imprinted on it. A relic said to be the Sudarium survives in the Vatican. Much more famous in modern times is the Turin Shroud, said to show a complete image of Christ’s face and body, which photographic negatives gave a new lease of life in the 20th century. So try to see this painting as if it were the Shroud: ghostly “proof” of both the historicity and supernatural being of Christ. This smooth, forward-gazing, bearded image of Jesus was emulated by Renaissance artists in the belief it was miraculously accurate. Even Leonardo da Vinci created his own version of it in Salvator Mundi.
• National Gallery online.
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