What to see this week

Country Life Every Week - - MY WEEK -

The En­counter: Draw­ings from Leonardo

to Rem­brandt is at the Na­tional Por­trait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, Lon­don WC2, un­til Oc­to­ber 22 (020–7306 0055; www. npg.org.uk) The ex­pres­sive power of the hu­man face is re­vealed in this ex­quis­ite ex­hi­bi­tion of 50 draw­ings by some of the most tal­ented artists work­ing in Europe be­tween the mid 1400s and mid 1500s. Works by Hans Hol­bein the Younger, Car­racci, Dürer (right) and other mas­ters of the Renaissance and Baroque show the spon­tane­ity with which they could cap­ture a hu­man fig­ure from life in dif­fer­ent me­dia and their skill at ren­der­ing care­fully ob­served de­tail and mod­el­ling with light and shade. The works range from life draw­ings done in the stu­dio and sketches of friends to in­ti­mate stud­ies of chil­dren and prepara­tory por­traits of mem­bers of Henry VIII’S Court.

On the farm: works for sale Harry Becker (1865–1928): Suf­folk: The

Land is at Ab­bott and Holder, 30, Mu­seum Street, Lon­don WC1, un­til Au­gust 31 (020– 7637 3981; www.ab­bot­tand­holder-the­list.co.uk) Becker moved from Lon­don to Wen­has­ton in 1913, com­mit­ted to record­ing the harsh daily rhythm of work­ing life in the tra­di­tional farm­ing com­mu­nity that he knew and loved. Work­ing along­side farm labour­ers, he cre­ated an in­ti­mate por­trait of a dy­ing way of life and reached, at last, his ma­ture artis­tic ex­pres­sion through this se­ries of draw­ings and wa­ter­colours.

Farm: Paint­ings, draw­ings and Som­er­set voices is at Som­er­set Ru­ral Life Mu­seum, Chilk­well Street, Glas­ton­bury, un­til De­cem­ber 3 (01458 831197; www.swher­itage.org.uk/ ru­ral-life-mu­seum) This ex­hi­bi­tion of oil paint­ings and wil­lowchar­coal draw­ings, and its ac­com­pa­ny­ing book, cap­ture the voices and ex­pe­ri­ences of a group of farm­ers on the Som­er­set Lev­els, among whom Kate Lynch spent two years, il­lus­trat­ing them tend­ing their live­stock, har­vest­ing, turn­ing cheeses and press­ing ap­ples for cider in fields, barns and or­chards and record­ing their con­ver­sa­tions. Some of the older voices bear liv­ing tes­ta­ment to the tra­di­tional prac­tices that lived on here among the small mixed farms of Som­er­set much longer than else­where, al­though they have now all but dis­ap­peared.

Mar­garet Ut­t­ley: Traces of the Fen is at Gav­a­gan Art, Town Hall, Set­tle, North York­shire, un­til Au­gust 18 (07799 797961; www. gav­a­ganart.com) The artist grew up in Tod­mor­den and Heb­den Bridge and her work re­flects the in­flu­ence of the ‘ex­posed, iso­lated and at times harsh’ York­shire land­scape that she ex­plored as a child. These char­coal draw­ings and mixed-me­dia paint­ings fo­cus on the wet­lands of Mal­ham Fen in North York­shire.

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