What to see this 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.