It seems astonishing, but while there are an amazing number of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, many of them in the Royal Collection and being displayed this year, the 600th anniversary of his death, there are apparently less than 20 of his paintings in existence, which might explain the hype around the controversial sale of the Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) a little while ago for a record $450.
To the viewer, the painting appeared over-restored and lacking in detail and in some ways reminiscent of the work of Jake Wood-Evans whose representations of classic British paintings by artists such as Gainsborough. Lawrence and Romney have a veiled mystery, where Wood-Evans seeks to capture the essence of the people in the paintings as simply as possible while playing down the detail of the military uniforms, the swirling dresses, elaborate hairstyles, expensive jewels and military medals, though there are enough hints to remind us of who the people are. A difficult task, on show in ‘Legacy & Disorder’ at UNIT London.
As a contrast, Zhu Ang Hong Yi’s exquisite works created in rice paper and acrylic paint in the previous exhibition ‘Earth’ at UNIT and also continuing in the lower level with its floral floor created specially for the exhibition, focus on natural forms, where frequently the art blasts out from the canvas in an energetic 3D sensation. The detail of the work is truly amazing.