While January is usually touted as the month of deprivation what with the lack of funds and all those ambitions to better oneself with steady doses of salad, it is also the month the National Gallery lets us get lost in their perennial JMW Turner (1775-1851) exhibition. The perfect repose in the city centre, the exhibition is composed of clues to Turner’s life, detailing his wanderings through Venetian skielines and Swiss landscapes in gentle yet powerful splashes of colour and ink. One of the watercolors even depicts the Reichenbach Falls – any Sherlock fans out there? We have the English collector Henry Vaughan to thank for this wonderful exhibition of exquisitely rendered watercolours that attract a loyal parade of visitors every year. Concerned with watercolour conservation before it was even a major thing, Mr. Vaughan stipulated as part of his generous bequest that the paintings and sketches only be displayed in the month of January, when the light was dimmest. While technology has moved on since the gift was originally made in 1900, there remains a delight in the Gallery’s complying with tradition for tradition’s sake.
Admission is free and the Gallery also hosts a series of free events the month of January relating to the exhibition. Some talks may require booking. For more details see here.