A sly masterpiece and the posthumous triumph of Christo – art week | Art

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Exhibition of the week

Frans Hals
A constellation of captivating portraits of this great Dutch artist draws attention to the Wallace Collection’s most charismatic treasure, his masterpiece The Laughing Cavalier.
Wallace Collection, London, September 22 to January 30.

Also showing

Summer exhibition
A revolutionary overhaul by coordinator Yinka Shonibare turns this often stilted affair into a must-see study of world art today.
Royal academy, London, September 22 to January 2.

Sick
Strange exercises in late Victorian Gothic and Edwardian black by a brilliant painter fascinated by sex and death.
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, from September 18 to February 27.

Duncan Scholarship: 1920
Joyful paintings of nature, mythology and desire from the most gifted artist in the Bloomsbury group.
Charleston, East Sussex, September 18 to March 13

Grinning Gibbons
A Baroque genius whose flowing carvings adorn some of Britain’s greatest buildings comes under close scrutiny.
Compton Verney, Warwickshire, September 25 to January 30.

Image of the week

A spectator takes a photo as workers put the finishing touches to the Arc’s packaging. Photography: François Mori / AP

A dream long cherished by Christo to envelop the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is coming true. The € 14 million project was funded by the sale of sketches, models and other works by the late artist, who died in May 2020.

What we have learned

Curator Yinka Shonibare brought five-star fun to the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition

The latest Riba Stirling Award shortlist has been announced …

… And Glenn Murcutt became the first Australian architect to win the Praemium Imperiale award…

… An honor shared with Sebastião Salgado

Liu Xiaodong painted the Chinese diaspora in London

A floating head is back in Glasgow

Scientists say there is art to a creative hot streak

Blaxploitation’s legacy of movie posters continues today

… And Tyler Mitchell documented black life in Georgia

Photo print sale will raise funds for women journalists in Afghanistan

A group of photographic artists secretly changed Brazil forever

Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reflected on what his TV show has built

David Bailey revealed he suffers from vascular dementia

Sickert was a malicious master

Duncan Grant has filled his life’s work with sensuality

Lucas Foglia recalled the New York summer after 9/11

Gay Hussar offered lunch with a cartoon twist

Great white sharks can fly

New London fashion show celebrates never-before-seen fashion illustrations

There was more to Frans Hals than The Laughing Cavalier

Sotheby’s to auction off Karl Lagerfeld’s belongings

London Design Museum to host Amy Winehouse retrospective

Filmmaker Martina Hall had a flair to celebrate women’s creativity

Masterpiece of the week

Women bathing in a landscape
Photography: The National Gallery, London

Women Bathing in a Landscape, Cornelis van Poelenburgh, c 1630
We all dream of a little sun. At the start of the 17th century in the Netherlands, as the rain fell on the polders, many painters headed for what was then a dangerous hike to sunny Italy. Van Poelenburgh was from Utrecht, a city whose artists were particularly fond of a glass of Chianti. Or more precisely, Utrecht was and is a Catholic city, which has remained faithful to the old religion while other Dutch cities have become Protestant. Thus, Van Poelenburgh, Gerrit van Honthorst and other artists from Utrecht felt at home in papal Rome where they learned from Guido Reni and Caravaggio.

In this painting, produced after his return to Utrecht, Van Poelenburgh exudes the glamor of Italy. Women bathe naked among ancient Roman ruins under a sky tinged with gold. It is the same Mediterranean arcadian idyll that would later seduce Nordic artists from Turner to Matisse. O for a cup of the hot south.

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