An hour in Southampton City Art Gallery

by Chantal

I popped into Southampton Art Gallery today. It was a quick visit as I only had an hour but these are some of the works that particularly pressed my buttons:

Watercolour study for “The Finding Of Medusa” by Edward Burne-Jones 1882

One of the current exhibitions on tour to the gallery is The Perseus Series by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones.

The Perseus series are ten cartoons in gouache for a series of large oil paintings commissioned in 1875 for London home of the British statesman and arts patron Arthur Balfour. Based on a number of Greek myths, it is a heroic tale of knight-errantry and the triumph of good over evil. Perseus, son of the God Zeus is sent to rescue the beautiful Andromeda and kill the Gorgon Medusa.

I’m reading the Odyssey at the moment so enjoying the big dramatic greek narratives. The work that captivated me most in the collection was the surviving study shown above which I find much more affecting than the actual painting.

Other works I spent time with and greatly enjoyed were:

James Sant, Enigma, c. 1850, Courtesy Southampton City Art Gallery


Stephen McKenna, Fourment, 1977, Courtesy Southampton City Art Gallery


Frank Auerbach, Head of JYM 1, 1981, Courtesy Southampton City Art Gallery

Frederick Lee Bridell, The Coliseum at Rome by Moonlight, 1859, courtesy Southampton City Art Gallery.

John Lavery, The Countess of Rocksavage, 1922, courtesy of Southampton City Art Gallery

and finally, Rodin’s bronze Eve which the city council tried to sell off a few years back to fund the Sea Centre Museum! Fortunately it didn’t happen!

Auguste Rodin, Eve, 1880-1881