• The only royal wedding dress that survives from the Georgian period – the silk embroidered bridal gown of Princess Charlotte of Wales, daughter of King George IV – is one of the star sights at a new exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.Style and Society: Dressing the Georgians features more than 200 works from the Royal Collection including rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories as well as artworks by artists such as Gainsborough, Zoffany and Hogarth. Other highlights include a portrait of the wedding ceremony of George IV and Princess Caroline of Brunswick by John Graham – on display for the first time – as well as the original silver and gold dress samples supplied for the bride and other royal guests. There’s also a Thomas Gainsborough,’ depicting’s full-length portrait of Queen Charlotte wearing a magnificent court gown, a preserved gown of similar style worn at Queen Charlotte’s court in the 1760, and life-size coronation portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte by Allan Ramsay. Other items include a 1782 portrait of Prince Octavius, the 13th child of George III and Queen Charlotte, by Benjamin West in which the three-year-old wears a a style of dress known as a ‘skeleton suit’, jewellery including diamond rings given to Queen Charlotte on her wedding day and a bracelet with nine lockets – one with a miniature of the left eye of Princess Charlotte of Wales, and accessories such as a silver-gilt travelling toilet service acquired by the future George IV as a gift for his private secretary at a cost of £300. The exhibition can be seen until 8th October. Admission charges apply. For more, see www.rct.uk.
• One of the finest copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at the City of London’s Guildhall Library for just one day on Monday, 24th April, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 400th anniversary of its publication. The document will be on display between 10.30am to 3.30pm with a 10-minute introductory talk given on the hour throughout the day. Two small and original copies (‘Quartos’) of Henry IV Part One and Othello will also be on display, next to a replica copy of the First Folio that visitors can look through. The First Folio brought together 36 plays in one volume and was published in an edition of around 750 copies on 8th November, 1623 – seven years after Shakespeare’s death. It is now regarded as one of the most valuable books in the literary world. For more, see www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/history-and-heritage/guildhall-library.
• Prints and drawings acquired by the British Museum over the past five years have gone on show in Room 90.New acquisitions: Paul Bril to Wendy Red Star features works ranging from an early 17th-century study for a fresco by the Flemish artist Paul Bril to 19th century drawings by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 2019 prints by the Apsáalooke (Crow) artist Wendy Red Star and Cornelia Parker’s From H to B and back again – made during with the COVID-19 pandemic. Can be seen until 10th September. Admission is free. For more, see britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/new-acquisitions-paul-bril-wendy-red-star.
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• Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich from tomorrow. The display is part of a national celebration of the 400th anniversary of the folio’s publication. Shakespeare’s First Folio was published in 1623, seven years after the playwright’s death. Some 235 copies are known to survive with 50 remaining in the UK. The version on display – the Dulwich College Folio, which includes the Comedies and Histories (but lack the Tragedies), is believed to have been acquired by the college in 1686 from the estate of William Cartwright, a bookseller and actor who performed with the King’s Company and is known to have played Brabantio in Othello and Falstaff in Henry IV Part I and Part II. The two volumes feature handwritten notes, ink and water stains, and burn holes, suggesting they were well-used before the college acquired them. The Tempest and the Thames can be seen until 24th September. Admission is free. For more, see www.rmg.co.uk/folio-400.
• London’s fog and its reflection in Charles Dickens’ writings are the subject of a new exhibition opening at the Charles Dickens Museum in Bloomsbury.A Great and Dirty City: Dickens and the London Fog explores how the fog affected Dickens’ work, his health and that of his family, and how London has endeavoured to mitigate the problem of air pollution over the past couple of centuries. Among the items on display are the hearthstone Dickens laid in front of the fireplace in the Drawing Room, the fire poker from Dickens’ dining room at Gad’s Hill Place (his home from 1856 until his death in 1870), original first edition parts of Dickens’ ‘foggiest’ novel Bleak House, an original pen and wash illustration by Frederick Barnard depicting Martin Chuzzlewit, Mary Graham, and Mark Tapley, and, a letter from Dickens to his sister-in-law Helen Dickens in which he writes about his brother Alfred’s “inflammation in the region of the lungs” which is dated on 16th July, 1860 – just 11 days before Alfred’s death. Runs until 22nd October. Admission charge applies. For more, see https://dickensmuseum.com.
• Forty of Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot’s works have been brought together for a new exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism, which opens tomorrow, is the first major UK exhibition of the renowned Impressionist since 1950 and features many works never seen before. Highlights include Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight (1875) – painted while Morisot was on honeymoon in England, Self-Portrait (1885) – which will appear alongside Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Young Woman (c.1769) from Dulwich Picture Gallery’s collection, Apollo revealing his divinity to the shepherdess Issé, after François Boucher (1892), In the Apple Tree (1890) and Julie Manet with her Greyhound Laerte (1893). Runs until 10th September. Admission charge applies. For more, see www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk.
• Arare ‘First Folio’ of William Shakespeare’s work – widely regarded as one of the most perfect copies in existence – will be available for viewing before an outdoor performance of Twelfth Night next month. Five actors from acting company The Three Inch Fools will perform the comedy in the St Mary Aldermanbury’s Garden on 1st June at 7pm, the same garden where Henry Condell and John Heminges, two of the Bard’s co-partners at the Globe Theatre and the men behind the production of the First Folio in 1623, were buried. Those attending the performance will be given the chance to view the folio in the nearby Guildhall Library before the performance. Tickets to this one night only opportunity can be purchased from Eventbrite.
• Author and naturalist William Henry Hudson, whose work so inspired author Ernest Hemingway that his name was referenced in Hemingway’s first novel The Sun Also Rises, has been commemorated with a City of Westminster Green Plaque in Leinster Square, Bayswater. Born the son of British parents in Argentina, Hudson came to Westminster after leaving South America in 1874. An early support of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, his books on the English countryside became famous and helped foster the back to nature movement of the 1920s and 1930s.
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