Botticelli's Birth of Venus is one of the most enduring images in art history. This curvaceous nude, modesty protected only from her flowing locks, rides towards us on the waves of the sea perched in a shell. And that iconic single image is the launchpad for this bold new exhibition at the V&A that examines Botticelli's influence on art and culture, right up to the present day.
Marlene was born in South Africa at a time of apartheid and censorship, where simply a picture of Nelson Mandela was considered to be so dangerous that it was banned. This deep and profound relationship between banning an image and infusing it with power and meaning must have made an impact on Marlene as it has shaped her work.
Moroni is widely regarded as one of the finest painters of the 16th century, and a critical innovator in portraiture, in particular. Yet his name is not widely known by the general public so this new exhibition at the Royal Academy, the first ever large-scale display of his work outside Italy, is an important contribution in correcting this.
The current Mark Rothko exhibition in The Hague's Gemeentemuseum seems to be the perfect Rothko show. With over 60 works on display - from the early figurative paintings to his very last canvas - the museum has orchestrated a space that combines the epic with the intimate, seamlessly moving from the one to the other.