This exhibition and catalogue celebrates the most gifted, inventive and eccentric amateurs of the 18th and early 19th centuries with a selection of drawings, engravings and portraits gathered from Soane's collection and other museums, archives and private houses around the country. More
Exh. Cats. by Gallery
Kenneth Thomson the Collector and the Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario
200 pages, jacketed paperback, 280 x 240 mm, 100 illustrations
ISBN: 978 1 903470 79 4
By Conal Shields
Ken Thomson was no mere trophy gatherer. A man of passionate commitment and of wide-ranging cultural curiosity, the late Lord Thomson of Fleet (1923–2006) began a half-century of collecting in 1953 and continued to the very end of his life.
The Thomson Collection has drawn the respect of museum curators worldwide. In terms of quantity and quality, the Collection’s body of Canadian art has no equal; and a number of works, principal among them The Massacre of the Innocents, the masterpiece of Rubens’s early maturity, are of truly international significance. As the most important private art collection in Canada, it will hugely extend the holdings of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Amongst its European works is the fabulous 12th-century Malmesbury reliquary casket, an extraordinary selection of medieval ivories, and a fine group of portrait miniatures. A large and varied group of ship models is an intriguing facet of the Collection.
Until recently, the Dutch draughtsman Johannes Thopas, who was born in 1626 both deaf and dumb, was only known to a small group of connoisseurs, dealers and collectors. However, his remarkable, subtle and technically refined portrait drawings on parchment deserve a wider audience. This handsome publication, the first devoted to his work, will prove to be an eye opener for many art lovers. More