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“Manet exhibition”

Royal Academy of Arts
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Ranked #183 of 1,827 things to do in London
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Owner description: Founded in 1768, this thriving center of artistic excellence is the oldest fine arts institution in Britain, whose exhibitions attract over a million people each year.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We make a point of always going to the Royal Academy and this time we were fortunate to see the Manet exhibition. We paid extra and enjoyed the audio guide, it takes longer but it makes such a difference. Highly recommended.

4  Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,353 - 1,357 of 1,726 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2013

Realise it's a popular exhibition, so pre-booked tickets for the exhibition - as recommended - as I thought, possibly stupidly, that numbers of people attending would be controlled. Arrived 10 minutes prior to our entry time of 12 noon and there were queues for the toilets and to get into the exhibition. Unfortunately the Galleries were far too crowded to be able to enjoy the pictures. It was difficult to get near to the explanatory panels and also to take time to properly study the pictures. This was a shame as some of them, particularly the better known Berthe Morisot, The Luncheon and The Railway are wonderful. Many of the others didn't have the same impact, especially those with unfinished aspects. We didn't have a problem with the light levels as realise that paintings of this age and value have to be protected. But, after almost an hour of being shoved and bumped we gave up. Might be worth checking with the RA if there are less busy times to attend.

7  Thank 134Martin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

The excitement in the crowd beforehand was infectious. Somehow queuing to await a ticket filled one with expectation over and above the rave reviews this exhibition had already lifted one to a different level. But the pictures themselves were the stars here. It is a huge exhibition of his life and work which even the big crowds did not dilute. The emotional impact of the pictures themselves drives deep within and leaves us slightly breathless. Here indeed one could glimpse at a man driven by his passions leaving his poor wife at home to earn what she could from music tutoring, while he pursued the impossible through the improbable. Indeed the subject of his many portraits comes straight out of the frames and confronts one to see her not simply as a muse or object but as a person upon whose feelings this artist so lightly stamped. How could he not see her vulnerability and longing to share deeper thoughts. While the artist faithfully recorded her outer expressions he also captures her frustration at his chasing after the shadows.
His complete mastery of portraiture is laid bare in this exhibition from Proust to members of his own family he records the feelings of the subject with a clarity that makes us want to shake some sense into his self destructive lifestyle that ultimately destroyed him. Here was an artist with so much to say about fashion and the people in his life; yet lacked the insight into what they could convey to him in terms of wisdom.
Plan to see this collection several times both with the audio guide and without. Weep for a lost opportunity to really know these people. Weep for the artistry of portraiture at its best. Above all weep for the loss of a man too blinded by his pursuit of the muse to see the person they were.

4  Thank DavidCatman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Managed to get into the Manet Exhibition on a Friday afternoon with only 30 mins queuing (all online tickets sold out). Worth the wait, though I agree with many reveiwers that the overall lighting and the information signs for each work were rather poor - the former possibly to protect the paintings, but white on black was not the best colourscheme for the information - my eyes were very strained by the end. As one would expect of the RA, the exhibition was otherwise very well set out and well worth a visit, even for someone not that interested in the detail of art itself.

3  Thank trelights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

We visited the Constable, Gainsborough, Turner and The Making of Landscape Exhibition. The information was great but it seemed like it was placed in awkward places like behind doors etc.

Also, even though the exhibition is in its final weeks it was still very crowded so it was hard to see each piece closely. Otherwise it was still a great exhibition with beautiful pieces.

Thank Claire_Leanne88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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