Thursday, 16 April 2009

Francis Alÿs: Fabiola

Jean-Jacques Henner - Fabiola (copy by Unknown Emroiderer)Who's the pretty girl wearing the red shawl and matching lipstick? you might well ask. It's Fabiola, another of those pretty-boy Christian saints. The lost original of this portrait was painted by the French 19th Century painter Jean-Jacques Henner in traditional Early Renaissance style. Some obsessive clot - Francis Alÿs - has been collecting copies of this work from flea markets and antique shops throughout Europe and the Americas, and he has set up an installation thingy of 300 of them in London's National Portrait Gallery: Francis Alÿs: Fabiola. Why anyone should want to see this is beyond me; but, if you're one of them, you'll find it in Room 41 from 2 May, admission free. There's also a free gallery talk on the subject on Tuesday 26 May at 3pm.


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