If you like your shopping streets to have charming home decor shops, stylish one-off boutiques, a few antiques, and a good lunch or drinks spot, Walton Street in London is one of the best.
Nina Campbell’s shop always seems to have exactly the thing you didn’t know you were dying to have, and Stephanie Hoppen’s gallery never fails to delight. These collage portraits of Renaissance queens and noblewomen were great fun. Big, too, 3 to 5 feet wide and 4 to 6 feet tall as I recall.
The exhibition was called “Fabricating History,” and the description from Hoppen’s website begins, “Maria Torroba’s compositions are visually enchanting and richly tactile, incorporating the lustre of oil painting with antique fabrics and lace embroidered by the artist’s grandmother. Her inventive take on traditional Renaissance portraiture is both quixotic and ornate, whilst steeped in regal exuberance.”
I love anything “steeped in regal exuberance” don’t you? “Quixotic and ornate” is just the icing on the cake. The exhibit ran May 13 to June 13, and luckily my brief visit coincided. After a painting workshop in Italy and a cycling trip in France, our adventures abroad concluded with a few days in London.
If you missed that riveting travelogue, here you go:
Wine, Women and Watercolors – Painting in Italy – Part 1
WWW (and Roberto) – Painting in Italy – Part 2
Letter From the Loire – Part 1
Letter From the Loire – Part 2
And now, just because I’m feeling frisky…
Bonus info: Best shopping streets in London! In researching this post I stumbled on the most amazing UK site called Street Sensation, listing London’s best shopping streets. I mean WOW, what a resource. Take a look. Here’s a photo and description of every Walton Street shop, up one side and down the other.
The current show at the Hoppen gallery is along these collage/portrait lines as well. The work of Christian de Laubadere are “a combination of French and Chinese traditions,” say the gallery notes. “Using a charcoal background and chiaroscuro technique, he paints enigmatic and fascinating pictures of the napes of women’s necks.” Sounds weird but they are beautiful, at Stephanie Hoppen gallery here.