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A tyrant gets boxed, men don tights and mermaids wiggle – the week in art

The Guardian logo The Guardian 12/08/2022 Jonathan Jones

Exhibition of the week

Reframing PictonA sceptical new look at the National Museum Cardiff’s portrait of Thomas Picton, hero of Waterloo – and tyrant of Trinidad.

National Museum Cardiff until 3 September.

Also showing

Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of MenswearRenaissance men in tights and Regency dandies feature alongside today’s male garb.

V&A, London, until 6 November.

Our Time on EarthThis exhibition about the climate emergency could hardly be more urgent.

Barbican, London, until 29 August.

Marvellous Makers, Wondrous WorldsThe magical 3D embroidery of 17th-century women bursts with mermaids and other myths.

Holburne Museum, Bath, until 11 September.

Take One PictureArt from primary school pupils inspired by Orazio Gentileschi’s painting The Finding of Moses.

National Gallery, London, until 11 September.

Image of the week

Carrie Mae Weems’s 1990 image Untitled (Woman and daughter with makeup) is among a wide range of photographs by women donated to the Museum of Modern Art in New York by the collector Helen Kornblum. “All the images are organised around this question: ‘What is a feminist picture?’” writes Kornblum. This shot is one of 20 in Weems’s Kitchen Table Series. The tender scene illustrates one of the ways in which gender is learned and performed, while also celebrating the private subjectivity, beauty and inner lives of Black women. View gallery of images from Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists from Helen Kornblum, on display until 10 October, here.

What we learned

A revamped London street is like “Tin Pan Alley reconstructed by alien archaeologists


Gallery: The world's most bizarre museums you have to see (Love Exploring)

The Greek island of Hydra, which has drawn creatives from Jeff Koons to Leonard Cohen, still casts a spell

Three artists who sued Tate have spoken out

A landmark Victorian chimney is to be shortened over safety fears

The Snowman and Fungus the Bogeyman author and illustrator Raymond Briggs died aged 88

A London museum will return 72 Benin treasures to Nigeria

Guardian readers revealed their favourite European street art

“Deviant” works by artists including Picasso and Warhol are back on display in Tehran

A mural by a Jewish refugee in Catholic church has been saved from destruction

Little Nicolas and New Yorker illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé has died

Masterpiece of the week

Anthony van Dyck, William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London, England, Great Britain. © Provided by The Guardian Anthony van Dyck, William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London, England, Great Britain.

William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh, by Anthony van Dyck, c 1633-34This is a very early painting of British colonialism in India. It was not painted there but in Britain after this prominent courtier of Charles I returned from a visit to some of the first bases of the East India Company, founded in 1600 to rival Spain, Portugal and Holland in the global spice trade. Anticipating later East India Company habits, Feilding wears Indian dress. But there’s no doubting the power relationship between Britain and India, so early in their shared history, that’s suggested here: Van Dyck emphatically poses Feilding’s Indian servant as a deferential inferior. If you are starting to dislike the 1st Earl of Denbigh, fear not, he was later to die, like so many of Van Dyck’s sitters, in the English civil war.

National Gallery, London

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