Monday, January 31, 2011

The Art of Christmas is over

Camille Pissaro, Foxhill Upper Norwood (1870)



The thing about Christmas, is that it comes and goes so quickly.  Shopping for presents, food, finishing off the last bits of work before the break and parties to go to, there is never a chance to take anything in that isn't on a list of some kind.  So that's why I'm glad that the Christmas windows of Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly were still on display into January.

Changing with the seasons, the Fortnum & Mason windows reflect some of the most intricate and artistic displays in london. Chief Designer & Visual Presentation Manager, Paul Symes and his team collaborated with the National Gallery to create Art of Christmas; 3D versions of some of the gallery's most famous masterpieces, with added elements of Christmas.

Pieter Claesz, Still Life with Drinking Vessels (1649)

Canaletto, Venice: The Grand Canal with S Simeone Piccolo (c.1740)



The wider window display presents christmas gifts and produce from the store, but Symes was keen to keep the main displays free from 'product'.  ‘I like to include plenty of odd and amusing details here and there that will make people laugh, the designs are never too serious' he says. 'And that’s because it’s not just a selling space. The windows represent the spirit of the store.’

The added christmas elements to the paintings include Gondolas carrying christmas trees in Canaletto's Venetian scene, The Grand Canal with S Simeone Piccolo, (c.1740) and fairy lights in Camille Pissarro’s Fox Hill, Upper Norwood (1870).

Hendrick Avercamp, A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle (1608-1609)

Willem Claesz. Heda, Still Life: Pewter and Silver Vessels and a Crab (c.1633-7)



This weekend, the festive season is definitely over as the displays are being changed over to a completely rejuvenated Spring theme of Butterflies which will be on show through to Easter.
Check back to LookSeeNow in the next couple of weeks to see them.

Meindert Hobbema, The Avenue at Middelharnis (1689)

Find out more about the original paintings at the National Gallery or fortnumandmason.com and read how they were recreated in the Fortnum's Winter Magazine.  

Images sourced fortnumandmason.com, nationalgallery.org.uk and taken using my iPhone.
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