Saturday, January 18, 2014

Vermeer and Tintoretto at the National Gallery and McCartney NEW CD

A different side of  The National Gallery
Having continued to progress through Michael Foley's book I felt that I'd benefit from looking at some Vermeer paintings which he was enthusiastic about so having checked that we had some at The National Gallery I made my way there. The two Vermeers that I saw were both of women playing the virginal (not a euphemism) , in fact it was the same woman in the same room (I think) the paintings were interesting and the use of the look of the subject out of the painting  was engaging, I am also becoming aware (as I'd already been told) that big is not always the best in paintings.

I also took more of a look at the Dutch paintings from around this time and contrasted their 'ordinary- ness' with contemporary works from other European states  - as Foley suggested the art was more about the everyday and of interest to a wider audience perhaps for this reason - the 'low countries' had a big surge in private ownership of paintings at this time.

Another artefact that caught my eye was  A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House by Samuel van Hoogstraten, this was a sort of Doll's house which was also externally  illustrated using a clever distortion that requires a particular viewing angle.
Not the TV Peepshow
Van Hoogstraten appears to have been a talented polymath as well as an artist he was a composer, writer and poet sadly dying at the young age of 51  in Dordt, which was a suburb of Dordrecht,  he was the director of the local mint at the time of his death.

In fact the painting that I looked at which touched me most on my visit emotionally was actually Jacopo Tintoretto's  Christ washing the Feet of the Disciples (1575-80)although it is not my usual taste in paintings I felt moved by it and the accompanying  description of the occasion, looking on-line I see that he made an earlier painting of the same subject (around 1548)  it was a very different painting .


One of the presents I got for Christmas was the latest (and New) McCartney album, am pleased to say it has some really great tracks. I find it   impressive that someone of his wealth and age still has the ethic of getting out performing and publicizing his new material.  Live impromptu (ish) performances in Covent Garden and Times Square show that he's still got the urge to perform.

Like Dylan and Len (Cohen) Paul's producing new material that's relevant and contemporary.

Nice to see that Paul is working with new producers and continuing to experiment, I'm certainly still hearing a lot of Beach Boy influences as well a track that continue to address the hurt Paul feels over the re-writing of History by those who weren't there when John and Paul started composing (Early Days) personal favourite for me is Scared quite a simple performance but effective.

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