Sunday, November 08, 2015

At London's National Gallery and Red 359

On Wednesday before heading off to the British Museum I stopped by at what must surely be one of  (if not 'the') world's greatest collections of art -The National Gallery.

As well as being full of great works it's a pretty impressive building with it's classic references and splendid columns - I don't though have the problem Prince Charles has with the Sainsbury extension which in my eyes is far from monstrous.
4th Plinth- An interesting idea

It's a nice building too.

But then I like the current resident on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square too!

Fortunately Wednesday afternoon doesn't seem to be the busiest it gets - still plenty of locals and tourists but  not so many as to make a visit unpleasant.

Here are my personal highlights heavily  influenced as they are by current OPEN Art lectures -

 The paintings by George Braque adjacent to a Cezanne view showing the development towards Cubism around end of the 19th century.

One of the influential Monet Haystacks showing the artist exploring light is on show .

It's great to see so much by Degas too  and I really think the 'Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando' is fantastic and significant in how we can see the influence of the burgeoning realisation of what photography does (and I think again, wasn't Muybridge important ?)

I also the  chance to re-evaluate the  works of Gainsborough and Constable  - I also checked to see the connection between Grant Woods's  'American Gothic' and 'Mr and Mrs Andrews ' (perhaps it's just me?)

I still think it's there but what a lovely picture it is, more than just a portrait or  just a landscape with it's place holder for a child.

Two new to me delights were -
1) 'A Girl at a window' by Boilly - that I thought was almost monochromatic but is something of a 'Trompe l'oeil' of engravings/sculptures.
2) I was also  very taken with 'Interior'  by Hammershoi  I don't know if Hopper consciously drew on his style but to me there's a connection and not least by the artists use of his wife as a model (good to see I'm not alone on this connection as the splendid Michael Palin has also noted it).
There's a display and background film  on the Palmieri Altarpiece ( Visions of Paradise) which is free to visit) that's worth checking out too -my advice is  if you have an interest in art/art history and are in London do visit the gallery.

[I'm sure many will disagree but looking at the Van Gogh works on display I do feel he is perhaps elevated beyond his true artistry although his pace in the development of modern art is indisputable - also am revisiting my enthusiasm to the pointillism of Seurat].

Red 359

Well from highlights to a 'Highlighter '

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