Wednesday, June 29, 2016

V&A introductory tour and Red 125

Yesterday we decided to enjoy lunch and an introductory  tour of the Museum - lunch was good nice fresh salads in one of the Arts and crafts rooms - that established the V&A as a new sort of place to see Design and splendour of many types.

A large number of school groups visit

The (free) tour was conducted by a charming lady who was knowledgeable and  approachable - she told us a little of the history.
The V&A was at one stage to be called the Albert Museum  and  there were some pretty staggering figures too  - There's over 8 and a half miles of exhibition space so returning on a regular basis will pay dividends  if you've got the time.

As part of the introduction which focused on the 16th century  we saw a truly  fantastic Islamic carpet purchased on behalf of the Museum by William Morris during a trip to Manchester  at the then not inconsiderable price of £2,000 called The Ardabil Carpet - it's only illuminated for a limited time each hour (and half hour) to help with it's preservation.

After this we looked at some fine Turkish pottery, looking good after nearly 500 years  and we found out courtesy of  our guide how the colours deployed can be used to help date the items.

Full of Violence
Once we'd seen  these two refined items we moved to a far more rudimentary item but this communal example of a Public House sleeping room The Great Bed of Ware has quite a back story, it's referenced by Shakespeare in one of his plays (Twelfth Night) and the type of bed which it is was has meant that the phrase (an adjustment made to eliminate sag caused by a large number of incumbents)  'Sleep tight' has come into our language.

We also spent time looking at the Statue of Samson Slaying a Philistine (around 1562) by Giovanni Bologna (see the photo' left)  - it's marvelous to see and consider that it was been revealed/released  from a block of marble, the violence in the sculpture reminded me of The Hercules Garden Water Fountain At Kew Gardens by Francis Joseph Bosio.

After this we went to take a look in the room where copies dominate (before the days of EasyJet ) there's even a pretty good facsimile 'cast'  of Michelangelo's  David (and a more than  fair copy of Raphael's The School of Athens).

A pretty fair copy of The School of Athens

The V&A has a staggering breadth of works and by the nature of 'fashion' some of the items currently look pretty dreadful and Kitsch  -still I liked this by the workshop of Andrea della Robbia it's called The Lamentation over the dead Christ (from about 1510-15).

Great tour - but hardly came close to scratching the surface of what's going on at the museum.

Not necessarily lamentable

Red 125

Back in the stationary cupboard for today's bit of Red

It packs quite a punch

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