Ten minutes before hitting the Tube station, we'd had a long talk about how to meet up with each other if we got separated... the easy answer is of course just to look back for Rebecca's hair. :-) In a moment of irony, the two women went through ahead of me, and my Oyster card ("bus pass") denied me entry (I had run out of money and hadn't noticed).... the line up to re-nourish my depleted Oyster card was long, and the women were gone...Arta, though, in typical Arta way, had decided for fun to see how easy it was to find me, and had noticed I was gone. They came back, spoke to me through the barricade, and we sent Wyona ahead to wait in the ticket line up while I lined up for the Oyster card. Nice start to the day... way to practice finding each other after getting lost.
Just proving that different paths do not always run at the same speed, Arta and I somehow still managed to arrive at the Leicester Square before Wyona.
So... tickets purchased, we split up for the day: Wyona to visit her favourite scarf sellers (What?! More scarves?!), and Arta and I to visit the National Gallery.
One of the recent 'installations' at the national gallery is the "Eco Art" outside. VERY westcoast!
They have planted grasses and small mossy growing things all over one of the walls of the building.
Not sure how visible it is in the shot, but the effect from some ways back is a bit like a Georges Seurat painting... it just looks like a lovely watercolour painting. Pretty groovy!
Arta and I have not spent much time in museums TOGETHER (as adults, that is... i certainly spent time following in her path of educational exploration as a child...you know, "fossil rock walks in downtown Calgary", "identify bat guano in fish creek park", etc).
But it was a revelation to see that she is just as bad as me in her desire to consume til your belly/brain explodes.
In between our own wanderings, we took in the 10:30 and 2:30 guided tours, each of which offered a more close exploration of 5 or maybe 6 paintings.
|Christ Healing the Blind Man by Buoninsegna|
The first one we saw has Christ healing the blind man.
It is fun to look at the conventions for telling story through image: here, you see the blind man both before and after being healed.
The panel that goes beside this one has Christ appearing to the apostles.... when they are set along side each other, you can see that the "healed" blind man is looking up at the body of Christ in the panel along side.
We also learned that this was painted on wood, which was then covered with linen, and then covered with plaster to make a smooth surface to paint on. The paint was egg tempera, which would give you vibrant colours, albeit without tons of nuance: the paint would dry very fast, so you only had a short time where it could be pliably worked).
|Annunciation of Mary|
We listened to a nice discussion about the number of people who would have participated in making the painting.
Different artists in the studio would have done the people, and the buildings (would would have had painters specializing in buildings)
Then we moved up a hundred years, to spend time with the Spanish Bartolomé
|St. Michael Triumphs Over the Devil|
|Self Portrait of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun|
She is showing herself AS an artist, showing off all the skills she has, letting male viewers know that she can make their wives look this good but that they needn't worry about leaving their wife alone with her. I also like how she is holding her hand out, encouraging them to give her a commission! There was more, but I am getting tired. :-) which was just what happened to us too! So.... in between the two guided tours, we went for a "Talk and Draw" session. Here, they set up 40 chairs in front of one painting.
|Artist: John Constable|
They are never appreciated while still alive...