New Art. New Artists. Same Old Glorious London
So it’s the start of a new year and I have so many exciting resolution lists that I have been working on and can’t wait to start. Honestly.
Well, perhaps a slight exaggeration. But I do have quite a few nice new year resolutions that will keep me busy as 2019 awakens and opens its eyes. Not for sharing in detail here just yet perhaps, but still plenty of opportunities to get out and about and to find new experiences.
And art features quite heavily.
So this weekend it was back on the train, looking forward to a very nice trip to the National Gallery.
Which of course didn't mean just visiting the National Gallery. Especially when walking rather aimlessly around London could be listed as a rather regular pastime on my CV.
So we went to London and ended up wandering rather aimlessly between Waterloo and our destination of Trafalgar Square.
And we took a rather long diversion through St. James Park on the way back. Always an interesting route at the best of times. In the summer months it is a fascinating location to people watch. People of all kinds doing what people in London tend to do when the sun shines. But at the weekend it was rather different. The crowds of tourists were missing and, rather bizarrely, it became more of a case of bird watching than anything else.
Well, parakeets anyway.
Whilst the St. James Park squirrels have always been good at drawing a crowd it was fascinating to watch the new boys on the block work the few hardy visitors for whatever food they had.
And they proved to be particularly good at it.
But I digress.
The National Gallery.
We went to see the Impressionists. From the Courtauld collection.
And a few others.
Now, I love the Impressionists. There was beautiful work on display by Degas, Monet, Manet and Renoir. Also Van Gogh, Pissaro and Gaugin. The exhibition was relatively small but clearly popular. My favourite was the very small but delightfully exquisite Degas ballerinas. But they were all good. And mostly old favourites for me, having seen them in the Courtauld gallery before it closed for refurbishment a while back.
But I found a couple of new gems, albeit from the non-Impressionist world.
Lake Keitele by Akseli Gallen-Kallela is a rather splendid iced-up Scandinavian lake, painted in 1905. A brand new name to me and one I will keep an eye on in future gallery visits.
Not so new was Joseph Wright. I have seen some of his work previously. In fact. we watched one of the excellent art shows on TV featuring the always impressive Dr. Bendor Grosvenor only a few months ago where he identified and investigated one of his previously unattributed paintings. The spectacular and wonderfully named An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump from 1768 at the National Gallery however just blew me away. To put it simply, words cannot do this painting justice and it seems to me quite incredible that such a stunning work could have been painted 250 years ago.
See it if you can.
The power and wonder of art.
A pleasant and very enjoyable way to start the new year, even if I do say so myself. New art. New artists. Same old glorious London.
Lots of them.