Monday, 31 March 2014


The Blue Bower, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1865
Even on the train up to Birmingham, I was dithering. Was it going to be the city art gallery - magnificent, but I've been there before, if not for many years - or the Barber Institute which had been on my 'one-day' list for ages? Could I manage to cram both into the day, around all the other things I had planned? (I tried. I couldn't.) Still dithering outside the station, I saw a bus heading towards the University ... decision made.

Rossetti's portrait of Fanny Cornforth is luscious ... her necklace of cabochon rubies and emerald, that splendid comb, the fluffy trim on her gown that you'd love to stroke, those wonderful blue and white tiles and the passion flowers and cornflowers.

But wonderful as it is, I felt more drawn to Gainsborough's Harriott Marsham - a lady of character.

The Hon Harriott Marsham, Thomas Gainsborough

5 comments:

Sue said...

As an art student in Brum I had my fill of the Pre-Raphs, they can give one a headache. So yes, Gainsborough for me too please.

mary said...

They can be an over-rich diet, Sue, I agree. I enjoyed my wander around the campus; lots of daffodils -which I always associate with my own student days.

Cosy Books said...

The green in Rosetti's painting is stunning as an image on the computer so I can only imagine its brilliance in real life.

Mr N and I were at the Art Gallery of Ontario a week ago; forty dollars admission, if you please! If the price tag doesn't shock you then how about the fact they have a Hogarth hanging at a child's height in the play annex...stocked with crayons. I was speechless...

mary said...

So am I, Darlene. And $40! That would curb my art excursions. Everything in Birmingham is free!

Noelle the dreamer said...

I agree with you Mary!