Monday, 5 February 2018

Odalisque in Grisaille, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres,c1824-34

Did it really last longer than any other January or do we say that every year? Well, it's over. I'm glad to see some chilly sunshine and crocuses; I've even spotted a few primroses. Okay, so I wrote that a couple of days ago and the sunshine vanished in time for the weekend - but I'm emerging from hibernation. Maybe it's the vitamin C in all those blood oranges I'm eating! (Rose oranges seems to be the newest euphemism for the squeamish!) I've got three big sunshiney vases of daffodils, narcissi, tulips, marigolds and yellow roses in my study. (That's because when you're out and about, you catch the big bouquets knocked down to £1 or £2 on the way home.) I'm feeling energised and ready to go again. Two films and a play last week (the National Theatre tour of Hedda Gabler, which was very different from any HG I've seen before) and two concerts booked for this week. I don't feel quite so much energy at the thought of attacking the spiders' webs that show up in the sunshine!
Perversely, as I was enjoying a blast of colour, I then chose to catch the Monochrome exhibition at the National Gallery before it closes; hardly anybody there and very interesting.
Etienne Moulinneuf, c1770

This one is very clever. It's a painting of a print of a painting. (Chardin's La Pourvoyeuse which is on display nearby.) That trompe l'oeil broken glass is very convincing and made me smile.

Agony in the Garden,  Genoese, 1538


This was quite astonishing. It's BIG, part of a set of hangings painted in white on indigo cloth for a temporary chapel in Genoa during Holy Week - a kind of religious pop-up. It wasn't unusual to paint in black/grey on white cloth, but the Genoese had invented a fabric that French merchants called Gênes. It made me think of those outsize pairs of Levi's that you used to see in shop window displays years ago.

4 comments:

Lesley Anne said...

Hi again Mary, I went to the Monochrome exhibition before Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it (much more so than the Cezanne Potraits one which left me cold- probably because I am not a painter myself...)I am a fan of these thematic exhibitions because you get such a wide variety of art and objects, rather than the more conventional single artist blockbuster shows. Also as you say they never seem to be as busy and you are not tripping over people tuned to their audioguides.

mary said...

I enjoyed Cézanne a lot, Lesley Anne, possibly because I'd just seen that film and so all the characters in the portraits were fresh in my mind. But I don't like that cramped NPG exhibition space. It's okay by the end of the afternoon but it always seems to be such a jostle at the start. Monochrome was peaceful and restful. In fact, when I got to the yellow room at the end, it would have been better with more people to see the effect!

Veronica Cooke said...

You have been very busy, Mary. I love the sound of all your flowers and how very frugal of you buy them at knockdown prices.

I bought a bunch of tulips and hyacinths from Lidl for 4.00 two weeks ago and they're still going strong. The hyacinths perfume the whole house. I really wanted a bunch of alstromerias (not sure of spelling and too lazy to look it up) from my Sainsbury's local but they wanted a fiver and I'm used to paying just over 2.00 at Lidl...

mary said...

I'd much sooner have hyacinths, Veronica . But £5 is far too much for alstroemeria - try Tesco! I'm often lucky with bargain flowers because I'm chaotic and shop at odd times. Don't have your eye in charity shops, though.