Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Legs Eleven

And in other noteworthy news, I got my legs out on the weekend. A moment newsworthy for the fact that this hasn't happened in ooh about, let me see now, where's my diary... 23 weeks and 2 days, or something like that. 

Between late September and early March - that's five whole count 'em months - my pins have been concealed by denim, occasionally fortified by a further layer of manmade fibre leggings to provide insulation on sub zero days. That, my Friends, is what living in England is all about. And that is why I'm noticing with glee some changes around me and not just in the wearing of skirts.

It's with a spring in my step that I'm welcoming signs of, erm, spring... the cherry blossom, crocuses/i and daffs do make my heart sing, fa la la la la! No longer the grey skies and chill winds do blow, (well, they do but not every day) and hello to petals, lambs, blue skies... and legs, blue legs... oh. Dear.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Inventing Impressionism

Daubs of paint close up become stunning landscapes and detailed portraits when you take a step back at Inventing Impressionism, a new display at the National Gallery tipped as "the exhibition of the year" by the nationals. 

The Impressionists were a clever bunch, now rightly seen as one of the most popular movements in art history. But at the time they lived, not so much.

Their popularity today can be put down to one man, Paul Durand-Ruel, who would buy up 23 Monets at a time. When the establishment wouldn't but a single painting. 

Whilst there I also raced through a few rooms of the National Gallery's permanent collection and came across the brilliant Holbein dual portrait of The Ambassadors (the one with a weirdly distorted skull at the bottom).  A not-so-subtle bit of eavesdropping on a guide telling a group of Japanese students revealed it was painted around the time Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, neatly tying in with my current iPlayer favourite, Wolf Hall. Slightly obsessed with it - you can't beat Mark Rylance. 

Here are some pictures I took while wondering around the gallery and Trafalfar Square (none of the actual exhibition; I hate that, when people take pictures of the pictures).

Gift Horse on the Fourth Plinth, Trafalfar Square. 

The National Gallery

Nelson's Column from the National Gallery.

The National Gallery