|The Dome in the Tate Britain|
We had an hour before the "Highlights Tour" was to begin, so we decided to swing around to take a look at the "Focus" areas. It was a bit of a surprise... each 'focus' was just one room. Each room was exactly what it said: a "focus".... a collection of perhaps a dozen or two dozen paintings, with a theme linking them.
First, we checked out a room of Don McCullin photographs. He was a war photographer, working in mostly black and white. I wasn't familiar with the guy, but can say that some of his photos (particularly the ones in the book on him that was in the museum shop) were just painfully haunting to look at. For this room, they chose NOT to display the war photographs, but produced groupings from different parts of his work: berlin after the war, fields, miners, streetpeople. The photos were really striking. nbsp; Here is a review of the exhibit.
From there, it was off to "Atlantic Britain", for a series of paintings that looked 'simple', but which all had some relationship to tales of Empire and Colonialism. So, for example, who would have thought that the painting of a woman plucking a turkey was a commentary on the US/Britain revolutionary war?! (you can click here to see the 14 paintings that were in the room).
Reubens and Britain - 14 works related to the Banqueting House ceiling at Whitehall. I didn't know anything about the Banqueting House ceiling, but now feel like I want to spend time with it!
We finally wandered back to the meeting point for the "highlights tour". For the first time ever, Petra and I grabbed one of those folding chairs to carry around with us. HEAVEN!!!! Given the fact that I am very tall, i am generally torn between my desire to see the paintings up close, and my awareness of the fact that people can't see over me... with the chair, i could scramble right close, and people could still see over me (and my feet and back were happier!)
Derby Day. The painting is a riot... full of hundreds of people wandering around at the Derby. Of course, you can see almost not a single horse: it is a study in people, and people organized by physiognomy (the science of studying people by their skulls). The people are grouped into 'criminal life', 'entertainers and the impoverished' and 'artistocrats'.
Check out the link to get a close up look at parts of this painting (which was a sensation when it was first displayed).
|the sky after the rainfall|