Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Old and new friends


I spent a big chunk of today making new art friends and renewing old ones at the Tate Britain.  I am a stone fan of the Pre-Raphaelites, so this museum is a must-visit stop for me when I have any time in London.

Up with the absolutely brilliant William Blake exhibit, the Tate now has some Pre-Raphaelite sketches and watercolors.  I was thus privileged for the first time to see this Rosetti Lady In Yellow.

Click an image to find a larger version.

I know some folks find them overly romantic, but I do not care; I love much of what they did, and I am a lifelong fan of Rosetti.

I mentioned Blake.  I've studied his work in books, and the Taschen complete works is particularly great, but there's nothing like seeing it in person.  His work brims with a mad, strange energy that I find undeniably strong.  Consider the radiance of this piece,


The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne.  Graphite and watercolor, old and fragile, it still radiates powerfully.

No visit to the Tate is complete without a stop to appreciate John Everett Millais' Ophelia,


which is one of those rare works that I consider perfect, exactly what it should be.

I also adore this Frederic Leighton,


The Bath of Psyche.  I wish I could afford to take all my friends to see these wonderful works in person.

I passed some time strolling in Harrods and grabbing an afternoon tea there.  I rarely feel an urge to buy there, but seeing what's on offer is fascinating.

I devoted the bulk of my evening to seeing Nell Gywnn with Gemma Arterton at the Apollo Theatre.  Arterton was splendid, the entire cast performed beautifully, and I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

Another fine London day.




2 comments:

David Drake said...

Dear Mark,

Do they use Sir Edward German's music with that production of Nell Gwynn?

I've never been able to see the romance in Charles II. He was a paid agent of Louis 14, for whom he declared war on Holland--and stripped his forces of pay and powder so that he had more money to give to whores. (Here I'm thinking more of the Duchess of Cleveland than Nell Gwynn, though her too.)

The grunts paid, as we usually do.

Reflectively,
Dave

Mark said...

To the best of my knowledge, they do not use German's music. I believe Nigel Hess wrote the music, though I did not buy a program book and so could easily be wrong.

I completely agree about Charles II--but I didn't let that interfere with my enjoyment of the show. I entered the theatre expecting a fictional romp, one light on facts and heavy on the romantic, and that's what I got. So, I enjoyed it overall.

I am sure that an historically accurate telling would be a different creature entirely.

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