Saturday 8 March 2014

Last days of Klee at Tate

If you haven't been to see the work of this wonderful artist then head to tate to get it before it's gone. (Closes this Sunday) There even a late opening until 8 on Sunday.

It will inject some much needed colour into your day.

The Fine Art Society - A Barrister's Collection

After my Italian class I decided to take a little walk through the park and head down the glitzy and glamorous New Bond Street to visit The Fine Art Society.

At the moment they are showing an exhibition of the private art collection of lawyer William M Ballantyne 'A Barrister's Collection'. It is always fasinating to look at the private collection of one individual. There was recently a sale at Sotheby's of the collection of Stanley J. Seeger. It is intriging to look at the works that collectors bring together and how this reflects their personal tastes and interests and to see the interesting links that exist between the works they buy.

Ballantyne's collection spans the ages, including a 14th Century Siennese wedding chest, paintings by the old master's, 19th century works and modern British paintings. 

Detail of Siennese Marriage Chest Attr. Ambrogio Lorenzetti 14th Century (horrible image through glass apologies)

It is not a huge collection but there are some lovely pieces. I was particularly drawn to an etching by Millet 'La Grande Bergere', a lively lithograph by Bonnard, a stunning painting of a washer woman by Harold Gilman below and the atmospheric oil painting 'Bethleham, Looking towards the Dead Sea also below.  

The Washerwoman 'Le lavendeuse' 1911 Harold Gilman

Bethleham, Looking Towards the Dead Sea 1853 David Roberts

So if you are in the area with a little time to pass then pop in and do some fantasy painting shopping!

The exhibition runs until 21st March.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Poetic Pairing: March 2014

This months poetic pairing is a poem inspired by this 14th Century sculptural tomb of an aristocratic couple in Chichester Cathedral.

Tomb of Richard FitzAlan 10th Earl of Arundel and his wife Eleanor of Lancaster 14th Century Chichester Cathedral
An Arundel Tomb
Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd–
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends could see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
Their air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone finality
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

Philip Larkin