Sunday, February 26, 2012

the national portrait gallery.

i went to the national portrait gallery today to check out the lucian freud exhibit, but ended up spending more time with the permanent collection instead. in the past when i have visited, i only view the special exhibitions... i have never really taken the time to explore the rest of the gallery.

...i am glad i took the time today. it really is beautiful... the curation is near perfect and the portraits themselves are remarkable... the talent of the artists is impressive... the paint seems to glimmer off the canvas with life, despite the age of much of the work. i guess they kind of had to be amazing, as they were painting for royalty and they might just get their heads cut off if it wasn't satisfactory. heh.

it's interesting to me how the portraits command the respect of the viewer; i can only imagine what it must have been like to live under these historical figures who demanded such devotion. to live under the rule of a monarchy and have everything you do be for the love of your country... for your king and queen, who ultimately are the country. and it seems that sentiment is still ingrained in the culture to some degree... the people still love their royal family. (people seem to be pretty stoked on the queen's diamond jubilee coming up in june...)

so thinking about all of this as i poured over each portrait was interesting... especially when i got to the tudor rooms (historically accurate or not, i was obsessed with that show when it was on)... the sociology... the anthropology... the history... and again just the stand alone awesomeness of the art... there's a lot going on there. the commentary of many of the pieces was also quite interesting... painting each figure in the best possible light, leaving out any atrocities.

if you haven't yet visited the gallery and are headed to london, i highly recommend that you fit it into your itinerary. it's... interesting... and beautiful.

No comments: