Monday, May 18, 2009

museums, continued

I haven't written yet about seeing Oxford, but I will. After we saw Oxford we returned to London on the train. I called my friend who moved to London last summer (more on her later). She invited me to a private tour of the Picasso exhibit at the National Gallery that evening. Her friend's husband is a bigwig at the bank that sponsored the exhibit, so this lady organized a tour for her women's club. Since it was for a women's group, J couldn't go. However, he had some work to do that evening anyway. I was completely exhausted from running around Oxford all day and the blisters on my feet were causing me all kinds of trouble. But like I was going to pass this up!

It was not a large exhibit, but I loved how it was organized: thematically by room and then chronologically within each room. Some of the themes of the rooms were the traditional Spanish male, the female nude, still life, and the pensive woman. I had seen a few of the works at Barcelona's Picasso museum two years ago, like Picasso's take on Las Meninas. (It was so great to have just seen Las Meninas at the Prado!) My favorite of this exhibit was "Seated Musketeer with a Sword." Isn't it so ALivE? This one is part of a private collection. I learned something valuable from the lady who gave us the tour. She said that at any exhibit, look for the paintings that are part of a private collection because it is less likely you'll be able to see them again any time soon. Our guide was very passionate, knowledgeable, and engaging.
I was struck by the contrast between the nude women and the pensive women. Evidently, for Picasso, there were the women he slept with and then those he didn't. Nude vs. pensive, end of story.

It was SO awesome to be able to stroll around the exhibit without hordes of people! I totally felt like a VIP, or at the very least, the friend of a friend of the wife of a VIP.

My feet did ache and I could barely keep awake at restaurant we went to after the seeing the exhibit, but oh, how incredibly worth it!


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Wow! What a unique opportunity.

celtishbee said...

I'm so envious!

Dave Thurston said...

Embracing something that you love - whether it is something as obvious as one's own children . . . or (perhaps less obvious) as one's passion for art is (well) just Brilliant.

And if your feet had trouble keeping up, good for you brain and your passion to force them.

Mama Ava said...

Maybe they were pensive because of the lost opportunity at being with Picasso, eh? :-)

What a great opportunity. I know very little about art, really, and even Cameron's homeschool art class one year gave me enough information to really appreciate some things. I'd love to do a small tour like that!

athena said...

lucky you to have had the opportunity to have a private tour! sounds like you enjoyed your travels. looks like you did a lot of planning too.