Saturday, January 2, 2010

Turner collection in the National Gallery

Each January the National Gallery of Ireland exhibits a collection of watercolours by Turner, so on New Year's Day I walked through the beautifully ice-covered streets to see if I'd like it.

And... I did. The descriptive text on the walls is helpful and puts a good context on the artwork. As someone with the artistic talents of a dead fish, I need all the help I can get with that - I usually find that without knowing about the artist / historical context, I get very little from a painting.

There are lectures available on Tuesdays and Sundays throughout January:
http://www.nationalgallery.ie/html/press32.html

One caveat: unless you're a real connoisseur - I'm not - you'll get through this exhibition quickly, so if you go to see it plan to see other exhibits as well. I'd suggest having a look at 'Silhouettes and Miniatures' right next to the Turner section: it'll only take a few minutes but it's interesting. There's one silhouette of an unnamed girl, maybe 20, very pretty, with a strange soft edge to the image around her hair, which must have been quite frizzy. It's disconcerting to think a girl is pretty and realise at the same time that she's probably been dead for the best part of two centuries.