Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cold enough to split stones @ The National Gallery London

An art escape

If I should go missing on any given day, you will often find me (if not painting, then) at an art gallery.  It is my escape, where I make sense, where I inhale and from where I return : )

I spent an hour watching an artist and copyist, repeat a work of art hung in the National Gallery in London.  It escaped me to note the title and artist of the original work, because I was engrossed with the present artist' practise of repeating the work.  With any act of creation, there is an intensity between the subject and the creator.  And I suppose, I stood just observing the marvel of artistic intensity........

I followed this by attending a lecture on Impressionist Snow Scenes at the gallery.  The title of the blog post is from a quote by a journalist on witnessing the artist Claude Monet painting en plein air in the depths of winter to capture a snow scene.  Bundled under three heavy coats and barely able to feel his own hands.

Impressionist oil paintings may appear mild through popularisation, but at the time they were the avant garde, critiqued as "lazy and slapdash", but what they were giving was a sense of the ephemera and not meticulous depiction. We are not only to observe but to sense.  That is essentially what art, in its forms, is intended to motivate.

 Aphorism by Friedrich Nietzsch on art and artists from his book Human, All too Human, I found via Red.Yellow.Blue


  1. Love the Monet painting, and how interesting to watch someone copy a painting.

  2. Lovely. The National Gallery is one of my favourite escapes in London. I've always wanted to just sit and watch one of the copyists but sort of felt like I was intruding on an intimate experience. Maybe if I'm lucky enough to go again I'll follow your lead~

  3. I love to spend time in museums too. I am reading Ross King's "The Judgement of Paris" these days, about the birth of the Impressionist movement in Paris in the 19th century. Thank you for showing us Monet's painting.
    As for the person copying the original painting - I believe this has been practised by many art students for the purpose of learning techniques of the great artists.

  4. I did not know museums let artists inside to copy original artwork. Interesting!

    1. Thanks everyone for dropping by and adding to the discussion : )

    2. I wrote this as my own small thought piece on intensity and art, as I was walking.