Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Second Day in London

St. Peters (This was the only shot I could get without a wide angle lens.)


Shakespeare's Globe Theater


A random shot of the Thames at night


Parliament and Big Ben at dusk


The London Eye from the north side of the Thames


Slept late this morning. I was either tired from all the walking the previous day, haven't adjusted to the time difference yet -- which is unlikely since it's only five hours -- or most likely, I was simply being lazy. And so, with all the strength I could muster, I rolled out of bed, fell out, and headed to The National Gallery.

Nearly everything in the gallery, which is huge, from the 13th to the 17th century is either a terribly boring portraiture, or a commissioned work by the Catholic Church, because after 400 years, the church felt that they did not own enough paintings of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. To me this is an unhealthy obsession, but I digress. I like El Greco, even though his subject matter was narrow, e.g. Jesus, he painted the dude like he was going to a disco. And for a 17th century painter, his work always looks modern to me. With the exception of Salvator Rosa's Witches at their Incantations (bizarre), there wasn't a lot of other work made before the 17th century that made me stop and stare for more than a minute. I saw a few unfinished Michaelangelo paintings, and a da Vinci cartoon (a sketch for a painting), neither of which exemplified how good those guys were. Then I saw some self portraits by Rembrandt (awesome), some Vermeer (I'm aware of his use of light and the historical context, but his work is boring), Rubens, and Caravaggio. After walking and looking at every painting in about 45 rooms, I spent the remaining time ogling the impressionists. I saw a bunch of Turner's, who could paint the living shit out of a seascape. And then there were some Degas, Cezanne, Lautrec, Monet (better than Manet), and Seurat (a masochist) works. I even saw a Klimt and Redon (highly underrated). Seeing the Van Gogh work was the icing. There was a crowd around his Sunflowers, which is iconic, but for me, The Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Paul Hospital confirmed the fact that the guy was a mad genius (he painted it during a year long stay at an insane asylum!). The painting is so far beyond the work of his contemporaries, cutting off his own ear is no surprise.

5 comments:

  1. I want to thank you for letting us live vicariously through you. At least one of us is living life the way we should.

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  2. Oh and get some European Ass!!! Even if you have to pay...

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  3. BTW, since you have been out the JFC has climbed steadily. We broke 50 this morning. James thinks it is a result of Tourette's.

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  4. @scavange, i honestly wouldn't be surpried.
    taking time from work this weekend to post on adam's blog. freakin' cheap ass shoe company :/

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  5. George, unfortunately England ain't cheap. I felt like a pauper over there.

    Four, sounds like the JFC is at an all time high. Meaning, you need to start arming yourself. I'd also get a mirror so you can literally watch your back.

    James, sorry. I hope it hasn't been too bad.

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