Hard to believe it was over a month ago I was in the National Gallery looking at these paintings.

Sometimes I look at these famous pictures for real – and I’ve seen them so many times – that I don’t think I really SEE them.

So on this visit I looked for the details.

Caneletto – Venice a regatta on the Grand Canal 1740.

Caneletto  Vencie A regatta on the grand canal  1740  full

Who are these people gossiping?  What are the talking about?  Are they waiting for a boat?

Caneletto  Vencie A regatta on the grand canal  1740 

Another picture from Caneletto (Venice 1728)

Caneletto Venice 1728

As well as the grand buildings there are men and women going about daily business.  Children too – Look at the mother leaving her broom and rushing to help her toddler.

Caneletto Venice 1728 2

 Constable 1820 – Straford Mill.

I’ve never seen the horse having a drink before.

Constable 1820 Straford Mill 2

How about the children fishing?  You can imagine the conversation of these two, looking down to see if they’ve caught a fish for dinner.

Constable 1820 Straford Mill

Who could fail to love Hogarth and his humour?  (Hogarth, 1743, Marriage a la mode scene 4).

Hogarth 1743 Marriage A la Mode 4

Religious paintings don’t generally capture my imagination but who could resist these pinks, reds and oranges?  Still vibrant after five hundred years.
(Workshop of Durer 1500-1510)

Rkshop of Durer 1500 10

Rubens is a master of drawing the eye from the very front of the hedgerow – with all the flower detail – along and into the very back of the painting  
(Ruben Autumn Landscape 1636)

Rubens  Autumn Landscape  1636

Turner – Dido building Carthage 1815

Before Turner discovered the use of the colour yellow he painted scenes such as this.  

Turner  Dido building Carthage  1815 full

Are these people looking at maps?  What are the children talking about or are they playing a game?

Turner Dido building Carthage 1815

Another Turner  – Fishermen cleaning and selling fish – before 1807, detail of the woman working, the men drinking (and making deals?) and the fish arriving.

Turner before Fishermen cleaning and selling fish 1807 close1

And two more pictures I must show you.  Another Turner – Odysseus 1829.

I was standing looking at this when a guy commented on how wonderful a painting it was.  
I had to smile (a stranger talking to me in London!) and said you could almost feel the warmth radiating from the canvas.  He agreed.
 Lovely to share the moment with a total stranger. 

Turner 1829 Odysse

This painting always makes me stop and look.  Delaroche – The execution of Lady Jane Grey 1833.

Very much a metaphor for a woman being manipulated by a man into the position he wants her to hold. 

The execution of Lady Jane Grey  Delaroche  1833




One thought on “National Gallery Visit

  • 24/12/2014 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Helen

    I am always surprised that I have not really looked at a painting, when I think I have, if you know what I mean. It takes someone else to point stuff out to me!!


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