Sunday, August 8, 2010

National Gallery, unedited notes from a short visit

Crowds of people. I went only to the rooms with late 19th -- early 20th century painting, and to the exhibition of children's work in the basement. Some notes:

Toulouse-Lautrec – Portrait of Emile Bernard, 1886. Dead on drawing. Bernard is a little boy.

Van Gogh's Mother by a Cradle 1887 – lively surface –  the hatching really does animate it.

Van Gogh – Chair – visibly raised ridges of paint.

Van Gogh – Farm Near Auvers – not as good as reproduction – thin, paler, smaller than expected.

Van Gogh – Wheatfield with Cypresses, 1889 – don't know this one, lovely composition, very bright and alive – but is it rather too neat? (under glass)

Picasso's Child With a Dove – under glass, 1901, nice surface.

The Cezanne Old Woman With A Rosary – great because of abstract patterns of light, dark and colour, + sense of depth.

Renoir, The Umbrellas. This was popular culture, but upmarket. Such great drawing – every hand, every foot (except one?)

Manet – Corner of a Cafe – horrible drawing of man's left arm (blue smock).

Ingres –  Monsieur de Norvins, 1811-12 – large black area perfectly varnished, not sunk or uneven.

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