Two Galleries

One of the things I frequently do in London is go to the 14:30 free tour at The National Gallery. Held every day, a guide takes you through 3 or 4 of the galleries, and talks about a dozen or so paintings. The tour is always different, depending on the guide or the size of the group, or how busy particular galleries are will dictate which pictures you look at. It’s one of the best one hours you can spend in central London.

I did it again a few weeks ago, when I was in London, and I came away once more loving this picture and determined to learn more about it.

Paolo Veronese, 1528 - 1588 The Family of Darius before Alexander 1565-7 Oil on canvas, 236.2 x 474.9 cm Bought, 1857 NG294
Paolo Veronese, 1528 – 1588. The Family of Darius before Alexander. 1565-7
Oil on canvas, 236.2 x 474.9 cm
Bought, 1857 NG294

Later that same day, I met up with an old colleague. We haven’t seen each other for 10 years, not since we did TEFL training together at a very dodgy TEFL school in London. She is still teaching, but spends her pleasure hours in her studio in south London, and she very kindly offered to show me around.

Wimbledon Art Studios had just had their open day, so a lot of art was still hanging around in the hallways. It’s a private studio rental complex, and as we walked its maze of corridors we came across paintings, collages, furniture, clothing, prints, sculptures. It was amazing!

Laura Stamps works in bright bold colours, scenes of uncomplicated domesticity that are rendered beautiful by the use of colour. I really liked her small work, especially one of a man’s neck and tie, the tie pulled slightly to the side, as though he had just loosened it. It was incredibly intimate, like looking in on something personal, and a little bit naughty.

Two very different galleries, two wonderful experiences.

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Nat Newman - portrait

Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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