Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Turner from the Tate

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Saw the Turner exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia today, down in Canberra where it is.  (I am in Sydney now, and back in civilization.)  What a magnificent exhibition!  What a magnificent artist!  I want all of his pictures, all of them!  (Well, most of them.)  (Of course, I wouldn’t have much room to put them, let alone the money to buy them.  Sigh!)

There was a painting there called “Dido and Aeneas” (or something like that), and I realised, as I was looking at it, that I knew the story of Dido and Aeneas.  Or the summary of it, anyway.  I certainly knew the dynamic – either Dido and Aeneas are enjoying each other’s company immensely, or Dido is rather distraught that Aeneas has left. So what do you know?  I’m becoming versed in the classics, it seems.  Two years ago I would have had no idea.

I bought three prints for $10 each, which is something I don’t usually do, especially considering that the last print I bought – of Van Gogh’s second starry night (I don’t think it was the most famous one) – is still rolled up waiting to be put somewhere.  But these prints are A3 in size, and much easier to fit on a wall.  I got: “Peace – Burial at Sea”, which I thought very moodily funereal yet slightly hopeful perhaps; “Spithead: Two Captured Danish Ships Entering Portsmouth Harbour”, which I thought rather exciting and grand and open and free-spirited; and “Rome, from the Vatican.  Raffaelle, Accompanied by La Fornarina, Preparing his Pictures for the Decoration of the Loggia”, which I thought rather splendorous and artistic and a nice view of beyond for when I’m writing on my bed.  So they capture three different moods that, perhaps, I can channel when writing.

I also bought five books.  First, the exhibition catalogue for $40.  Second, Our Mutual Friend by Dickens.  Third, Little Dorrit by Dickens.  Fourth, Hard Times by Dickens.  Fifth, Barnaby Rudge by Dickens.  The Dickens were $10 each.  Yet there was an offer on – “by one book and get 10% off, two books and get 20%, three books and get 30%”.  So it all ended up costing around $55, which I thought a pretty good deal.  (I was amazed, too, that the Dickens, even at the full Gallery price of $10, were cheaper than I could’ve got anywhere else – ie, Book Depository.)  And now, apart from the Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the Christmas collected stories, I have all of Dickens’ novels.

I feel I should say more about the exhibition – indeed, I wrote down the opening line of a sonnet to one of the paintings (I can’t be bothered remembering the name, though it had a muted rainbow).  I had this idea, I think, of Keats and his Grecian Urn, or maybe Mussgorsky and his Pictures.  Who knows.  Perhaps I may do something when I look more closely into the catalogue later on.  (And speaking of catalogues, I should start reading that Art History book at some point, too.)



Written by epistemysics

August 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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