Monday, April 13, 2015

portrait gallery

My folks came for a nice long visit over the Easter holiday, and to show them around and to celebrate Jason's birthday, we took a day trip to London -- where I selfishly promoted my own agenda of going to the National Portrait Gallery:

My dad (who is also an artist) and I were especially taken with the studies on display, where the ground of the canvas was exposed, and the garments only sketched in around the beautifully modeled head. It was such a marvelous trompe l'oeil, and made me see how truly bizarre it is to describe a three-dimensional image on a flat surface. 

I could have stayed there all day, marveling at the rich tones and impossible fabrics, and the fact that many of those subjects were gazing out at us from over three hundred years ago. Can you imagine? It's only paint, arranged on canvas, and yet the fact of that singular human is preserved through all that time, its skin still luminous, its presence still eerily close. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a super day, and I was impressed with how well the kids did at the portrait gallery and how long they stayed occupied. Thanks for sharing Jason's birthday with us! Jan