Friday, 12 May 2017

What's Happening?.


 Manet's painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergere was the highlight of my trip to The Courtauld Gallery. There is something rather sad and remote about the hostess'  expression that catches the eye and it draws the viewer into the painting and the girl's possible backstory.
I listened to two elderly thespian types who described the subject as a prostitute which perhaps makes sense of her withdrawn, slightly uninterested look. I enjoyed hearing and experiencing their passion for the paintings as they tottered around.
The Courtauld was quiet, a thing I love when I visit a gallery or museum The silence and space, free of bodies allows you to think about the paintings properly


Today couldn't be more different. The weather is colder and damp, and the dogs are uncharacteristically quiet as they always are after the excitement of being away. I must also thank blog reader Amy today who sent me a blanket to forward on to Auntie Glad.which I will do next week, a very kind thought, thank you!


The Welsh poppies, lively in their yellow, spring colour are flowering in the garden. They have lightened the day


27 comments:

  1. I haven't been to a quiet art museum in I don't know how long. Seems like they're always packed to the gills!

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  2. Auntie Glad will love that blanket. What a lovely gift.

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  3. I've never been to a busy art gallery. To sit there in the quiet, contemplating, is akin to sitting on a dock alone, watching the sun set.

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  4. what a thoughtful gift for auntie glad!

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  5. I do agree that silence and space mean works of art can be appreciated properly. I was at the London Tate in late December and it was hard to enjoy the art with so many people milling around. The Tate Liverpool is a much more rewarding gallery from that point of view.

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  6. The woman in the picture was called Suzon and there is no evidence that she was a prostitute. She was just a barmaid in the Folies-Bergere. She is the only person in the picture who is real. All the others are in the mirror - illusions. A very interesting painting.

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    1. I find Manet's perspectives slightly out , i am interested in your history of the painting.....do you know more about the use of reflections in the painting

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    2. I know that she was painted in Manet's studio and that the people in the mirror were developed from Manet's many sketches of customers of The Folies-Bergere. It's an amalgam of different images but as I suggest, only she is "real". What ultimately matters is surely how we the onlookers respond to pictures emotionally and I am pleased that this particular picture made you pause for thought.

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    3. my take? she has to listen to drunk customers all evening and she's tired of being hit on by idiot str8 men. she has 1 hour to go on her shift and cannot WAIT to get the hell outta there!

      meanwhile, Toulouse-Lautrec is in the corner, getting pissed on absinthe and sketching all the dancers.

      how's THAT for a narrative? :)

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    4. As valid as any other assessment my friend x

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    5. I totally agree with anne marie .. you can almost hear her sigh and hope that the night is almost over .. as she slips her foot out of one shoe and tries to ease the ache.

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  7. Glad you had a good time in the big city! Hope that the blanket goes down well!

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  8. I've had a very quick review of your recent posts, and can tell that you are as busy as ever.
    I have always loved that Manet painting, and have visited it many times over the years. It is beautifully painted. Sometimes when looking at it I have actually begun to cry.
    Best wishes to you and yours.

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    1. It struck me like that frances.....i found it incredibly moving

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  9. I remember my first trip to London , so many years ago, walking into the Tate Gallery and weeping from happiness ...

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  10. I am very fond of Toulous Lautrec and at an exhibition of his work many years ago in London I was moved to tears also. I couldn't understand why everybody walked around looking at the same paintings as me in total silence. I couldn't keep quiet.

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    1. The Courtauld permanent collection is one of the best in London. One of my favourite galleries to visit.

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    2. :)
      I so completely understand and know how you felt.

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  11. It was learning about the Impressionist artists at high school, many years ago, that made me want to paint. Talk about a light bulb going on. Though I paint mainly birds and beasts not sad ladies now.

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  12. Love that painting - one of my favourites for lots of reasons John.
    Love that blanket for Aunt Glad and the really kind thought behind it.
    Love those Welsh poppies which brighten a dull day. Two really warm sunny days is about all we can manage isn't it?
    What is not to like about your lovely cheery post John.

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  13. If there's no sun in the sky, at least you have it in the garden... and to deliver to Auntie Glad. I'd say Amy is a little bit of sunshine herself.

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  14. I have always thought she was a working girl who had to scrape by and worked long hours on her feet. All the false gaiety, drunks, wine, and lovely clothes. Some days you are just weary.
    I find I get that look when your are just so tired and living by rote.
    You have such a beautiful garden.

    cheers, parsnip

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  15. The blanket is lovely. In thought and execution.
    Quite galleries are bliss aren't they?

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  17. Nice lass that Amy . . .
    Surely Auntie Glad will enjoy . . .
    Quiet in a gallery is added joy . . .

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  18. She is so fab. So real, in that crazy world of heightened reality.

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  19. Love the Welsh poppies...I've got yellow and orange ones in my garden!
    Arilx

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