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a gallery per day: monday

allright kids - i tried it this way, but blogging each day about galleries, doesn't leave much room for blogging about other stuff like the quirky things i'm learning about london, or the weird keywords that people google and end up here, or a supposition about the relationship between jan van eyck and text. and so on. so, this is the last time i'm doing a small one. next week we're back to the chunky digest of 'a gallery per day'. apologies to jade and others who prefer to absorb the info slowly.

the national gallery
sainsbury wing, room 53-56 - paintings 1200-1500

by now, if you've been reading for a while, you'll know that mondays is national gallery day and thursdays is tate modern day. for today's trip to the nat, i hung out in rooms 53 - 56, featuring altarpieces and gilted framed works from the italians up until the beginning of the 15th century and then the last room was the northern renaissance kids - Roger van Weyden and Jan van Eyck. more on jan and roger tomorrow (or the next day).

while i was floating around the italian works, i was transported back to my childhood and the stations of the cross that lined our primary school church. i don't even remember exactly what they looked like, but i remember looking at them all the time. probably while i was tuning out from the service. last year my colleage and i were asked about our childhood art education, as part of creative education research. i spoke about my more traditional visual upbringing in the catholic system - those stations of the cross, stained glassed windows, bible illustrations and mrs vromen, my super-supportive grade 1 teacher. years later, i graduated from a more traditional art school. my colleague, who went to a montessori primary school spoke of coloured forms and brightly coloured curtains specifically made for visual response and she graduated from a more progressive art school. interesting, no?

anyway, back to the sainsbury wing, i realised that i knew, for the most part, what was happening and what the story was in these old works, because i was taught the bible stories in the same way - through visual [as opposed to written] communication. my understanding of the importance of such work has deepened now. not just for pretty pictures, but for education. religious pictograms, if you like.

in one of the rooms, i stumbled upon a Donatello painted relief work, Virgin and Child with Saints and Musician Angels (c.1425-32) (above), and stood drawing that for a while, in awe of the way he created space and what an influence he had.

i credit Donatello with the renaissance. i think hanson & hanson (my first year art history text book) do too, but more people should, in my not-so-humble opinion. when the average joe hears the renaissance, he should think 'donatello' rather than 'michaelangelo', as without one, you wouldn't have the other. but then, donatello wasn't fucking a medici. some things never change.

back to Donatello, i gained a deeper understanding of the context of the period in relation to Dante and his divine comedy, even though they're a century apart from each other. however, donatello, a florentine, created works influenced by dante, a fellow florentine and through being surrounded by works from 13-14th C florence, i grasped a smidgin of the depth of the literary work - each level of hell, just that little bit clearer and more inspiring. this will crop up again later, i'm sure.



At 22 May, 2007 08:19, Anonymous Jade said...

I'm sure I'll survive, and if it means other interesting posts as well, then I'm all for it!

At 23 May, 2007 07:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you're on to galleries, but I heard about this building on the BBC last night and thought you might be interested, having visited there recently.
They’re calling it the ‘belly-dancing building’:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Arab city with the palm-shaped islands and the sail-shaped hotel is adding to its eclectic skyline by building the world's first rotating skyscraper, a 30-story apartment tower that revolves on its base.
The tower, announced Wednesday, will use the Persian Gulf's abundant sunshine to power the building's slow rotation that brings it full circle once a week, said Nick Cooper, a British engineer designing the rotation mechanism.
"This will be a fair building," said Cooper, of M.G. Bennett and Associates Ltd. of Rotherham, England. "Everybody will have the same views for the same amount of time, so you won't have certain rooms with the best view."
The 80,000-ton building with 200 apartments will sit on a giant bearing 30 yards in diameter, coated with a nearly frictionless polymer, Cooper said. Twenty small electric engines will turn the building a few degrees each hour, Cooper said.
"It will be indexing around on the hour," Cooper said. "It moves very slowly. It's not a theme park ride."
But a theme park's manmade lakes, malls and simulated dinosaur park will be the primary view from the so-called Time Residences. The developer plans to complete the structure by 2009 as a centrepiece in the giant Dubailand amusement park now under construction. Work on the rotating tower is supposed to begin in June. Cooper’s previous rotating projects include the drill machine that bored the English Channel Tunnel and a rotating rock crushing unit used in giant mining operations. Dubai has used a slew of announcements of iconic project to generate publicity. Most — but not all — end up being built. The city's three palm shaped islands are in various states of completion. The smallest is nearly finished while construction of the largest has been halted.
Other improbable projects have been scrapped or delayed, including a heavily touted underwater hotel that was cancelled. Plans call for the rotating building to incorporate a swimming pool and a crescent-shaped "moon lounge" on the rooftop, with a theatre and observatory.
“Not only will it defy the laws of gravity and momentum, but also it stands to redefine the standards for luxury living in the region and the world," said Tav Singh of developer Dubai Property Ring.

At 23 May, 2007 10:31, Blogger lauren said...

thanks anonymous.. yeah, Palm Jumeira is the one that's almost finished. although maybe i didn't mention it in my post on dubai, i was aware of it - proof of how nutty those emirati kids are about their architecture. Along with the Palm Deira and Jumeira, they're building a new Louvre out in the ocean on created land too... funny bastards.


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