The National Gallery visit - the History of Western Art

The National Gallery visit - the History of Western Art

26 Nov 2019 - 20:32 BY Paddy O’Donnell

On November 14th a large party from the Arts Society Woburn Area travelled by coach to The National Gallery. We were met by David, a Blue Guide, who took us on a tour of the gallery’s treasures to illustrate the development of Western Art. Starting with Cimabue and ending with Van Gogh, we were shown numerous masterpieces including the Walton Diptych, Holbein’s Ambassadors, the Rokeby Venus, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne, and Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus. We saw the re-birth of movement and perspective in the 15th century in Italy and the Low Countries; Baroque and Rococo Art introduced non-religious subjects as painting became more representative of real life and events.  We saw how Turner and Constable changed the status of landscape painting from mere background to the glory of nature, and how Impressionism focused on depicting a moment in time rather than prolonged study.  A terrific tour, with lunch in between, that was the perfect length not to overwhelm us with the riches on display. A guided tour, rather than a solo meander through the huge range of paintings, proved to be vastly more informative and satisfying.

Paddy

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