Out for the Day

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]After several days of thunderstorms, torrential downpours and flash flooding, yesterday it dried up enough for a trip to the city. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery have a small portrait exhibition on through the summer and we were keen to see the star of the show – the last self portrait painted by Sir Anthony Van Dyck c. 1640.

selfportrait

The frame itself is a magnificent work of art!

sleeve

But after admiring the beautifully luminous face and the way his eyes engaged with the onlooker over the space of nearly 400 years what struck me most was the economical way he had painted his clothing. This was a very small exhibition and not all of it to my taste but before  we left the building we wandered through the rest of the galleries to see favourite paintings old and new.

reclining

I had never seen this painting by William Russell Flint before. It’s called ‘Silver and Gold’ and was painted in 1931.

lace

It can be overwhelming to see so many paintings unless you focus on a particular aspect, so with Van Dyck’s jacket in mind I was drawn to the almost abstract treatment of the shiny fabrics on the reclining figure. Studied close up they are no more than daubs and dots but step back and they become completely convincing depictions of lace.

music

In the Dutch genre painting by Jacob Ochtervelt c. 1670 the satin of the musician’s gown positively glows.

satin

It’s a virtuoso performance in painting drapery!

ruff

Nicolaes Pickenoy painted this portrait of an unknown woman in 1630.

cuff

The exquisite painting of the ruff and the embroidered sleeves with their lace cuffs shine out of the darkness.

lacelely

In my ignorance I have often completely ignored the paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds thinking they were ‘not my thing’. I may have to reconsider because look at how beautifully he painted Sarah’s lace sleeves in his 1765 portrait of The Roffey Family. An amazing talent.

mandolin

I could go on and on with the riches of the gallery but I’ll finish with a detail of ‘Musica’ painted around 1895 by Kate Elizabeth Bunce. She trained at the Birmingham School of Art and was an admirer of the PreRaphaelite movement.Don’t you just love the embroidered dress her model is wearing? Wish I could paint like that – better get some more practice in!

No visit to Birmingham would be complete without a quick whizz round the Rag Market. Of course we did find some bargains and I’ll show you them next time.

Thanks for visiting today.

Love Linda x[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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