Monday, November 19, 2012

The Four Muses: My Visit to the National Gallery


Muse  (myooz)
noun
1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
2. muse
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.

Modern words deriving from the god Muses: Museum, Music.


During my recent trip to Europe, I found my own four Muses: The National Gallery, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern and Musée du Louvre. This is a series of four blogs that will share my favorite works and possibly a few snapshots.
  

Part 1 of 4: The National Gallery

This wonderful gallery is situated in London at Trafalgar Square.  It houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to the 19th century.  Works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh and more can be seen here for free Monday through Saturday.


Snapshot of The National Gallery facade.

Rear view of Nelson's Column...There's Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the background!

Loved these four bronze lions by Edwin Landseer and Baron Carlo Marochetti at the base of Nelson's Column.  They are said to represent Admiral Horatio Nelson's four greatest victories.


After a day at the museum, I went for a cocktail at Vista, the roof-top bar at The Trafalgar Hotel.  Suggested to me by my very well-traveled best friend, I was able to relax after my day at the museum and take in the area.

This snapshot from Vista shows Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery and Nelson's Column.


Here are a few of my favorite and most memorable works from The National Gallery:


The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, Paul Delaroche, 1833

The Four Ages of Man, Valentin de Boulogne, about 1629

Mademoiselle Brongniart, Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun, 1788

Mary Magdalene, Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo, about 1535-40

The Umbrellas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, about 1881-6

Judith in the Tent of Holofernes, Johann Liss, about 1622

The Execution of Maximilian, Edouard Manet, about 1867-8 


Studies for 'La Grande Jatte', Georges Seurat, 1884-5

The Arnolfini Portrait, Jan Van Eyck, 1434

Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, Francois Hubert Drouais, 1763-4


Next up, Muse number two, The Victoria & Albert Museum...


XOXO,

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