Monday, 7 April 2014

Tate Britain Visit (05/04/14)

The first gallery I visited in London was Tate Britain as there were J M W Turner paintings I wanted to see and I also wanted to see the John William Waterhouse painting 'The Lady of Shalott' as this is one of my favorite paintings. J M W Turner is probably my favorite painter and his landscape paintings have been a key influence in my landscape work in terms of composition and colour pallet. Out of all his paintings I saw in London the one I was most impressed by was the painting titled 'The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire' at Tate Britain. The painting has an amazing sense of presence due to its large scale and vibrant colour pallet, the most amazing thing I found about the painting is how Turner has managed to create sunset light and shadows, all the architecture has a late afternoon orange glow and long shadows, it is like looking at a photograph in the lights sense of realism. I also saw his painting 'Dido building Carthage' in the National gallery so it was nice to see his version of the city in its beginning and end. Another painting I was looking forward to seeing was John William Waterhouse's 'The Lady of Shalott' (I visited London last year and was hoping to see it however at the time the painting had been lent to the Birmingham Art Gallery so I didn't get a chance to see it). Seeing the original painting was amazing as it is very beautiful in its appearance and poetic subject matter, however the painting was exhibited high on the wall and the light glared of its glass frame so you had to stand very face away to see the painting which was quite annoying. Another highlight was seeing William Holman Hunt’s painting ‘Our English Coasts’, I was shocked at how small the painting was as it holds an amazing amount of detail so I thought it would have been much bigger. The Pre-Raphaelite movement is one of my favorite art movements and a lot of their paintings are in London, Manchester and Birmingham so I’m privileged to have seen a lot of their work. I didn't stay in the gallery long enough to see everything as I had to go to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery before they closed. 

J M W Turner 'The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire' 

John William Waterhouse 'The Lady of Shalott'

William Holman Hunt 'Our English Coasts (Strayed Sheep 1852)' (I couldn't believe how small this painting is.)