Friday, 26 October 2012

More (Post) Preraphaelite Lushness.

I went to the Love and Death exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery today. I didn't know this was on until James Ryman mentioned it, there hasn't been much publicity, it seems, at least not that I'd noticed.

It was really the icing on the cake, after recent culture-vulturing, especially having half a dozen of my all-time favourite paintings hanging in one room. To wit:

Picture the scene; on one wall, Lord Leighton's 'Bath of Psyche', and 'Medea' and 'Morgan le Fay' by Sandys.

On the second wall, Waterhouse's 'Magic Circle', 'The Lady of Shalott' and 'St Eulalia

On the third, 'The All Pervading' by George Frederic Watts, and 'Love Locked Out' by Anna Merritt...

On the fourth, works including 'Lament for Icarus' by Herbert Draper.

Also in the room (where I would happily have set up home) was a beguiling bronze figure of Circe by Edgar Bertram Mackennal, who has a new fan in me. Photos of sculptures seldom convey much of their presence and power...

Elsewhere some pretty intricate works by the likes of Alma-Tadema.

Burne Jones was also well represented...
as was Rossetti and Albert Moore, but they don't do it for me so much. (I find the absence of narrative subject matter in Moore a bit unsatisfactory, but there we go...)

Many of these are borrowed from Tate Britain, and I had missed them there. The rest of the museum at Brum is pretty interesting, including the Staffordshire hoard of broken up but intricate Saxon treasures, more paintings from various periods, Ancient Egyptian stuff, a room full of Buddhas, and a little display about Olaudah Equiano, a former slave who became an abolitionist after some interesting adventures.

On the way back I found a cheap book shop, and bought among other art books 'Magic and Myth, the art of John Howe.'

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Preraphaelites, Grail Castles, dragons, and the treasure of the Knights Templar

On 3 October I went to the Preraphaelites exhibition at Tate Britain in London. A very impressive, very comprehensive exhibition featuring pretty much all the great works by the brotherhood. (So much so that it took up the whole day and we didn't get to see the Edvard Munch exhibition across the river- Preraphaelites win over Munch, it seems.) I made a souvenir slideshow for youtube which can be seen here:

Some of the exhibits were very up my street, especially those with a medievalist flavour. There were some specimens of the Holy Grail (Morris and Burne Jones) tapestries, the complete sequence of which I had seen previously in an exhibition in Birmingham.

Last week (7-13th) I went on a trip to Bavaria. Visited medieval Rotehenburg, which is a mixture of pretty quaintness with a slightly eerie atmosphere, like something out of a gothic novel. especially on a slightly gloomy day.

Also went to Nuremberg, and Ulm, and Blaubueren, where there is a pool of extraordinarily blue water, called the Blautopf, with a mill on it and overlooked on the other side by an abbey. It is the source of the river Blau, and is said to be the home of a water nymph (who pours a pot of ink into it on a regular basis).

Perhaps best of all Neuschwanstein Castle- the fantasy construction of the much misunderstood King Ludwig II.

Was treat to a spectacular glipmse of the beautiful castle above the mist, from the bridge that spans an awesome gorge between the mountains, ajacent. The castle itself contains exquisite murals featuring scenes from medieval legends, including Tristra and Isolde, Tannhauser, Lohengrin and Parsifal (Percival).

Very, very me, once again! And when I left the enchanted castle vanished completely.

On a slightly related note, I have gotten hold of the treasure of the Knights Templar. Eastgate resource have send me samples of the range of Templar-inspired jewelry that I designed for them. I have also seen a dragon. Nemesis Now have sent me pictures of the architectural dragon lamp that I designed for them, and I am very pleased with what they have produced. It has gone down well with the good people on Deviantart, too...