Reading List

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Touching the swirls

I went to the National Gallery in London on Friday night. Even if you've been before, I really recommend making a special trip for a late opening.

As the crowds thin out, you get a sensation of being somewhere you shouldn't be. And by 9 o'clock you can find yourself completely alone with best of Van Gogh, Vermeer & Co.

I'm often struck by how even the most familiar painting takes on a new life when you see the original. With Van Gogh's Sunflowers, say, those big yellows and oranges become so vibrant, the paint's texture is more pronounced and you find yourself wanting to reach out and touch the swirls.

Now ok there are no Sunflowers in my collection, I know. But there are some cards which are masterpieces in their own way, and I just wonder - is something lost when they are reproduced on the web? Hope not.

If postcards did make their way into a gallery, this week's card would be the star turn. Roped off and possibly with its own room, it is the biggie. Rest assured, I'll be returning to in future weeks.

So, ladies and gents, make sure your coats are safely in the cloakroom. Mobiles/Cellphones are switched off. And you're speaking in your best gallery whisper.

Miss Emerson's fate is at stake...

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