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Recommending Direct Art Experiences

Art galleries can be amazing places. Many of which, hold up as pieces of art in their own right.  I have been fortunate enough to visit a fair few and would recommend all to pay a visit to a gallery whenever the opportunity arises.   ( in the UK, we have the added bonus that many major galleries have free admission)


For a true experience, Art needs to be seen first-hand.  Prints or photos tend not to be accurate colour renditions and therefore do not do them justice!  They also do not take into account the element of size, which is crucial to a work 
(If you do not understand this regarding colour,  just google your favourite art work and press 'images'. Note how many different colour renditons there are of the same work.)

1. The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,  aka  The Ghent Alterpiece - Jan Van Eyck        & Hubert Van Eyck.  - St Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent,

2. The Milk Maid - Johannes Vermeer - The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

3. Christ of Saint John of the Cross  - Salvador Dali - Kelvingrove Art Gallery and      Museum, Glasgow

4. Le dejeuner sur l'herbe - Edouard Manet - Musee d'Orsay, Paris

5. The Umbrellas - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - The National Gallery, London

6. The Black Brunswicker - John Everett Millais, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port            Sunlight, Liverpool

7. The Smoker - Paul Cezanne  -Temp exhibition, The National Portrait Gallery         London.

8. The Family - Egon Schiele  - The Belvedere Gallery - Vienna

9.Winifred, 6th Duchess of Portland - John Singer Sargent - The Portland 
    Collection. Welbeck. Notts

10 Bedroom in Arles  - Vincent Van Gogh - The Van Gogh Musem, Amsterdam 

11. Woman Bathing in a stream - Rembrandt van Rijn - National Gallery, London

12. Bathers at Asnières - Georges Seurat - National Gallery, London

13. A Bar at the Folies-Bergère - Edouard Manet - The Courtauld Gallery, London

Within the galleries visited, the are some works I have been particularly impressed and overwhelmed by; These include the following:

Any distinction is, of course very subjective and each person's experience is different. This, I fully acknowledge.  Sometimes, expectation also plays a major part in our enjoyment..or not, of a work.  I have been disappointed with major works I held in high esteem.  For example,  The Kiss by Klimt, The Night Watch by Rembrandt and much of Monet's work in the Musee d'Orsay;  Even The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer in the Mauritshuis.  This may make me unpopular and  I fully accept that these are all highly acclaimed and most are magnificent masterpieces.  My expectations were just not realised by them. Grayson Perry Calls this effect 'The Curse of the Mona Lisa'.

I still do feel however that it is possible for a great artist to produce poor art which then is hung due to the reputation of the artist ( not that I am suggesting that any of the above are in this category)

We in Britain are very fortunate to have a considerable number of world class galleries holding many very well known works.  British galleries I have the experience of visiting include the following.  

The Courtauld Gallery
The National Gallery

The Royal Academy of Arts
Tate Britain
Tate Modern
Victoria & Albert Museum

The Walker Gallery
Lady Lever Art Gallery
Tate Liverpool

The Ashmolean Museum and Art Gallery

The Fitzwilliam Art Gallery

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Scottish National Gallery

Kelvingrove Museum
 and Art Gallery

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