and simply wandering around stopping at anything that caught our eye. Like we share one eye....I mean anything that caught either Richard's or my attention.
Although the galleries were crowded, behavior was civil and we could view everything without fighting for position. There was a large group of children wandering around with pencils and paper, plopping on the floor sketching what they liked. They were having fun and we enjoyed watching them get lost and dreamy eyed, hunched over their creations.
Gainsborough didn't complete this painting...I believe he died before it was completed. The older girl's right arm is painted as to be tweaking the tail of a cat perched on their laps. You can see the pencilled-in sketch of the cat if you look closely. Barbara, who along with Nancy, taught me to look closely, will be sure to see the cat.
More big cats here in bad situations. I love the movement in this Reubens (The Lion Hunt) even though the subject is grisly.
I think I found the martlet; it's not easy to see.
More beautiful blue. This painting is hung in the top row and yet I noticed most people tried to
capture it on their cell phones by standing on tip toe. I wondered why they didn't re-position such a popular work.
Overall, the National Gallery is great to visit...you're free to wander and the collections make some sense. Trying to find particular galleries is frustrating because they aren't in sequence. A minor criticism in the face of superb organization and the best price ever....FREE. There's excellent marketing and the gift shops are scattered here and there so plenty of opportunity to spend money of every kind of museum related souvenier. The cash registers were ringing merrily away and people seem inclined to cough up some cash for gee gaws given what they've saved on admission.
Caravaggio..way, way out there for 1500. His depiction of boys brings up the question of his sexuality. Most of the young men in his paintings look like girls and there is an erotic undertone to them. This boy
s reaction to a lizard bite looks feminine to me; some art scholars speculate the painting is an allegory on the sting of love...or lost love? Caravaggio was, according to Wikipedia, a street brawler and in trouble with the law for much of his life.