The following weekend, 2002 April 13, I took
the train in to London. In a precision whirlwind
day, I arrived at 9am, left about 8pm, and
saw three museums and a matinee show.
The show, was Shockheaded Peter, a gruesome
funny little revue based on the 1840's German
children's book, which is a gruesome funny little
Before that (who wants a linear travelogue anyway) I
visited the National Portrait Gallery and the National
Gallery. The show and these museums were both at the
Leicester Circle tube exit, which is right by Trafalgar
Anyway, the National Portrait Gallery was interesting enough... it is the
only art museum I've been in where the subjects of the paintings
were given more explanation than the artists. Oh, the occasional
Van Dyck portrait was well explained artist-wise, of course. But
in general, the museum was the country's photo album.
The National Gallery was far to big for me to absorb all of. So
I only explored the oldest works (a dozen rooms worth) from
1200-1500 or so. I learned that Mary carried ointment. I learned that there
are many, many paintings of Jesus on wood. I mean, paintings on
wood, of Jesus on wood. And I learned that there's all kinds of
different angelic haloes, including golden rings, golden discs,
and generalized golden glows. Like Swatch watches, sort of.
I could not take pictures in there, of course, but outside
were some tour busses trying to make a point.