Friday, November 04, 2016

National Gallery, London

Bear who always has the travel bug, insisted we go off to London for a 3-dayer respite.
Naturally we took in a few of the classic sights like Piccadilly Circus etc.
London theatres are so tempting are they not?
At last an overdue visit to the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square
The hot show in town is the Caravaggio and his copycats
Awfully dark for my tastes. To quote the educational video,"blanketed in black". You be the judge.
But the Nat Gallery's own collection is dazzling, and you can take all the pictures you want. No selfie sticks Please.
One masterpiece after another. Here a great Rubens.
Dutch still lifes
And tons of Velasquez. Who knew?
I was surprised by this Velasquez genre scene. I'm used to seeing the portraits mainly.
A closer look reveals wonderfully lively figures
The best way to understand what you're seeing is to try to sketch it in any medium. And it doesn't matter how crude or simple your attempt. You will learn Tons. See how the black hats are almost a syncopated pattern that leads your eye around the picture. And he's placed the main primaries;yellow-red-blue right next to each other. A terrific eye-catcher. The man knew his color wheel. I missed all this as I waltzed by in normal gallery Fashion. But you will see so much more with a quick doodle at home or on the spot. Try it. You'll like it I promise.
The National Gallery's gift shop is already for Christmas with trees based on paintings in their collection.
The Wilton diptych Madonna makes for a lovely tree and pillows.
Hmm...Bear liked this doubledecker better.
Want to look seriously Baroque?
Grab yourself a stunning bejeweled necklace in their shop. I was tempted. I did look long and hard at all the wonderful pup portraits in the various masterpieces. Hmmm...Iwould love my pup portraits to come close to this one. Dream on Carol :))
Bear is off to the Birmingham Art fair today. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, buy Paris letters and watercolors or forward to someone who might enjoy it. 


  1. I would make you whizz off to London if I was bear too. Looks like a great time! Have fun at the fair.

  2. Finally I figured out how to leave messages...duh.
    I've received your posts for a long time but had no luck in responding.
    I enjoy them all! I love this London post! I look forward to a report from Birmingham, my
    dear Mum's hometown before she married a Yank! I was there visiting my uncle and cousins two years ago and the city has really changed. Have fun!

    1. Dear Daily,
      It turns out the fair is near the airport and not in Birmingham proper at all. Still one mustnt grumble. They have a convention center the sizeof 6 or 16 football fields. Or was it 60. I am fascinated by what the English eat...say 'toad in the hole' but that's another post.

  3. What bliss!
    Loved your London pictures.
    So glad you and Bear are enjoying your trip.
    Lots of love from New York. Robert sends love too.

    1. Hi Elizabeth and Robert!!
      London is such fun but so big!! And too much to do too.
      Not complaining
      Xxx Bear

  4. Is it Bear that inspires you to travel?:)
    Looks like you filled in every moment..busy city ...well most are.

  5. I love how you take us around with you, Carol - and appreciate you showing us fascinating clips like the hats in that Velasquez. Looks a great exhibition. Thanks for the wee trip!

  6. Biggest sigh. How lovely to be able to skip over to London just for a few days. And those days sound great!

  7. Really excellent, Carol.
    The street scenes in the intro & then the fabulous photos from inside the gallery - great post.

  8. Jane G.4:08 PM

    Lucky you gallivanting around London.
    Interesting word..gallivant. I have to look that up.

    1. gallivant meaning, definition, what is gallivant:
      to visit or go to a lot of different places, enjoying yourself and not worrying about a thing.

      Yes that's Bear to a Tee.

  9. Lynn S4:17 PM

    A delightful tour, Carol. Bear is most fortunate to have you as his escort.

    1. And vice versa. It takes two to tango.

  10. How perfect
    , just what I needed a London mini break. I yearn for Lodnosn at this time of year, when it getting all cool and sparkles. Loved the National Gallery, and now I will go and research that lushus Rubens, portrait. I love your blog. Kind regards from Madame de Loup.

  11. Bonnie4:38 PM

    This goes on my list of Top Ten Carol Blogs...
    So happy to see Bear having his wonderful vacation.
    Beautiful London tour!
    The necklace is to die for!
    I share your taste!

  12. What a nice getaway - I love the wallpapers in the National Gallery & agree that Caravaggio is way too dark. I prefer your dog - the one in that painting is one I wouldn't want to come up against - he looks very unfriendly.

  13. A lovely visit, thank you for sharing this - the Rubens woman looks like Bette Davis!

  14. Virginia2:11 AM

    Paris Breakfasts is a breath of fresh air.

  15. Do I not remember correctly that you are NOT allowed to take photos in the National Gallery??

    1. I'm happy to report they have changed the rules in the main collection TEH!!

  16. FYI: Photography is allowed for personal, non-commercial purposes in the National Gallery. It is the visitor’s responsibility to ensure no copyright is infringed.

    There are a few exceptions to protect paintings, copyright of loans, individual privacy and the overall visitor experience.


    Photography is not permitted in exhibitions
    Use of flash, tripods, and selfie sticks is not permitted
    Photography of some loan paintings in the main galleries may be restricted, as indicated by signs beside the paintings
    Photography of children and young people is prohibited without consent of the accompanying adult. This includes, for example, school groups and/or those attending family events.
    Please respect the wishes of all visitors by not obstructing the view of the paintings or taking pictures of anyone without their permission.

  17. Anonymous1:09 AM

    Caravaggio is wonderful his perfect style his life are so interesting lucky in London to have his exibition..


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