Year end break – some quality time at Home, with the Family, and the pleasure to spend some moments in a museum, wandering around and sketching. I already wrote, some time ago, how I like to visit old friends… London is a paradise for the Museum sketcher, and rainy afternoons always a great pretext to get lost in the old masters rooms of the National Gallery.
This time, I devoted my choice to the National Portrait Gallery. Few weeks ago, I visited the Cézanne Portrait exhibition and promised myself to visit the show again, once the rush of the first weeks was passed. Doing so, I did a round in the Gallery and got attracted by a piece by Frank Stone : a loose and sketchy portrait of William Makepeace Thackeray. I really liked the way the look of the writer was depicted, a man absorbed by his thoughts, the light shadowing the eyes, fixing an imaginary line, or who knows what saddening contemplation… This is the expression I wanted to study in this sketch.
Now, how about Cézanne?
My impression, after the second visit, was the same – moved and humbled by the honesty of his pictural quest. Each painting seems like a battle scene – one can figurate the artist fighting with the medium, the colors, the perspectives and lines to produce a very personal harmony – each piece leading beyond the subject towards more atmospheric, abstract or poetic thoughts.
I sat there and did few sketches… More to capture a pose or an interesting face rather than trying to ‘copy’ some works. My interest was in the way the poses were arranged, or in the strength of some expressions…
Not sure if I will have the time to return to one of the galleries or museum before the end of this break – I need to re-visit the Modigliani show! – but surely not the last post on the Museums I like or on Portraiture…