Went on a guided tour at the National Museum Wales on landscape painting recently (have a great couple of weeks at the moment where I am able to attend several talks/tours). It was only 45 minutes long but we were shown various represenations of landscapes in the collection, from the beginning of the genre/concept up to more modern examples. Highlights for me were:
1) Being shown places where the artist had changed their minds and painted bits out – such as a cow originally coming through an archway, where now only some ghostly remains of legs can be discerned [the technical term for this is Pentimento – which is a fabulous word!].
2)Having it pointed out that some scenes were conglomerations of buildings or places that the artist knew and didn’t necessarily represent a ‘real’ place.
3)Seeing some of Turner’s paintings that had belonged to the Davies’ sisters, and whose provinence had been put into doubt (thought this has now been rectified); basically they had been given to Turner’s ‘mistress’ in Margate and thus didn’t show on any catalogue of Turner’s work. I was never a particular fan of Turner, but having seen the film Mr Turner last year, and also looking closely at these examples I am beginning to have a new appreciation; especially liked “The beacon light”.
4)The gallery of Welsh landscapes, from a variety of artists and dates. One of my favourites in this room was by Kyffin Williams – I love his thick textured painting.
That same day, driving back from a meal out with friends down the Bay, the sun had just set, and the hills surrounding Cardiff were a dark green/purple colour, as the brilliance of the sunset had faded to a subtle fuzzy peach colour. Just beautiful – wish I’d had a canvas and paints to hand.