Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Two Things Never To Forget In London

1. Umbrella
2. Camera
(2.5 The location of the last tube stop you saw, because otherwise you could wander aimlessly for quite a while.)

I learned #2 the hard way today...I went to the National Gallery in a pouring thunderstorm and left the camera at home, fearing I'd drop it in a puddle or something. When I left the National Gallery, the sky was glowing (in a heavenly, non-radioactive way), and I saw the most beautiful buildings as I walked from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square. On the way, I stopped in a little park for tea, and it was all rain-fresh and the leaves are was lovely. THIS was the kind of day I envisioned yesterday, when I went down to Liverpool Street to wander around, got lost, didn't find anything interesting, and went into one of my "Why Am I Abroad" angry moods. But today, it was wonderful, and I would have been able to take some really great pictures.

An interesting aside: As I walked through the National Gallery today, I saw this portrait by Ingres:

And could not figure out for the life of me why it looked so familiar. I like art, but I'm certainly no expert, and my knowledge of Ingres works is pretty limited.

Then, in the best exhibit of Impressionism I've seen (called Manet to Picasso, it's on until next March so if you're randomly in London I highly recommend it), I saw this painting:

and the sense of deja vu was just too much to shake. I had never been to this museum before, so why did these paintings seem so familiar to me?

In the gift shop, I happened upon this book:

and it came to me---Katie's Picture Show was one of my favorite childhood books, and it takes place in the National Gallery! She got to go inside the pictures though...I had to observe using only the knowledge I got from my terrible art history class last quarter.


Anonymous dad said...

I like this story. I wish I could have been there with you !

9:07 PM  

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