:: Tiny Holidays

Today is Cam’s birthday. We headed to the NGV to have a bit of a wander, in celebration of his 51st year.

It was quite lovely. Some of the paintings were even older than him, and I think that made him feel quite sprightly.

Ari had the day off school and came too. He’s been studying Picasso in art and was very excited at the prospect of seeing Weeping Woman.  Alas, when we got to WW, she was surrounded by school girls and a teacher and one of them was weeping, perhaps in sympathy, I am not sure. Another lass consoled her and we politely drifted away in case the Weeping Girl was embarrassed by our attention.

We wandered in to see some Flemish paintings next.  They were incredibly beautiful. Actually a lot of it was incredibly beautiful. We rambled in and out of room after room, sighing a lot and plonking ourselves on the seats in front of the works to soak it all up.

How IS it that we are lucky enough to head into the city and sidle through the lobby of the gallery, up the escalators and straight into room after room of beautiful, old amazingness… for free?! Gosh.

My favourites today (and we only did a titch of the gallery in the 2 hours we were there) were:

In Morocco by John Lavery 
Madonna and Child with Infant John The Baptist by Correggio
Edward Henry Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield, and his wife Charlotte Fitzroy as children  by Jacob Huysmans

(Actually there are lots more that I loved, but these are the ones I can’t get out of my head.  Click the links to see the images at NGV’s own site.)

Looking at art is like having a wee holiday, isn’t it? Escaping into the painting or object. Art takes you to another place, imagining the intention or the artist and the other people in the room as the work was being created.

Ari and I were wondering what the studios were like… what the artist and models were eating… what the light was like, how it smelled.  We looked hard at the cracks, chips and the brushstrokes trying to imagine the person at the other end of them. We looked for weird animals and hidden figures. We stared at shiny noses,  watering mouths, dappled light, damp eyes, pointing fingers, flying things. It was all terribly exciting and emotional.

Then we walked back into the city for our favourite bento and sushi lunch and  a slow toddle back home.

Do you have tiny holidays like this? Just for an hour or two?

x Pip

Images via the NGV website : view the International Art collection and others here.

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