Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Rouen & Vernon

The last two days have been spent in the nearby town of Rouen and the town in which we are staying, Vernon.

Rouen is famous for its Cathedral, which was painting over 20 times by Claude Monet and Joan of Arc, she was tried, convicted and executed in Rouen.  We spent just over 4 hours here and visited the Musee des Beaux Arts de Rouen (Fine Art Museum of Rouen), the Cathedral and then strolled the streets with their half timbered houses.

More photos of Rouen can be found here and here

We are staying in Vernon and today we went for a walk around the small town to take in the few sights and visit the small museum.

One of the main attractions in Vernon is the Old Mill House by the River Seine.  In 1947 the owner of the house passed away and despite attempts no heir could be found.  The house fell into disrepair and was only saved when the Town Hall intervened.  Whilst it is not open to visit the view from outside is still stunning.  This too, like Rouen Cathedral, was a favourite of Monet.

From here we continued to the AG Poulain Museum that houses a small collection of Monet, his Wife and other painters.

The rest of my photos from the Gallery and from around Vernon can be found here

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monet's House & Garden In Giverny

I have finally made it to Giverny and the home of Claude Monet.  Entrance fee for the House, Garden and Impressionist Museum was €15.50.

Thankfully the weather was on its best behaviour as rain had been forecast in the days before.  We arrived around 11.30 and the wait to enter the gardens was less than 5 minutes.  With it being later in the season there were not coaches packed with visitors on day trips from Paris etc and we were able to walk around the gardens with plenty of room for all.  There are rows of flowers that stretch from the House all the way down to the boundary of the grounds.  You are able to walk in between most of these rows though so areas are cordoned off.  There are plenty of benches dotted around for you to have a rest and admire the view.

The house itself is very neat and tidy and one room has been decorated with around 60 replica works of Monet.  There are maps available in the room for information.  The upstairs bedrooms give you a lovely overview of the garden and I could imagine the sight that greeted Monet every morning.  The Japanese Garden is accessed via an underpass near the Group Entrance.  This is of course the Water-Lily Pond and the Japanese Bridge that is world famous.  Once again, the sight was beautiful.  I am so glad we visited at this time, whilst there were people around you could easily take photos etc and there was no scrum to get your photos taken on the Bridge.  For me the most impressive part of the garden were the Weeping Willows, they were just so beautiful and for me made the whole Water-Lily Pond more stunning.

As with most places I visit (when allowed) I took plenty of photographs to show you.  As you will see from my Flickr account I do not know the name of some of the flowers.  If you do please leave a comment, either on Flickr or here and I will update the photograph.  I do hope you enjoy viewing my photos and if you can, please visit Giverny and see this beautiful place for yourself.

More photos can be found here: Flickr Account

Friday, 21 September 2012

Les Misérables - The Musical

 I was having a discussion with a friend this morning, who is very excited about the Christmas release of the movie Les Misérables.  I do believe that this is her favorite show so I decided to have a closer look.

I am going to London again in December so I looked for tickets.  They are certainly not cheap, most are priced at £45 or £65, but I managed to buy an unrestricted £35 ticket on the first row of the Upper Circle.  I know it will not be the best seat in the house and most likely to be high up, but, this will be my first trip to a West End Musical and I did not wish to spend a huge amount of money on something I may not enjoy.

So now I have 3 "arty" events booked for December, 2 ballets at the Royal Opera House and now a Musical in the West End.  I have still enough time to go back to visit the National Gallery so I shall not be booking any further shows etc.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Buying Original Art

I recently started to purchase original art to go along side the prints I buy on my travels around the UK Art Galleries.  The website I use is artgallery.co.uk

So far I have purchased two paintings and spent under £60.  They have a wide selection of art available and the prices start from £10.  Delivery is free and it is also very quick.

Here are my two paintings.

Inglenook On A Winter Evening - Christine Jones (£40)

Wet Farm Entrance - David Hannaghan (£13)

Take a look and see if there is anything that takes your fancy.  All the Artists are UK based.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Manchester Buy Art Fair 2012

I came across an advert for this Art Fair next week and thought it a good idea to spread the word.

The main website is here  Tickets are free.

The price of art ranges from around £50 up to £5000 so it is affordable to most.  Even if you do not purchase anything there are running a range of talks to help you expand your art horizons.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The National Gallery - London

Firstly, I was very disappointed to discover that photos are not allowed in the Gallery.  I am sure you were, in the past, able to take photos.  I can understand no flash and with the older, more delicate paintings due to the damage that can be caused.  But that is the rule so all I could do was make a note of the paintings I enjoyed.

I always seem to get lost when walking around a gallery, especially if there is more than one connecting room.  To combat this I decided to follow the floorplan in numerical order, even if they did mean doubling back a few times.

Due to time, I actually did not manage to see the entire gallery, I completely missed the 12th-15th Century paintings housed in the Sainsbury Wing.  My excuse is having to take time out to enjoy Afternoon Tea with my friends.  I also purchased the Audio Guide and this covers over 90% of the paintings held in the gallery.  You are given a very good, in depth analysis of each painting so this adds time to your visit, but it is so worth it.

So what did I see and what did I enjoy?  I think the easiest way to do this is to post the title of the painting along with a photo I have from the Official Website.

Raphael - The Madonna of the Pinks

Salomon van Ruysdael - River Scene

Salomon van Ruysdael - A View of Rhenen Seen From the West

Esaias van de Velde - A Winter Landscape

Aelbert Cuyp - A River Scene with Distant Windmills

Aelbert Cuyp - Ubbergen Castle

Cornelis Vroom - A Landscape With A River By A Wood

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder - Flowers In A Glass Vase

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder - A Still Life of Flowers In A Wan-Li Vase

Roelandt Savery - Flowers In A Glass

Sebastien Bourdon - The Return Of The Ark

Claude - Landscape With Goatherd And Goats

Gaspard Dughet - Imaginary Landscape With Buildings In Tivoli

Meindeet Hobbema - The Avenue Of Middelharnis

Meindert Hobbema - The Watermills At Singraven Near Denekamp

Jan van Huysum - Hollyhocks And Other Flowers In A Vase

Rachel Ruysch - Flowers In A Vase

Jacob van Ruisdael - Two Watermills And An Open Sluice At Singraven

Harmen Steenwyck - Still Life: An Allegory Of The Vanities Of Human Life

Hendrick Avercamp - A Scene On The Ice Near A Town

Hendrick Avercamp - A Winter Scene With Skaters Near A Castle

Peter Paul Rubens - A Landscape With A Shepherd With His Flock

Salvator Rosa - Landscape With Mercury And The Dishonest Woodman

Thomas Gainsborough - The Watering Place

Thomas Gainsborough - Cornard Wood Near Sudbury, Suffolk

John Constable - The Cornfield

John Constable - Cenotaph To the Memory Of Sir Joshua Reynolds

John Constable - The Hay Wain

John Constable - Salisbury Cathedral From The Meadows

Domenichino - Saint George Killing The Dragon

Francesco Guardi - View Of Venetian Lagoon With The Tower Of Malghera

Alfred Sisley - The Seine At Port-Marly

Vincent van Gogh - van Gogh Chair

Vincent van Gogh - Long Grass With Butterflies

Vincent van Gogh - Sunflowers

Vincent van Gogh - Farm Near Auvers

Camille Pissarro - The Little Country Maid

Camille Pissarro - The Boulevard Montmartre At Night

Camille Pissarro - Fox Hill, Upper Norwood

Camille Pissarro - View From Louveciennes

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - The Skiff

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - The Umbrellas

Claude-Oscar Monet - Bathers At La Grenouillere

Claude-Oscar Monet - La Pointe De La Heve Sainte Adresse

Claude-Oscar Monet - The Beach At Trouville

Claude-Oscar Monet - The Gare St-Lazare

And I have saved the best for last

Claude-Oscar Monet - The Water-Lily Pond

All photos can be found on the Official Website for The National Gallery here

I purchased 3 prints from the Gift Shop, Constable - The Hay Wain, Renoir - The Skiff and Pissarro - The Boulevard Montmartre at Night.  Each cost £5.  I also bought the Pocket Collection book for £6.99.

As I mentioned at the start, I did not have chance to see everything and when I go back to London in December for my Opera House visit I am going to return to The National Gallery and view the entire collection.