11 January 2014

Short visit to Tate Britain

We made our way through the "old art", from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Grand rooms and grand vistas and grand paintings - without much information on the labels, and in some rooms (without the marble skirtings) the labels were put almost at floor level.

For the first couple of centuries, I looked closely at the depiction of the clothing, for instance lace like that worn by Lady Anne Pope in Robert Peake's portrait, which you can see in its entirely here -
In the age of studios and apprentices, was this done by the named artist?

Once the labels were set at a readable height I started noticing the names of painters and found some women painters unknown to me. How silly was it not to write their names down, or to photograph the label!
details not known

details not known

Sydney Wells was painted by Joanna Mary Wells, presumably his mother, in 1859. The label, giving only artist's name and dates, title of painting, and year it was painted, hints at a sad story:
      Joanna Mary Wells (1831-1861)
      Portrait of Sydney Wells 1859

The Tate has another work by Joanna Mary Wells in its collection, an unfinished work dated 1861. She died in childbirth, and Sydney, her second child, died early too.

The huge gallery that runs down the middle of the building is showing works by Alison Wilding. This is Largo (2002) - cast cement fondue with silk and paper roses -
As we walked by, a group of women was admiring it enthusiastically, and one was saying, "Ah but that's why it's art, because it's not right in the centre of the room!"

Outside, a lovely old Lancia -
That's Chelsea College of Art in the background, formerly the site of the Royal Army Medical College.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always think that the best measure of an art work is its distance from centre!
Thank you for sharing your visit - better to be focused on the actual work than recording the details, but having said that the details you did record are fascinating and poignant. The Wells family were probably, and sadly, not exceptional in their degree of loss, but show us how lucky we are in this part of the world, in this age, to have good statistics for both infant and mother mortality.