Friday, 23 November 2012

Guildhall Art Gallery Mock Exam

I  have been very busy revising and swotting up the 150 questions I am required to answer for the Written Test on Monday.

I love visiting the Gallery, it is a little gem in the heart of the City and offers some interesting works of art, especially from the Victorians, plus large ceremonial works which show and tell the civic story behind the City of London Corporation.

This is actually back to front! A print for sale on line!
See original in Guildhall Art Gallery
It can be very quiet at times, but schools are welcome and when I was there yesterday the children were examining the large painting of Macbeth Act III Scene IV, you know?  When Banquo appears as a ghost. They were very keen and asked lots of questions.

Also bumped into several of my GAG Art Course colleagues all skooting about checking up on what was where. Slightly bemused and puzzled by some of our questions, one painting 'Ariadne on Naxos' G F Watts -  folk are worrying whether it was Dionysus who abandoned her there or Bacchus? It appears that it depends on whether you telling the Greek or Roman version! I will stick with Dionysus, have just learnt to spell it correctly.

Kind permission of Guildhall Art Gallery
Or we could worry about who is in the carriage with Queen Victoria in 'Queen Victoria's DiamondJubilee Service June 22nd 1897' - Andrew Carrick Gow.  There are thousands of people in this painting and the poor artist had to get the scene down in watercolour within 20 minutes!  The faces of the worthies were later painted in from photographs.  Right back to the carriage, sitting opposite her majesty is the Princess of Wales, Princess Alexandra (of Denmark) and also Princess Helena. The problem arises that if you use the 'Key' to the painting, available to view at the Guildhall Library, it says its Princess Christian. Princess Helena's name changed to Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein by marriage.

Also did you know that Tissot worked for Vanity fair?

You might well ask, but what about the paintings themselves?  It's all very well having background about the artists, and who slept with who, and what his mother thought, but sometimes I feel we really need to focus on the picture and the painterly aspect, content, symbols and how it was viewed at the time rather, the rest, if you really need to know, can looked up later.  We only have 3 to 5 minutes during the exam after all!

Oh and did I mention the importance of the frames, well some of them?  A blog for another time perhaps.

Pyrrhic Dance - Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 1869
Guildhall Art Gallery

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