A long-awaited day out today; a trip to London to visit the Royal Academy and see the Manet exhibition with Mum and Emma.
The exhibition was interesting and contained some very nice paintings. Impressionists are generally very easy on the eye and these were no exception. There was a mixture of classic portraiture and more experimental (for the time) paintings. The thing that struck each of us was the variety of styles and media Manet employed during his career. There were a number of unfinished paintings in the exhibition, but even those which were supposedly completes demonstrated a range of finishes, from highly detailed faces to rougher backgrounds where the objects therein were suggested by a few energetic brushstrokes. My personal favourite was the game of croquet, painted in 1873:
After the Manet exhibition, which we got around in just over an hour, we had time to kill before our pre-booked lunch and so strolled from Picadilly to Trafalgar Square, passing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which included a massive, multi-coloured inflatable dragon:
Once in Trafalgar Square, we skirted around the St. Patrick’s Day Festival and headed briefly in to the National Portrait Gallery. Mum had suggested this as a brief time-killing diversion to see the portrait of Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein the Younger, which is mentioned in ‘Wolf Hall’ which both of us had recently read and enjoyed.
After that, we headed back to New Bond Street and had a very enjoyable lunch in Carluccio’s, one of the nicest meals I’ve had out in a long time in fact. The main attraction of Carluccio’s is that they provide a very good range of gluten-free Italian food, and best of all, gluten-free desserts. A great way to round off a very enjoyable day!