Today has been the best so far! So much incite has been given to us about the Victorian Era, I don’t know where to begin. The Tate Britain Museum left a lasting impression because I was able to make connections among artists and writers from the time period. The style of painting really “painted” the perfect picture of what it meant to be living in London at the time.
Punch or May Day, is one of two of the paintings from the Pre-Victorian Period that really struck me as being a great representation of the city. The painting was great to look at because the more you looked at it, the more you found was happening in the picture. The are even subtle nods to the various classes and occupations of the city. The picture feels congested, overflowing with characters in the frame, much like the city was beginning to overflow with people. The painting is such an attention grabbing piece that begged me to keep trying to discover more. I took this as a metaphor for the city as the more you look into the city’s culture and history, the more you’ll find and after seeing this painting it had me hooked.
Nocturne Blue and Gold by James Abbott McNeill Whistler is a complete contrast to Punch or May Day, but still remains true to the city through the use of impressionism. The Nocturne series of paintings was a leap for modern impressionistic art, being that Whistle declared even though it took two days to make one of the paintings, didn’t mean it wasn’t worth much. The painting was a reflection of a life time worth of experiences all encapsulated in one image. Whistle blurred the lines between real and his imagination. The fact that he argued against the courts to prove the worth of his paintings, makes them more grand. Showing that art is much more than just realism. Looking at this painting stirs the feeling of the unknown, isolation, sadness and mystery all in one one painting. Elements of the city of London.
After visiting the museum, I have gained a better understanding of the Victorian shift in art, while learning the history of the city through the art itself. Today definitely was one to remember!