The Courtauld Gallery

Following an area in art that particularly interests me, I visited ‘A Dialogue With Nature’ at The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House. The beautiful collection boasts selected works exploring romantic landscape scenes from various artists from Britain and Germany. I have never been to The Courtauld Gallery before so as well as this exhibition, I also enjoyed looking around the rest of the gallery.

It is always wonderful to see in person, the paintings you recognise and are very familiar with. No reproduction either on the internet or in any book can ever be as good as seeing a piece of artwork in reality I find, as a picture in a book cannot depict the texture of the painting, or the tonality of the paintwork and brushstrokes. It thrilled me to see ‘A Bare at the Folies-Bergére‘ by Édourd Manet, as this is one that always captured my attention when I have come across it in books. The composition is balanced and directs the viewer’s eye around the piece. There is something in the expression of the barmaid that seems melancholy, even though she is well dressed and has a seemly posture. Therefore seeing the real piece in it’s full size in the gallery was wonderful. It was larger than I had imagined and has such amazing detail, in the use of colour and the behaviour of Manet’s brushstrokes. It was a very absorbing piece that I could easily have sat in front of for hours.

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