The National Gallery

IMG_9780I had been walking around central London for about three hours, just drinking in the atmosphere. Wandering through Trafalgar Square I noted that admission to the National Gallery was free.

I don’t usually mind paying for museums and similar attractions, not even the inflated places some of them charge. I know it costs money to run a museum, and the taxpayers don’t always want to be on the hook for everything.IMG_9785

My issue on this particular day was one of time. I didn’t want to pay an admission fee when I was only between meetings. If I am going to pay, I want to get my money’s worth. The National Gallery is the sort of place I could happily spend a day, maybe two. There was no way I would have paid admission for just a short visit. But since it was free, I killed an hour.

I wasn’t taking notes, and certainly not taking pictures, which is prohibited, so I can’t give you details on what I saw. Two rooms of 17th century Dutch paintings and a room of 18th century French painters whose names I didn’t recognize. The Dutch stuff captured me with vibrant colours – I made the assumption that the paintings had been restored (or at the very least cleaned). The French stuff wasn’t as good.IMG_9795

Next time in London I hope to go back, maybe take in another room or two. I hadn’t realized about the free admission before. Now that I know I can plan on taking in the entire gallery, though that may take me a decade or so, given the frequency of my trips to London.

It will be worth it though. Great art is part of our heritage and should be appreciated. I am thankful that someone made a decision to make this collection available to the public without an admission fee. I suspect more people will see it this way – and if they don’t they only have themselves to blame.

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2 comments

  1. The vibrant works of Jan Vermeer spring to mind at your mention of Dutch Painters.
    http://www.vermeer-foundation.org/
    A Vermeer painting was featured on the facing page to the hymns in Roxboro Elementary’s PSBGM hymn book. I guess your school had different books – ours were red and then, as revised, green. Vermeer’s art commands attention.

    1. My schools weren’t that for from Roxboro – first in Lasalle, then in Pierrefonds. I remember those books, though I always thought the red covers were for the lower grades and the green ones for those with more advanced reading skills.

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