Monday, 12 April 2010
VAN GOGH EXHIBITION LAST WEEK - ROYAL ACADEMY, LONDON
This exhibition was not on for very long and was excessively popular. Of course I thought I should be able to go on a day that was not attracting huge queues but this was not to be the case.
Sunday was the day I decided upon. Getting there just before it opened at 10 am, the queue supervisors told us that we would have to wait at least two and a half hours. Here is a picture of the Royal Academy queue.
Finally inside, it was well worth a visit, but what difficult conditions! It was crammed with people, and not just people but children and babies as well (are children people?). In addition, those people were quite often making mobile phone calls. The noise was most distracting - why not have special viewing days for people who want to make mobile phone calls, and bring the younger members of their family?
From what I managed to see, peering through the throng, there were some spectacular paintings and drawings. It was excessively interesting to see the change from the early work in Holland, dark and depressing as it was, and over a course of a few years to the work of Van Gogh's last works in Provence and last of all in France. I wondered if the artist had a sense of humour which would have appreciated the crazy situation of his popularity now compared to his poverty and sadness during his life, at lack of sales of his paintings.
I talked to a visitor there who said his letters had been read on the BBC radio and they showed a light hearted and humorous person, so I am glad he was not always in a state of despondency.