Saturday, November 12, 2016

Le déjeuner sur l'herbe

Edouard Manet
Le déjeuner sur l'herbe 

"The Luncheon on the Grass"
I studied this work in college and have always liked it, despite the woman's nudity and the men being fully clothed, which seemed quite sexist to me at the time! Classicism was big in the 19th century, so Manet gets my benefit of the doubt since this work is so beautiful. The Courtauld owns this smaller version of the same work on view at Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

What a stunning canvas, with all four figures in a "triangular" composition and strong use of color. The lady's gaze hints at boredom: What is she thinking?... One man is gesturing, the other pretends to be interested... Rather amusing.

The Courtauld Gallery is a gem of a museum in London's Somerset House. See a nicely-curated collection including French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and British art, select 20th century paintings, a few rooms of antiques and gorgeous 15th century Italian Renaissance icon paintings. Relax and enjoy the uncrowded galleries.

Then have lunch or tea at the charming French bistro in adjacent courtyard. And bring your skates! Somerset House features an ice rink for the holidays.

Courtauld Gallery's official website is HERE

Pastries, tea and coffee at Somerset House. Clementines, my favorite!

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