I hope you’re all well and spring is treating you well. Today I had some spare time so I went for a wander around the newly refurbished Ferens Art Gallery.
You may have heard that last month Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited as part of their day around the City of Culture. I had to see what had changed and what amazing art was being housed here.
The last time I visited the gallery was in 2012 as part of my Masters degree. I studied a module looking at art and Victorian literature. Now, 5 years later, I can’t believe how much it has changed!
Gallery 1: Renaissance. It is here that Ferens currently homes Pietro Lorenzetti’s stunning panel painting, Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter. It absolutely took my breath away. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was or how it’s still survived all these years. It’s dated to the 14th century after all! There was a queue of people waiting to see it so I was unable to get a photograph. Nevertheless I did manage to get a postcard.
The final painting here that was absolutely beautiful was The Betrayal of Christ. I can’t believe how bold and striking it is. The colours, the gold, the story. It’s unbelievable. A picture is worth a thousand words after all.
Next The Netherlands. Progressing through time we are now in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was at this point that the Netherlands flourished as one of the major European art centres. My favourite painting here is by Cornelius Gijbrechts. Little is known about this painter; he is an enigma. Nevertheless I love this painting because it represents the passage of time. It features an hourglass, pocket watch and burnt out candle. It shows the simple pleasures in life: the violin now, bubble and wine glass. It’s a trick to the eye this painting. I was stood gawping at it for ages. The more you look, the more you see.
Onto my favourite collection of the gallery: Victorian and Edwardian Art. It is here that takes me right back to my Masters. I spent a long time working on Leighton’s Farewell. I found the face absolutely painful. I wonder what the inspiration was for this. Of course we can all relate; we’ve all said ‘farewell’ at some point. But what happened here?!
My absolute favourite painting here is John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Princes Dock Street. It’s dark and moody. I love it. I love how Grimshaw plays with light in his other works too. It usually comes from windows of passing buildings. Very clever.
Other exciting news! When I was leaving I saw them working on the Poppy installation. Sneak peak below!
Big love xx