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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Masterpieces of Chinese paintings and Vienna portraits exhibitions in London

V&A in sunshine

Hello everyone. Friday Mike and I went to London to see two exhibitions: Masterpieces of Chinese paintings 700-1900 at the V&A, and Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 at the National Gallery. 

V&A - Christmas tree
We enjoyed both. As I do Japanese ink painting as a hobby, seeing Chinese masterpieces was not only pleasure but also very inspiring. I loved nine dragons and detailed scrolls. But lighting was quite dim to protect paintings. So it was a challenge to see the fine details. A lady was using a magnifying glass hung from her neck. I was impressed how prepared she was! One very long scroll called Prosperous Suzhou had such small details that I could almost read like a story book. It took a painter three years to complete it for an emperor.    
V&A entrance

After we came home, Mike found a website of Chicago university. Here you could see better details of some of the scrolls exhibited in V&A. http://scrolls.uchicago.edu/

Eros in a bubble at Piccadilly circus
We got off a tube here to walk to the National gallery

Then we went to the National Gallery. Tickets were booked for 3:30 viewing. They had Egon Schiele,Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and other Viennese artists. Schiele and Klimt have been my favourite artists for a while. But it was joy to discover Oskar Kokoschka. I liked his experimental portraits.  Among Several Klimt, some of which are unfinished, I like Ria Munk On Her Deathbed. She looked almost smiling despite she had committed suicide. Most sitters in later period had tragic ends. Among Schiele, I liked the family portraits including an unborn baby; his wife had died during pregnancy. Unlike other types of painting, portraits carry sitters' lives including the life after the paintings were done. They tell you stories about the sitters and their family.

Cockerel, crane, Nelson and London eye at Trafalgar Square where the National Gallery is.

On the way back at St Pancras, I bought some tea at newly opened Fortnum and Mason. Disappointingly they didn't have my favourite, Keemun. The shop keeper said they ran out of shopping bags!  They must be doing very well.

No Keemun tea -  I want it loose. 

In the meantime, Mike bought our favourite almond croissants at Le pain Quotidien.This time we ate two each. Mike 2, Midori 2

Midori's  grocery
After a supper I painted masks and loaded the kiln. I felt really tired after this. It was a bit too much after a day in London!

Owls and rabbits on a lower shelf - to be bisque fired

Masks, whippets and birds on a top shelf - to be bisque fired 


  1. Wonderful tour. Thanks.
    Does Eros live in a bubble now?

    1. I think this is only for winter. Mike says this bubble is actually a gigantic snow dome although there was no snow moving when we were there. : )

  2. Very interesting to see Eros in a bubble under those clouds.
    That blue rooster was fun too.
    The kilns look full and busy :))
    I am gazing out the window at big floaty snow flakes , just started as I blogged .

  3. It was funny clouds. A bit dreamy. We had our first ground frost this morning. Keep warm! : )

  4. This looks like a most interesting day out. I love Fortnum and Masons and they always have lovely Christmas windows. Eros looks amazing in that bubble. I hope all of your work fired well. x

    1. I was very surprised to see Eros! Thank you, Minerva. Bisque firing went well. : )