29 December 2016

Blockie II

(Cont.) Second was Versailles. I hadn't expected to attend, but went with a Christmas visitor. I was surprised and pleased from the first objects in the first room. Plenty of sweet paintings of powdered faces, sturdy marble and lead and porphyry works in 3D, homely (if indulgent) things like lovely floral china servings and a menu that records one lunch for the king, less homely but impressive things like tapestries and huge rugs, a desperately indulgent story of failing to plumb fountains for the ill-located Palace. It all had me welcoming revolution by the end, and sure enough, to my pleasure and the gasp of a woman beside me (her comment was "it's in all the text books"), David's pen-and-ink sketch of the oath at the tennis court (Le serment du Jeu de paume / Jacques-Louis David). Wow! Revolutionary politics in superbly detailed drawing. Fabulous. And a final, lightly despairing painting of Louis XVI awaiting his fate. So goes such indulgence (as I wonder why modern Australia still has a Queen).

These were two informative and attractive exhibitions worthy of our time and monies. Versailles : Treasures from the palace is at the National Gallery of Australia.

No comments: