Monday, 14 November 2016
Fleeing From Reality...
This grumpy teenager ,
born just up the road and destined to become a solicitor like his father , provided the perfect escape last Wednesday morning after the shock of Trump's election win .
The Fries Museum currently has a large Alma-Tadema exhibition , showing a lot of privately owned treasures . His huge canvases full of rose petals and mosaics ,
draperies and marble , breastplates and togas proved to be just the distraction needed .
First thing in the morning there was plenty of room to admire his attention to detail
... later on it became busier and I could sink gracefully on a bench and watch excerpts from the many films which should have listed him in the credits as set designer .
A couple of school groups swooped about with their work-sheets , the boys impressed by the swords and the girls by this slice of Roman high life where lolling about was a virtue . Later, they would go into a side-room where they could all dress up in togas and swirl capes and weapons to their hearts content .
We instead , just tottered off and sank into a cafe corner over coffees and tried to understand what's happening this year ...
But I'm going to have to go back again to pay proper attention to Alma-Tadema's family portraits . His real talent lay in his portrayal of faces , whether of a childhood friend
his daughters or this little boy ,
waiting while his mother talked to a friend she'd met in the street .