Having sampled some of the more modern art on offer in the Tate we also had time to wander around some of the older works (or, as I like to call it, the “real” art!!)
Yes, controversial I know, but I am not a massive fan of “modern” art, Hence the last time I visited the Tate Modern I spent more time taking the mickey than enjoying the displays.
One of which I swear was a bathroom cabinet straight out of an Argos catalogue and just given a deep sounding title.
Probably something like “The futility of consumerism. Part 3. Mirror and chipboard.”
So give me a sumptuous Pre Raphelite any day!! Here’s some gorgeous Rosetti. The Beloved. 1866.
Or this haunting Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse. A print of which adorned my teenage bedroom for many a long year.
The picture illustrates the following lines from part IV of Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’:
And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance –
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Another tragic portrayal, yet a highly beautiful painting, is Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais. Seems like artists can’t get enough of doomed women!
This time the tragic scene being depicted is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, when Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, drowns herself in a stream:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.