Art at the Palace

As Hampton Court Palace is on our doorstep, we have been to their Cumberland Gallery a few times now to see some of the Art in the Royal Collection. To add to the experience, we decided to go to one of the evening tours last week. This is a great opportunity to see the Paintings with just a few others around and to hear lots of interesting and, sometimes, unexpected facts about the Artists, the execution of the Paintings or how they came to be commissioned or purchased.

Diana and Actaeon by Thomas Gainsborough

This is Diana and Actaeon by Thomas Gainsborough and neither Peter or myself had ever paid it any attention before nestled among the Van Dycks, Canalettos, Carravaggios and one very compelling Rembrandt. It is often described as a sketch or unfinished painting and depicts the goddess, Diana, turning Actaeon, the peeping tom, into a stag that is subsequently chased and mauled by his own hounds. The subject and sketchy style never really grabbed us on previous visits.
However, the Curator giving the talk really made us look at it again and we were struck at how Impressionistic it is despite being painted 100 years earlier than Impressionism and how some brush strokes were just like Cezannes. I fancy the notion that Gainsborough completed his underpainting and stepped back and said 'I'm rather happy with that. I might just leave it there as an Impression of this other worldly scene'. Looking at it again, it certainly made an Impression on us!

May 2016