Agnes, our President, welcomed 76 members and 8 guests to the meeting at which the main event was Jan Young on Art Appreciation. We were asked to focus on two questions – What do I see and what do I make of what I see? Using these two questions as a guide, Jan enthused us with an extremely interesting session that encouraged much audience participation. We studied some of London’s National Gallery paintings:
Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-fighting-temeraire, Van Dyck’s Equestrian Portrait of Charles I http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/anthony-van-dyck-equestrian-portrait-of-charles-i, Drouais’ Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/francois-hubert-drouais-madame-de-pompadour-at-her-tambour-frame, Van Gogh’s Chair http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/vincent-van-gogh-van-goghs-chair, Rubens’ The Judgement of Paris http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/peter-paul-rubens-the-judgement-of-paris/26781, Cuyp’s River Landscape with Horseman and Peasants http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/aelbert-cuyp-river-landscape-with-horseman-and-peasants, and Van Huysum’s Flowers in a Terracotta Vase http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-huysum-flowers-in-a-terracotta-vase.
Amongst other things, we looked at and discussed the symbolism in some of the paintings, the messages the artist was intending to convey and how these were embodied in the works. We were encouraged to visit the National Gallery and look at the paintings using our newfound knowledge.