Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Another National Gallery

The National gallery of Ireland is very large. Jack and I spent a while there looking at the permanent collection then we went back today to see the impressionist exhibition that is on at the moment. A guide yesterday had tipped me off that on Thursdays the exhibition is only six euros instead of the usual ten and it was very good. To say that S and I have seen a lot of impressionist paintings in the last ten weeks is an understatement but the ones today were very good. The exhibition is called 'Impressionist Interiors' and all the works are of people rather than landscapes and they were wonderful. Lots of the usual suspects (Degas, Manet, Bonnard, Renoir) as well as some works by the female artists Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassett.
The permanent collection also includes the portraits. interesting but can't say I'll be getting the postcard of the Bono portrait anytime soon. In the rest of the gallery were a bout one thousand paintings of Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, which is not really my thing (more suited for all those happy little pilgrims in Sydney at the moment) however there was an amazing Caravaggio painting of JC and Judas that was very good.
There was also a school excursion with all these teeny tiny kids wearing teeny tiny little boaters and all joined together at the wrist. One of the guides told me that the last time they had a group all joined together like that they went to catch the lift but only six got in leaving four still attached in the lobby and the doors closed...the mental image is alarming but apparently a teacher got the doors open in time.
I'm not sure what I expected of people in Dublin. I didn't expect people at the airport to say, 'Fiddle-di-dee welcome to Ireland,' as they handed me a pint of Guinness but I did expect a certain warmth. I guess maybe like people in Edinburgh. But then Dublin is very big and busy like London. I have met some nice people. The American ladies on the bus were very nice and I also met some lovely Greek ladies in the art gallery who got very excited when I told them I was from Australia. I haven't really found the locals very friendly.
The guide yesterday in the gallery was very nice though and told me some great things to see and do in Dublin. And the man working in the gallery cloakroom today was hilarious. I suggested to him that he must've kissed the blarney stone as he laid the irish charm on with a shovel. I think as Deb would say he's been kissed on the bum by a fairy. He even put on a fake nose while he was getting my bag to make Jack laugh but Jack just stared at him like he was nuts. Oh well. Fiddle-di-dee...

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