|Daffodils in Hyde Park! Signs of spring.|
I started at the Marble Arch, walking through Hyde Park and then down through Green Park and to Buckingham Palace.
|Queen Elizabeth Gate into Green Park|
|Australian War Memorial, names of battles are visible from far away and then disappear as the names of individuals appear when you move closer, due to the way the letters are carved.|
|Canada Gate at Buckingham Palace.|
|Canada Gate, not sure how we managed to get our name on something so classy.|
|Buckingham Palace, no sign of the Queen.|
|Victoria Memorial at the start of the Mall|
After Buckingham Palace, I walked through St. James' Park which is full of various types of waterfowl. This park was first enclosed by Henry VIII as a personal hunting area. The pelicans are the main attraction, and I saw some very excited children running around looking for them! There is also a tiny Swiss cottage which was deliberate attempt to oppose the majestic palatal buildings lining the park.
|The fabled pelicans in St. James Park.|
|Swiss Cottage in St. James Park. Some kale trying to grow under the mesh despite the frigid weather....|
|Brussel sprouts in the cottage garden, not sure that they need any protection from the waterfowl.|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for Danny.|
|Fancy Horse Guard, looking serious. Sign on his right cautions that horses may bite.|
|Refreshing myself with hot chocolate and chocolate croissant.|
Considering the weather, I decided that indoor activities would be a good idea, so I checked out the National Gallery, conveniently located on Trafalgar Square. It was impressive, so say the least. I try to pick my favourite painting whenever I go to an art gallery. Here are my choices for today, with clever captions from the National Gallery who are much better art critics than me.
|Bathers at Asnieres, Georges Seurat|
The National Gallery Description is below:
Asnières is an industrial suburb west of Paris on the River Seine. The present work shows a group of young workmen taking their leisure by the river.
This was the first of Seurat's large-scale compositions. He drew conté crayon studies for individual figures using live models, and made small oil sketches on site which he used to help design the composition and record effects of light and atmosphere. Some 14 oil sketches and 10 drawings survive. The final composition, painted in the studio, combines information from both.
While the painting was not executed using Seurat's pointillist technique, which he had not yet invented, the artist later reworked areas of this picture using dots of contrasting colour to create a vibrant, luminous effect. For example, dots of orange and blue were added to the boy's hat.
The simplicity of the forms and the use of regular shapes clearly defined by light recalls paintings by the Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca. In his use of figures seen in profile, Seurat may also have been influenced by ancient Egyptian art.