Friday, 31 August 2012

Once in a blue moon

So I had one chance, and one chance only, to see the "Van Gogh Up Close" exhibit which is having its one Canadian stop at the National Gallery. I booked tickets for the first group of the day and used my time-honoured art gallery strategy which works particularly well at popular showings: I strode past all the people bunching up at the first pictures at the beginning of the exhibit, and made my way past small gatherings of slightly suspicious security staff to the very last room and started working my way backwards. This way, I had nearly two rooms to myself.

I also don't go to every single painting; I scan the walls and go to those that call to me. The first one that drew me in was the one you see above. It's called "Tree Trunks in the Grass", and it was painted some time during the last six months of Van Gogh's life.

As I "listened" for other paintings (and about half a dozen kept pulling me back), I remembered the first (and only other) Van Gogh exhibit I saw some years ago in Toronto. I used my strategy then and got hypnotised by a contemporary of Van Gogh's named Louis Anquetin. See if you agree:
Oh, and there really is a blue moon tonight.