Looking for colour 3
A single uninhibited busker brings noise and colour to Trafalgar Square.
In the National Gallery I start with a favourite artist, Piero della Francesca and his The Baptism of Christ, c1450. He fits the romance of colour in where he can.
Having recently visited their respective patches on the River Stour only 15 miles apart, I head to Constable and Gainsborough, two great painters.
A riotous Carnival of Animals passes. Afterwards I see a sign ‘Please do not feed the animals’. No that was my subconscious typing, the sign actually said. ‘Please do not photograph the children.’ Perhaps that’s why the hyena lifted its leg to urinate on me.
I reach Impressionism. Famous works fill out competitive greens and blues, apart from one of Monet’s Haystacks (on loan, photography not allowed), not one of my favourites stacks, rather washed-out, pale honey. Colour spins out of one picture that is lighting the whole room – a blinding frontier. Arthur Streeton’s ‘Blue Pacific’, 1890. I feel lucky to live in Australia.
I went looking for his blue world in Sydney Harbour a few months ago, and think I found it.