Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stephen says Raaa!

Stephen Fry has written a wonderful blogpost about the Royal Academy, one of my all time favourite places. For your pleasure I include a snippit below with a link to the original article at the end.

Blogging down one’s thoughts can sometimes end in bogging them down. Political events, ideological disagreements, rants, apologies, defensive screeds and coverage of techno launches, political scandals and general media excitements have often been the meat, drink, potatoes, peanuts and popcorn of my blogging space, which is fine and well and high and dandy and adorable in its own way (one hopes) but it leaves little time for dilating on the subjects which really move and enliven me. So here is the first of a series of blogulosities in which I try and share a personal delight.

I shall begin with a passion that has been with me since … well, since I was young enough to look and wonder I suppose. Like many of my generation I was made a prisoner for life from an early age by the remarkable Ernst Gombrich, whose The Story of Art Pocket Edition The Story of Art is probably responsible for opening more eyes to painting and sculpture than any other book published in the English language. If you aren’t familiar with it, I am not sure there is any work I could recommend more highly. If you are on a Gombrich spree you might like also to get hold of his A Little History of the World A Little History of the World, which will make you and any children you have handy writhe, ripple and froth with pleasure.

Since reading The Story of Art I have loved looking at pictures. At school I took History of Art (or ‘history o fart’ as I would write on my exercise books because I was exceedingly sophisticated and amusing) for A level and did seriously consider the subject for a degree either at one of the universities or perhaps the Courtauld Institute. The Courtauld, if you don’t know it, has a spectacular and woefully undersung gallery at Somerset House in London, which houses stunning impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, as well as owning perhaps the best art image collection in the world, the Witt Library

Article continues here.

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