Thursday, 23 July 2009

Corot to Monet

Yesterday lunchtime I went to the national gallery. Been there a million times before and only had half an hour so i went straight to the temporary exhibition of landscape artists including Corot and Monet.

I absolutely love cities. I love being in them, I love living in one, I feel like i thrive of the busyness, the energy. When I walk around and its packed and everyone is trying to get somwhere it gives me a buzz. I like the diversity, I like listening to peoples conversations, getting snippets and words which don't make any sense. I like how you can tell someone who is from the city straight away. The people who belong here. People who have worked here for years, who live their life in the hustle and bustle everyday. They know where to stand on the tube platform, they know exactly where there going, they aren't phased by the massive crowds.

I also love seeing tourists too. I may be the only person in the world who doesn't get annoyed by tourists. When I see people with maps, people lost, taking pictures outside red telephone boxes, speaking different languages, buying souvenirs, i'm really excited for them. I just think to myself that this is such a big deal for them. For some, this is like a once in a life time trip, they've never seen anything like london before. Its completely new to them, its exotic, its totally different from their own countries. I love it how tourists look at cities totally differently, with fresh eyes, new perspectives. They see things that people who live there never notice maybe their whole lives. They appreciate every little thing.

I often feel that people give cities a hard time, especially in their own country. People think they are dirty, littered, man-made. They complain about them, they only want to be inspired by nature and things that are natural. I think this is because people never look around them, their eyes are closed. They only see the litter and they don't see the architecture. They see dirt and they don't see people or history or life. No-one seems to appreciate cities for what they are.

I love cities. especially cities in my own country. I'm proud of living in a place where there is so much culture and history. When someones travelled to come and look at somewhere that I live and see everyday, it makes me feel lucky to live there. I can't even imagine living in a country that doesnt have old cities.

But I do happen to feel the same way about nature. My parents live in the middle of nowhere and as soon as i get outside the city i get the same buzz from the green and the trees. My journey home is the most beautiful ride through the peak district and it always makes me happy. I am in complete awe of everything natural too.

So yesterday, as I walked down regent street and through trafalgar square I got my city fix and then I went inside and found my nature fix in the absoulutely beautiful landscape paintings. I was transported somewhere else for half an hour. And I am rather fond of paintings of not a lot, because they just capture the kind of things we see everyday, but never take the time to appreciate.

Joseph Mallord William Turner- The evening star Charles Francois Daubigny- River scene with ducks

Monet- The Thames below Westminster

Monet- The beach at Trouville

Sunset in Roman Campagna- Simon Denis

Corot- The wood gatherer

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