I visited last Thursday, and was surprised by how many other people were there in the gloomy conditions of the exhibition where many artefacts and pictures had been gathered together.
I photographed a banner outside, as there were no photographs allowed inside the exhibition, and just as well really because there were so many people looking round an intimate space. I should have done my homework on William Blake before attempting the exhibition; it's superb, but I would have got more out of it if I'd looked at some of the images beforehand.
Gods in Colour - Painted Sculpture in Antiquity runs until June 14th, and is well worth looking at because it turns on its head our notions of good taste in sculpture; garden gnomes would not have looked out of place in those days. Here's Alexander in 320BC taken from a sarcophagus:
Next I looked at Ed Paschke's exhibition, again no photographs,but you can look at the website by clicking on his name.
From there to Hiroshige's Japan - Fifty three stations of the Tokaido.
Hiroshige established his reputation in the early 1830s with this print series depicting scenes along the major highway linking cities of Edo and Kyoto. He used a newly available Western pigment known as Prussian Blue to depict water and sky, this brilliant blue was particularly effective when applied using a printing technique called bokashi, which allows subtle colour gradation.
We were fortunate enough to be there on the day when the Curator of Japanese Art, Dr Clare Pollard was giving a talk, finding the first talk at 2pm full, she kindly offered to repeat the talk at 3pm. It was a great experience to be shown round the exhibition by such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic curator. I have included two photographs, firstly 'Desolate Winter Scene at Hamamatsu' which amongst others depicts porters warming themselves by a fire:
From there, I had a quick look at a few favourites in the permanent collection. There are lots, but here's a few:
And below, a model for a relief cast in silver which was mounted in a cabinet door by Sir James Frampton (1860-1928)