Tuesday 1 March 2011
Rockwell's America In England, Dulwich Picture Gallery
Last week I finally visited the Norman Rockwell Exhibition in Dulwich. WOW!!!! What an artist. I thought I knew his art reasonably well from books but seeing the original work blew away any preconceptions I had.
One thing which surprised me most was the seemingly random scale he worked. In his 'Norman Rockwell Visits A Ration Board' I was amazed to see how small it was (13 1/2" x 23 1/2") akin to Millais' 'Isabella'. Hung nearby was a famous Christmas Saturday Evening Post cover 'Knight Looking In Stained Glass Window' which was massive in comparison at 44 1/4" x 34 1/4". The smaller painting contained much more detail and depth but the larger was more striking and impressive even though it was for a magazine. Maybe Rockwell had more time at his disposal for the Christmas image and possibly hung the canvas in the festive season, who knows?
The technique was sublime and characters rich. I could barely move for fellow gallery goers gasping (say that after a few shandies) then laughing, running over to a friend and pointing out something new.
The setting was rather nice too. Dulwich is a very upmarket pat of South London, crammed full of parks, colleges, and what look like to me, mansions. While I was sat outside waiting for a certain somebody to come back from a tea hunt I took this panoramic. Not five minutes after I had packed my camera away a fox shot right across the grounds, just my luck. I'm afraid you'll have to imagine it in the photo.
Click here for some videos about the exhibition.