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.


pelican said...

How is the book? Small pictures or decent size?

Chris Dunn said...

@ Pelican

The book's dimensions are 22cm (W) x 28 (H). Each piece of art in the exhibition is beautifully reproduced on a single page with comments, preliminary sketches and references to other artists on the opposite page. Towards the back there is also a complete collection of Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post covers.

Hope this helps.

pelican said...