Mar 1, 2008


Monday was spent running around trying to take in some galleries and museums while trying to figure out the underground metro. There are some really colorful and intricate murals at some of the stations such as the one below. Arriving at The National Gallery you first encounter Trafalgar Square which has many beautiful fountains and public areas for people to gather. The museum houses a great collection of Western European paintings which belong to the public and there is no entrance fee to pay.
After entering, the first thing I noticed was this large urn holding this arrangement at the top of a flight of stairs. While using forced branches has been done before, it never occurred to mix dormant ones in the way it is done here. Call me a beginner I guess....... It was a mix of Prunus sp., Malus sp. , Salix sp., Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue', sticks wrapped in moss and Aspidistra elatior (?) foliage (commonly called the Cast-iron plant-it's a very, very easy houseplant for those not good with plants... I know who you are....). The whole arrangement held its own in the large entry hall due to the weight of the arrangement at the top of the urn.
Collection highlights included the famous Van Eyck painting 'The Arnolfini Portrait', 'Sunflowers' by Van Gogh and many other pieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Turner, Poussin, Seurat, Cezanne, Vermeer, and Michaelangelo. Alot of the great museums here are free which is welcomed since the the pound is worth twice the dollar. Leaving later than expected, this was the view upon exiting, which is Trafalgar square looking towards 'Big Ben'.