Wednesday, 20 April 2016
We added serendipity to our planning, spurred by the diminution of water to our flat. Management claimed it was a problem for all their properties and across the immediate area. (Shower later, I thought.) So, we headed to Starbucks for an energy boost, then took the train over to the V&A, founded 1852 and now with 145 galleries (I read that; I did not count even the ones I entered). Whew. Here’s a tiny sampling of the sample that we saw.
Sion gospel book, cover/binding dates to ~AD 1140-1150; central panel of Christ probably later.
Carved ivory panel portraying a pagan (non-Christian) ceremony probably celebrating Dionysus, Symmachi family, Rome, AD 400. This was after Constantine declared for Christianity for the Empire, and during the time that both persisted. Heavy-featured priestess, no?
Tomimoto Kenkichi painted pottery plate, 1931. Friend of Bernard Leach’s from Tokyo.
Pablo Picasso, 1950–51, “Cavalier sur sa Monture.” On that web page, the V&A says, “Picasso successfully challenged traditional divisions in the arts world and made a major impression on a new generation of potters.” (It’s Picasso, so it’s a big pic.)
Ceiling of the ante-room of the 1877–78 home, The Grove, in Harborne, near Birmingham. Designed by John Henry Chamberlain; woodwork by Samuel Barfield. The V&A got the room just before the building was demolished in the mid-1960s.
Now somewhat faded due to the use of natural dyes, this hand-knotted piece was co-designed by William Morris and John Henry Dearle, and is called the Bullerswood Carpet, as it was made for John Sanderson’s house in Kent, called Bullers Wood some places. The design elements are drawn from nature. Date:1889.
View through dirty window. And this is paved, clean London. Think what it used to be like….
On to Harrods (founded 1834; apparently now owned by Qatar Investment Authority), first for lunch and then to browse. This was my lunch, grilled Dover sole with hollandaise sauce, a glass of sancerre, and a side salad of rocket and shaved parmesan, with a lovely, light vinaigrette that included fine-chopped shallots. Oh, yum. We went in honor of the pre-Al-Fayed history, and the extensive offerings. Probably won’t go back—too much merchandise with Harrods imprinted on it and too commercial in general; however, food tasty and high-quality in food hall and this seafood grill.
Bluetooth speakers with bone-shaped remote.
“Army men” display in Toys section.
Off to nearby Hyde Park to sit in the sun, and…
…heard an incoming clop-clop, and had mounted police come by our sun-bench…
…and saw a meadow of bluebells foregrounding…police vehicles as we left the park. We can say: police presence, no?
Water’s back on and we’re recovering in our flat (all feet are tired; whole of The Guru is tired.)