Goldfish on the Edge

On Monday I visited The National Gallery for the first time.  I’d agreed to meet a new friend there who happens to have a Masters in Art History and strolling through the galleries with her was like being on my own personal docent tour.  She pointed out influential pieces and explained the technical skill behind the work; though we didn’t see all of the museum (impossible!), she gave me a terrific introduction to the Gallery’s bountiful collection.

As we meandered past amazing works by Titian and Raphael, Da Vinci and Monet, one piece especially jumped out at me, A Girl at a Window by the French artist Louis-Léopold Boilly.  What struck me first about the piece was the fact that it’s composed entirely in black and white.  It feels crisp and modern despite the fact that it’s over two hundred years old, and I was immediately quite taken with it (I mean, those goldfish!). 

After watching a terrifying amount of the Olympics the other night, my live-feeds fell silent so I began a search for more of Boilly’s work and was delighted with the results!  His pieces are flirtatious and sweet, silly yet truthful.  They maintain a spirit that is almost modern and capture moments that were charmingly unusual- in fact, the scope of his work reminds me of Norman Rockwell a little bit, in that it is a combination of intimate daily-life portrayals, more commercial crowd scenes and some lovely silliness.  I shall stop my blabbering as my opinions about art are incredibly unfounded and generally don’t go far beyond “pretty!” or “Mmmmm?”,  but I simply just wanted you to know that I love Boilly and I’m excited to have come to learn of his work.

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