Magpiecostumer's Blog

First day in London – National Portrait Gallery

I arrived in London at 7AM this morning and got through customs and picking up my bags surprisingly quickly I was out of the arrivals area by 8AM.

After I dropped my bags off at the hotel I spent the afternoon at the National Portrait gallery, I can’t share photos, as there’s no photography allowed in the gallery but I filled 4 pages of my A5 notebook with notes on details and sketches from the portraits (mainly from the Tudor section) which I will have to remember to scan once I get home.  It was very cool to see the real thing up close instead of a small scan. I think the biggest revelation was the portrait of Catherine of Aragon on my screen it always appeared to be a black gown but in person it’s actually a dark brown gown but the kirtle is black (it’s also easy to see thedividing line at the edge of the gown neckline and the kirtle neckline which you can’t see in scans).

I also looked at the Victorian and Regency I think the most fun was a marble statue of Victoria and Albert dressed in medieval clothes, there’s lots of symbology in the decoration but my favourite was the decoration on the hem of Albert’s cloak which was just VA (obviously Victoria and  Albert) repeated over and over, but the sculptor didn’t bother to continue the decoration all the way around the cloak and stopped halfway along the back (it’s located in the centre of the room so you can walk all the way around it)

In bad news the adaptor I bought to be able to recharge my laptop doesn’t work, but I think I know how I can make it work, I’ve just got to find a screwdriver, and my battery will last several hours more so I can wait till tomorrow.

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