Art is our own true global language. It knows no Nation,It favours no Race,and it acknowledges no Class.
It speaks to our need to reveal, heal and transform. It transends our ordinary lives
and lets us imagine what is possible…
If you had a bucket list of the top 20 works of Art you wanted to see in your lifetime I reckon the Mona Lisa would be right up there.Who could blame you, I mean it is the most famous and instantly recognisable work of Art in the Modern Western World.
It hangs pride of Place in the Louvre in Paris .
There are 6,000 Paintings that hang in the Louvre at any one time and yet everyone who visits will make that bee-line for Mona.
What a girl. She has her own room at the Louvre and even receives fan mail..So let me ask you this…Is this the best Painting in the world, the most famous yes, but don’t forget, there are other paintings all around her in the Louvre, just as beautiful and yet we barely give them 5 seconds……..
Although in the Art World the painting has long been acknowledged as a Masterpiece, it wasn’t until it was stolen on the 21st August 1911 that it gained its infamy. After it was stolen the media frenzy that ensued captured the public’s attention and people came in their droves for the two years she was missing just to look at the space where she had hung.
When the thief was caught and the Painting was returned to the Louvre the whole world was watching. Mona was no longer a painting……… The Mona Lisa was now a Celebrity .
I was 14 years old when I got to go see her. I was a little underwhelmed. For starters just like the photo above there was way too many people elbowing to get the best spot.We all really wanted to see those eyes of course, the enigmatic smile but alas its actually quite a small painting and with it behind a glass case , well lets just say at 14 years old I really didn’t know what all the fuss was about.However I have had a love of Art Museums and Galleries ever since.
Closer to home “The Meeting on the Turret Stairs” by Fredrick William Burton has been voted Ireland’s favourite painting.
Its a beauty of a Painting and hangs in the National Gallery. It is based on the medieval Danish ballad about the ill-fated love between Hellelil and her bodyguard Hildebrand . It features the lovers sharing a fleeting moment on the turret stairs.
Adding to its allure is the fact that because it can be susceptible to light it is kept behind a closed cabinet and can only be viewed for one hour every day 4 days a week.
As amazing as this Painting is , it’s not my own personal favourite from the National gallery.That top spot goes to “The Convent garden by William Leech.There’s a bench in the room in front of this Painting. I always try to go in when the Gallery first opens in the morning or just before it closes in the evening.There’s a lot less people and I often find myself alone with this piece.
I remember one particular morning having a sit-off with a young couple.We hardly moved,quiet as a feather,each with our own thoughts, each with our own Stillness……
There are Art museums and Galleries everywhere and studies have shown that experiences create more happiness than material goods.It’s free entertainment and a great way to stir the senses.Studies have also shown that visiting an Art gallery can have a calming effect and can help you” Slow as you Go” in this crazy world.Its a magical and wonderful experience.It can have a huge impact on you if you open your mind to it. It will engage and surprise you. You can get lost but of course you’re not lost , you’re exactly where you should be.
Oh and by the way I won the sit-off…….