Art Critique: Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

Mr and Mrs William Hallett ('The Morning Walk') by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

When I went to the National Gallery in London, England, I saw a life-size, oil and canvas painting by Gainsborough titled, “The Morning Walk.” I liked it for three simple reasons: 1) I love Gainsborough’s light, feathery brushstrokes 2) I related the painting to my boyfriend and me walking my silly dog as part of our daily routine. 3) It was featured as a backdrop in the James Bond “Skyfall” movie– when he first meets Q (CLIP HERE).

Q & Bond at the National Gallery, London.

Q & Bond at the National Gallery, London.

However, I digress. The point is, this painting was made for a simple reason: to create a marriage portrait for William Hallett and Elizabeth Stephen (both aged 21 at the time) and due to be married in the summer of 1785. The couple solemnly link arms to walk in woodland landscape with a panting, joyful Spitz dog at Elizabeth’s heel. According to the National Gallery, “Portraits of wealthy sitters posed in a natural setting and dressed in their finest (but not necessarily most practical) clothes were a popular status symbol.” The conversation piece, which is the undone jacket and with one hand tucked into it is a stance seen in many fashionable 18th-centry informal portraits. There is also speculation that Elizabeth’s ivory silk dress is her wedding dress.

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London, thou art the flower of cities all!

One of the the things she most liked about the city -apart from all its obvious attractions, the theatre, the galleries, the exhilarating walks by the river- was that so few people ever asked you personal questions. -Julia Gregson (There’s me … Continue reading

I love the feeling of being anonymous in a city I’ve never been before

I love the feeling of being anonymous in a city I've never been before

 This year was astounding. I did a lot of travelling and when I mean a lot… I literally did two Euro trips during the summer and managed to squeeze a trip to the state of California, USA in the autumn. The first trip to the European continent was for fun: to see family in London, England and to accompany my mother to her I.T Managers’ conference in Spain. The second trip was an impromptu flight to Italy to teach English –with detours to France and Spain. Yes, I left my comfortable, office job to teach in a foreign country. Luckily, my office still had a job waiting for me when I returned…even they knew a teaching gig in Italy was an amazing opportunity.  Yes, I went to Spain twice. Spain is THAT amazing.

For the next few days I’ll document my favourite moments and photos during my travels (Check the “featured” content). It’s a good way to bid adieu to 2012 before 2013 begins.