"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Showing posts with label museums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label museums. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring in Stockholm......with vice-cream!

Last Friday I got an early taste of spring as I spent a lovely sunny day in Stockholm. While large amounts of snow were still evident last week here in Finland and temperatures were still low enough to catch a cold, I hopped onboard a Viking Line ferry in Helsinki and headed southwest to the picturesque city of Stockholm in Sweden. I had been on short visits to the city before but always during cold and unpleasant weather. This time it was perfect, a bright sunny day with temperatures around 15C degrees. Not too hot, not too cold, perfect conditions for any irishman!

I really like the ferry trip between Finland and Sweden. There's always an interesting mix of people from both countries, aswell as a few russians and the occasional 'foreigner' like me! Everybody onboard always seems to be enjoying themselves.

The weather in Stockholm was indeed good to me on this occasion and I took full advantage of it by walking around the city streets and sitting outside several cafes. Lot's of interesting sights to see. I also noticed a lot of flowers sprouting up around the town centre. A refreshing sight to see after several months of snow and freezing cold.

National Museum of Fine Art, Stockholm.
In the afternoon I dropped by the National Museum of Fine Art where there was a special art exhibition taking place. It was titled 'Lust and Vice', a collection and an account of how sexuality, virtue and sin have been illustrated and shown in art from the 16th century to present day. The exhibition is varied and quite graphical, not the sort of thing you might like to take your grandmother to. Then again, granny does enjoy a good laugh! And yes, once again, lots of interesting things to see!

Here's a video I found on the exhibition. It's only in Swedish, but there's great detail to the images so it's worth a look.

Bildspel, Lust & Last from Nationalmuseum on Vimeo.

Unfortunately this irish catholic boy had to give this exciting exhibition a miss. Alas I had good reason not to corrupt myself with this unique insight. For one thing, the sunshine outside was just too nice to be stuck indoors. And secondly I didn't have much time to see a complete exhibition as I had a tight schedule and a boat to catch at the end of the day.

Instead, I opted for a big fat ice-cream and a short boat trip along Stockholm's canal and waterways instead.
Let's call it my vice-cream!

Here's a short video I put together with some photos of my little day out. A little less costly and not a bad substitute for a day at the gallery!
Excuse the dodgy camerawork and enjoy!

Before I finish this post I want to say a big thank you to the nice person in Exton, Pennsylvania who purchased a print of my painting titled 'Birch Path' yesterday. You have excellent taste and I fully appreciate the sale!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Strongbow's Awakening!

When I lived back in Ireland one of my favourite places to visit was the National Art Gallery. I often found myself walking around the streets of Dublin city on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when suddenly it would start to rain. This was usually the opportunity I took to visit the gallery. It's warm, relaxing and after ten minutes inside I usually forgot about the world outside. It's always been an oasis of calm in the very hectic city that is Dublin. It's a fine complex consisting of four interconnected buildings, the Dargan, Milltown, Beit and Millenium Wings. The oldest of the four, the Dargan Wing was formerly opened in 1864. The newest, the Millenium Wing which was opened in 2002 has a very modern contemporary look to it. You may ask how have they managed to fuse such an old building with such a new one. Well, it's cleverly done and the buildings cannot be truly seen next to each other from outside as both facades face out onto two different streets, Merrion Square and Clare Street.

I always remember the first time I arrived at the old gallery back in the eighties. As I walked in I was stopped by the vision of the biggest painting I had ever seen. I said to myself “Wow!”. And honestly that's all I could think to say. Since then, everytime I go back to the gallery I always try to see it. The painting is called 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife' by Daniel Maclise.

'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife' by Daniel Maclise, 1854

The painting shows the marriage of Norman invader Richard de Clare, also known as Strongbow, to Aoife, daughter of Dermot McMurrough, the King of Leinster. This marriage was considered a major event in Ireland's history as it symbolised the start of 800 years of British rule. Sized at a huge 10ft x 16ft (that's over 3 x 5 meters I think), it was painted in 1854. I wanted to make this blogpost in recognition of this fine painting and it's Cork-born artist, Daniel Maclise. Today January 25th is the artist's birthday, so 'Happy Birthday Mr. Maclise wherever you are!' and thanks for a wonderful painting. I was recently saddened yet delighted after reading a news article about this painting. Firstly, I found out that the painting is being removed soon from the gallery walls for two years. Then I saw that this was due to a planned restoration. So that news cheered me up a bit. Apparently a US bank is sponsoring it's restoration, which can be read about here. That's good news indeed, especially since I can't see much help coming from the Irish banks at the moment!

Thank you for visiting my blog!!!

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- Alan


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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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