Tory Historian returned to the excellent National Portrait Gallery exhibition, The Indian Portrait. It is free and will not be closing till this coming Sunday. It is thoroughly to be recommended for the wonderful pictures as much as the explanation of various developments - enough to give one some idea of how matter stood in various princedoms, politically and artistically; of the Mughal influence; and of the British one - but not enough to make one's head spin. Of course, those who already know the history in some detail will find the explanations superficial but, Tory Historian hopes, the art superlative.
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, once the mainstay of London's social and intellectual life (one wonders whether the quality was better in those days) has opened. Tory Historian ambled along on one of the Members' Days but decided to eschew the Pimm's this time.
The exhibition was not offensive. In fact, some of it is surprisingly good (surprisingly, as one recalls certain past efforts). The gorilla made out of coat hangers is highly entertaining and bears more than a certain resemblance to King-Kong after his defeat of the prehistoric monster. And Gillian Ayres's paintings are as bright and harmoniously colourful as ever. The great lady is now 80 but long may she continue to paint.
However, to see the very best of the Exhibition one does not need to go inside or pay for a ticket. Three of the late Barry Flanagan's Hares: Hare and Bell, Nijinsky Hare and Left-Handed Drummer are in the courtyard and very fine they are, too.
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