Google+ Followers

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Boats and Bustan.

Down among the boats again today.
The countryside intensely green as we twisted down towards the estuary.
Sat with a basket of things I'd baked looking out over a sea like a vast sheet of silk that seemed to ripple like the fabric.A pale metallic blue.

Made me think of the exhibition (see previous post).

The explanatory notes said that owners and artists of the manuscripts (the bulk  925-1490) were sensitive to aspects of the art that we aren't.
We tend to focus on the intricacy , the age and the religious content.They ,on the other hand , we are told , valued luminosity/brilliance and intensity/saturation of colour.
The very best were where the artist had built layer on thin layer of precisely placed colour.Vibrant blues ,reds and deep greens.Especially the French and Persian ones.

It's a huge exhibition.I'll go again around Christmas.So this visit was a general look and then homing in a couple of favourites.

Two had the saturation of colour but other particular treats.

One , French , (1376 - 1379) had stark black text.The odd letter jutting out into the margin.
Each jutting letter made a perch.
On one sat a finch , on another a cuckoo and on a third a magpie had come to roost.
The birds were explicit in detail. I'm a bird watcher but not an expert.I knew them instantly.
Explicit and exquisite.

The second one was by Sa'Di Bustan and was Persian. ( Bustan means orchard apparently ). So in 1257 the artist ,Orchard, painted hares , deer , oxen and a swooping bird.
The oxen had the huge round horns you'd expect . He was a corker.
I stood grinning from ear to ear as tourists whirred round me. They were glancing at everything and looking at nothing.

Time and specifics that's what gets you there. Honing in on things and giving yourself time for them to become meaningful.
Whether that's green countryside , serene seascapes or something else.

Those eyes looking out from the medieval manuscripts have been at it a lot longer than me. But , there we all are. Gazing out . Thoughtful . The magpie , the oxen and me.


  1. Dear Angela. I read this post yesterday evening and thought it very beautiful. Then I had a look at the Fitzwilliam site and knew I would want to see the Colour exhibit. I wrote to an artist friend, who lives near Cambridge, to let her know that I wish to visit the exhibit if I am fortunate in my autumn travel plans. She will be seeing the show soon.

    This morning, in the midst of more city heat and humidity, I have had another look at this post. The paragraph that begins, "Time and specifics" expresses a feeling very familiar to me.

    Thank you. xo

  2. Autumn travel plans !
    E mail me when you have the details.

  3. I Googled the Fitzwilliam Museum and read about the Colour collection. Really fascinating. I wish I could see it.

  4. Hello Angela, your piece has inspired me to make a special effort to see this amazing sounding exhibition. Thank you and thanks for visiting my blog too!
    Jane xx