Write a short summary of your gallery visit today. Mention 2 or 3 of the paintings that most appealed to you and why.
Today for ENGL200, instead of having formal classes, we took a trip to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I had heard great things about this art gallery from my friends, so I have excited to check it out for myself. During Michael’s guided tour, I found two paintings that stuck in my mind, Milford Sound by Eugene Von Guerard and The Widower by Sir Luke Fildes.
Eugene Von Guerard’s Milford Sound is a spectacular interpretation of the New Zealand landscape and my favourite artwork in the gallery. The artwork depicts a picturesque and marvellous view of the fiords of New Zealand’s South Island. The attention to detail, scale and colours coupled with the reflection of the fiords in the surface of the water emphasises the beauty and wonder found in nature. The tiny boat which is barely visible is the only form of human presence within the painting. It gives a sense of scale highlighting human smallness and insignificance compared to the grandeur of nature. Guerard’s oeuvre is a perfect romantic representation and celebration of nature in all of its glory. (Side note: this artwork has convinced me that I MUST add kayaking Milford Sound to my bucket list)
On the other hand, Sir Luke Fildes painting depicts a newly widowed father desperately trying to nurse the dying child in his arms. The older daughter standing anxiously in the background and the look of shear heartache on the father face creates a sense of grief and suffering. Most of the paintings in the Victorian Hall portrayed opulent social events and people in beautiful clothing reflecting the feeling of prosperity in England at this time, but Fildes piece juxtaposes those characteristics, the man looks to be of the lower class, his clothes are distressed and worn, and his house is small and run down. Therefore, the painting moves away from superficiality and focuses on the importance of family and the love between a father and his children.