Staring at art from the Tate's collection and thinking about it

Monday, 17 June 2013

Waterlow Park, Highgate - Rodney J. Burn

Rodney J. Burn, Waterlow Park, Highgate, c. 1924, oil on canvas, 1480 x 2970 x 55 mm, Tate.







This large painting was one of eight large works offered by a group of artists to decorate the new County Hall in London.  Unfortunately, County all didn't want it, so it's taking up space in Tate storage instead.
   A curious work, with modern Londoners depicted in the classical style.  A water-nymph straight out of Poussin leans on a picnic hamper, while a putto raises itself out of a pram.  Meanwhile a swam glides on still water.  The semi-circular frame creates the sense these well-to-do leisure-seekers of yesteryear are trapped in a glass paperweight forever.

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