England – Part 9: The Fitzwilliam

(Sunday, January 25th)

Today was a very chill day, we had bunch late in the morning and went to the Fitzwilliam Museum for the afternoon. The bunch was huge! There were beans, scrambled eggs, toast, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, bacon, sausages, and black pudding. It was delicious! (Except for beans, but I don’t like beans. I also didn’t try the black pudding, not that early in the morning.)

In the afternoon, Maurice, Joan, and I went to the famous Fitzwilliam museum to look at their gallery of medieval and renaissance art and many ancient artifacts. But first, we looked at an exhibit on mannequins and how they’ve been used in art. Instead of making models pose for hours and hours, artists used mannequins. They would also use mannequins to stage a painting before they start drawing. Sometimes, if a person looks stiff in a painting, it can be easy to tell that an artist has used a mannequin. Most of the time, however, it is hard to tell.

One cool example is The Black Brunswicker by Sir John Everett Millais. In that time, such a pose would have been inappropriate for male and female models, especially since they would have been strangers. So each model had to pose with a wooden mannequin.

John Everett Millais: The Black Brunswicker.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/John_Everett_Millais_The_Black_Brunswicker.jpg

 

After this exhibit, we went to look at their collection of artifacts. We started by looking at some Korean pottery and tableware. I loved that their pottery was very simple, there weren’t too many bright colours. The shapes and designs were based on nature, such as gourds and trees.

There was also lots of Japanese and Chinese pottery, which was similar to Korean pottery in its simplicity.

There were also some Japanese and Chinese pieces that looked like they were designed specifically for British customers.

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Next we saw some European tableware and porcelain figures.

There were even some figures made in Chelsea!

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Some of the most interesting pieces in the museum were in the Cyprus section. Most of the pieces were over 2000 years old!

There was also a lot of interesting pieces from the Roman and Greek empires. This was especially cool because I know a fair bit about Roman and Greek mythology! (Thanks Percy Jackson!)

The final section we looked at was the Egyptian section. This was also really cool, since it is one of the oldest civilizations in the world! They had an example of some of the first ever paint pigments. There were several painted figures of their Gods. There were also some sarcophagi for their kings and queens!

It was a really cool museum! There was so much to see and we definitely didn’t see all of it (so I’ll probably go back).

It was a nice end to my trip to Cambridge and my trip to England!

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