Monday, 24 October 2011
Rome Day2 - Part B
So, after the Colloseum and the Forum we needed toilets again. Sorry to keep harping on about this but in Rome it is an issue, because there are none. A good standby has always been museums, but I suppose we have become a little spoilt living in the UK because for us the museums are all free.
We came upon the pallazzo della esposizioni which was a bit pricey, only because we had none of the requisite money-off items such as bus tickets or vouchers. Anyway, we hit the toilets, recuperated in the classy cafeteria in the basement, then went to see what the exhibition had to offer. (Actually this isn't quite right. We'd passed many of the paintings on our way to the toilets and were blown away, so in fact we were itching to see the rest.)
Realismi Socialisti - grande pittura sovetica 1920 - 1970
Soviet art on loan from galleries in Moscow, St Petersburg and a few others across Russia. It was fabulous! Well worth the 12.50 Euros we paid to get in. These were big pictures. So much detail. Our favourite was a scene from inside the early Soviet parliament, with Lenin holding forth to a hundred or so members. Each face was unique and detailed and had an emotion all of its own. One face in particular was staring out of the scene straight at the artist. It was quite disconcerting, like being spotted watching something you shouldn't. A wonderful painting. I wish I'd made a proper note of the artist and the painting's name.
One that I did note, though, was a painting by Aleksandr Laktionov, showing a hero of the Soviet Union visiting a tank commander's academy. It is the light and the fine deail in this one that is so astonishing. The way the rug is kicked up by a nonchalant boot. The way the light from the window shines through the paper of the banner that has just been painted. It really is a spellbinding work.
And they just kept coming. Vast canvases. Image after image. One of the best exhibitions I have ever seen. Some seem tantalisingly familiar. Other were completely new. Stumbling into this gallery in Rome was one of those rare serendipitous moments that come along only once in a while. If this is a touring exhibition I hope it comes to the UK, because we'll be there, for sure.
So then we found a lovely little trattoria and had pizza, and a sensational day was complete.
And now it's Monday. What wonders are in store for us today?