Thursday, 2 June 2011

way down south

Down south they like their nouvelle cuisine.  I have mentioned before that Southampton is not a bad place to go out for a meal.  However, Mrs Dave and I checked the new leaflet and  think they got wise to us - the offer no longer applies! 

Still, we visited the area again briefly at the beginning of the week and went for a drive out through the New Forest (why "New"?) and stopped off for a bite of lunch at The Filly Inn at Brockenhurst.  Mrs Dave went for the offer - starter and main for a tenner but second born and I opted for the most expensive thing, Venison.  All served in a "modern" manner. The evening before we'd been to the White Star and although excellent, it was all very, well, nouvelle.    This tends to mean small helpings accompanied by a few chips piled up like a game of Jenga with some jus sprinkled on top. It's all very nice - the venison was good and there was plenty of it - but it's becoming a bit old hat now, isn't it?

Anyway, if you caught the recent series on tv called Perspectives then you may have marvelled at how rich (and ugly) Andrew Lloyd Webber is, or even been blown away by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood paintings he owns.  He's not the sort of person I'd want to spend much time with (after all, I'm an oik) but if he wants to invite me round for a cup of Earl Grey and to check out his PRB stuff, I'd be quite happy to.  I know the old PRB are often scoffed at but their subject matter and pure craft keep me interested.  Especially Edward Burne-Jones.

EBJ certainly knew how to paint beautiful women - Andromeda in the illustration  is one of my two all-time favourite nudes. What's all this got to do with the price of fish you ask? Well, Southampton Art Gallery has a fantastic room with the whole of the Perseus series by EBJ.  And finally after a fair few trips there to see second born at Uni, I managed to get there to see it.  Experience it.  There are a few artists that I admire who I really wish I could draw/paint like.  Jones is definitely one of them.  Barry Windsor Smith is another - although mostly known as a comic book artist, he has been heavily influenced by the PRB.

The Perseus series was a commission and he never actually produced a finished version of the ten paintings.  If you look at the Atlas one there's a dreadful image of Perseus flying - it looks as though he came in drunk one night and thought, "I'll just paint Perseus in before I go to bed".  The image of Atlas had obviously had hours spent on it. 

It was a pleasure to go in to the little room in the Gallery and spend some genuine quality time looking at these fantastic "cartoons" (as they're referred to*).  Then we went and wandered about looking at the Andy Warhol exhibition.   No competition.  Least said, soonest mended.

* Reminds me of Pete and Dud looking at the Da Vinci cartoon of the Madonna and Child: " 'ere Pete, it's not very funny, is it?"


Brendini said...

Tee hee! You can see Andromeda's bum!

Martyn Cornell said...

the New Forest (why "New"?)

Because it was a place where "forest" laws applied (ie and eg the peasants couldn't kill the game, only "royalty" and their invitees) that had been set up from scratch by William the Conqueror, so in contrast to all the older forests of England, eg Sherwood, this was the "new" one. A bit like a "new town" …

Dave Leeke said...


Yes and it's a lovely one.


Thank you - I was aware that Froggy Bill was involved. It's sometimes easier to ask such questions rather than look it up. There's always a clever person out there who knows these things. Who needs Wikipedia? By the way, did you know that if you dial 63336 to Any Questions Answered, they do just that. I don't suppose it works in your neck of the woods (see, I got it back to forests and suchlike).

Dave Leeke said...


By the way, I have tried commenting on your blog but Blogger is being crap and keeps calling me "anonymous". I've never been anonymous in my life.

Anyway my brilliant comment recently was going to be how your caricature of Jim Broadbent looks like our friend the vet, Robert. Then it went on about llamas and Neil Young. All in all it may be a good thing tha Blogger doesn't work properly.

You had to be there.

Brendini said...

Dave, I recently had problems adding new posts. Blogger kept crashing my internet connection. I found out it was because I had upgraded Internet Explorer to the latest version which just happens to be made of pure sewage. I use Google Chrome now. Much, much better.
Re: Jim Broadbent. Were you trying, in your own inimitable manner, to tell me that my drawing looked nothing like him? I KNOW, I KNOW!

Dave Leeke said...

Ooh, that sounds like technobabble. How do people "find out" these things? I've found out that I'm crap with anything technical so just sit around until it works - or pay someone who understands such matters.

I can't access the Independent's crossword page today - it'll turn up some time, I guess.

As for the drawing, what can I say? It's a nice drawing but as you said, not a caricature.

Mike C. said...

I can see I'm going to have to ask your advice on eating out -- we do it so rarely, we end up going to whichever of the two places we go to we didn't go to last time.

The New Forest is also like a New Town in that local youths twoc cars and set fire to them in the bosky glades. I have often contemplated a photo project on New Forest burned cars, but it's probably already been done.

I'm afraid Burne-Jones gives me the creeps... And Andromeda looks like a disco diva avant la lettre. I keep looking for a stack of handbags on the ground. It is a great gallery, though, and I've spent many happy hours in there. It has a very classy collection.