Titian: Love Desire Death, The National Gallery

Galleries, London, National Gallery

It was always going to be tricky to keep posting when literally every museum and gallery in the country was closed for a few months, but after a strange and frustrating lockdown we finally have started to see some of our favourite places reopen!

I must admit that the millions of pounds being spent on digitising collections has been completely wasted on me. Notwithstanding the obvious and eternal benefits of photographing, scanning, uploading and indexing the entirety of human civilisation, it just didn’t feel anywhere near as interesting or exciting to stare at an eye-wateringly high definition Lewis Chessman or Jan Van Eyck on a screen as you are now able to do, for instance, at the British Museum Collection Online or the National Gallery Collection Online.

After all, these online collections are not the actual collection, they are just a collection of reproductions of the actual collection. You can’t get the feel for the art or objects in the same way: the texture of the paint or material, the way light reacts and works with the surfaces, the polite little congregations you join or avoid, the peaceful rustle of a lot of people trying to make not a lot of noise. I won’t go into the smells, but for the most part I rank them somewhere up there with ‘old book’.

So, when we got tickets to go and see The National Gallery’s new Titian exhibition, I was very excited.

Titian is one of those artist who I know I should know a lot more about than I actually do know, if I ever want to be taken seriously by arty types. Luckily, I gave up being taken seriously by almost anyone a while ago and I’ll keep it to this: Titian was one of the first Western painters in history to really make their art, above all else, a (successful) pursuit of beauty. He considered his paintings the visual equivalent of poetry.

It’s open until 17th January 2021, alongside many other exhibitions in galleries across the country that have now (thankfully) started to reopen. Enjoy.