Sunday, October 28, 2018


As has been our custom for the past 4 years, our family spends Easter vacation in England's south. We only take a 5-day break, so Scotland or even Northern England aren't practical, but the South is just fine because from where we live it's a mere 2 hours to the Shuttle terminal at Coquelles near Calais, and from there, woosh, 25 minutes later you come above ground near Folkestone.

This year we stayed at a B&B in Hutton, near Weston-Super-Mare, and on one of our day trips we visited Bristol. That city boasts some great attractions, among them the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's SS Great Britain (an absolute MUST-SEE), and... the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

They have damn fine collections there, and I'll have to thank the BMAG for enlightening me on the subject of British Impressionism. Indeed, for a very long time I thought that Albion's only noteworthy impressionist was Alfred Sisley (who even spent most of his life in France). It turned out I was mistaken.

Here's The Mackerel Shawl, a breathtakingly beautiful work crafted in 1910 by Algernon Talmage, a turn-of-the-century artist who lived and worked in a studio called 'The Cabin' in St Ives, Cornwall (we may very well visit there next year).


And this is Holidays, by Talmage's contemporary Harry Watson. From ca. 1920.

It is possible that Watson did not think of himself as an Impressionist per se, but since he was a strong believer in en plein air painting, typical for the movement, his works almost invariably breathe Impressionism.

And oh, I'm pleased with getting the colours of The Mackerel Shawl somewhat right, even though from my ole iPhone 4 you know, but the Holidays shown here I copied from the web (since unable to find it right away in the labyrinth that is this laptop). Trust me, Watson's painting in real is far more thrilling.


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