The National Portrait Gallery

Today started early at six a.m. but, I’m still hanging in there. I need to get to bed earlier though. After the class met (which was a lively discussion of the play from yesterday,  I headed off to the National Portrait Gallery. Another treat.

We needed food by the time we got there so, we went to The Crypt across from the museum.  As we passes the museum on the way, there is a statue of Henry Irving, an actor-manager of the Victorian period. He was the first actor to be knighted by the crown. At The Crypt we had a very nice lunch.  This is an 18th century crypt in St. Martin in the Fields.

We headed back across the street to the National Portrait Gallery.  This is a small, very manageable museum containing portraits of well-known and famous people of Great Britain from today and back through history.  Entering, the first portrait is the recent controversial portrait of Princess Catherine. I believe much of the criticism revolved around how old it made her look. I admit it does but given her maturity and given how well she has handled herself I feel it does her justice. It suggests that maturity.  She looks, beautiful.  Unfortunately,  they won’t let you take a photograph.

We went through the museum fairly quickly today. I expect to go back before I leave. I have included several pictures below. Sorry they haven’t been cropped and cleaned up but, I have no real photo editing capabilities here. I think the most surprising interesting part of this museum is the first part with more recent portraits (see me with Dame Judi Dench).

When we left, we moved quickly down to Trafalgar Square to see Lord Nelson, It was quite packed, of course. Moving on up the mall, I made my first sighting of Big Ben (will get there). We walked up the Mall passing what appearing to be brick castle like structure. Near it was a sign that cracked me up. On a store front – it seemed to be fairly up scale ——- Beretta’s,  since 1526. That seemed absurd. I mean what business lasts 488 years and dates from the time of Henry VIII?  Anyway, I took a picture (see below). We worked our way down some up scale street to a very good french pastry shop and stopped for a chocolate tart and a coffee. Very relaxing and much needed.

After that, we came back and put our feet up for a bit before going to see Perseverance Drive.  Tonight’s play was at The Bush Theatre about a 20-25 minute ride on the underground.  This is a small theatre doing primarily new works and this was a world premiere production. The production was, for me incredibly engaging. However, I can’t understand why. The playwright didn’t focus on one thing. It was as if he could not decide what story he was telling.  The acting was quite good and the design elements were somewhat hit and miss.

That’s it. I need sleep.

Henry Irving, actor. I just thinks it great that there are statues and paintings of famous theatre people every where.

Henry Irving, actor. I just thinks it great that there are statues and paintings of famous theatre people every where.

Me with Dame Judi Dench

Me with Dame Judi Dench

The Ditchley Portrait. Enough said.

The Ditchley Portrait. Enough said.

Colley Cibber, well-known theatre manager and playwright. Just thought it was beautifully done.

Colley Cibber, well-known theatre manager and playwright. Just thought it was beautifully done.

The Tyers family. I just thought this was lovely and not in any costu e history text I've seen.

The Tyers family. I just thought this was lovely and not in any costu e history text I’ve seen.

John Wilkes and daughter,  Mary.  I just felt this woman is way too old to be wearing these colors but, I love the shape of her gown,

John Wilkes and daughter, Mary. I just felt this woman is way too old to be wearing these colors but, I love the shape of her gown,

Fourdrinier Family portrait. This one of several portraits with beautiful clothing that I've never seen in a costume history text.

Fourdrinier Family portrait. This one of several portraits with beautiful clothing that I’ve never seen in a costume history text.

Emmeline Pankhurst portrait. No connection to this other than I thought it was a beautiful portrait.

Emmeline Pankhurst portrait. No connection to this other than I thought it was a beautiful portrait.

The National Gallery Building. Will make it there eventually. So many museums, so little time.

The National Gallery Building. Will make it there eventually. So many museums, so little time.

Lord Nelson at Trafalgar Square

Lord Nelson at Trafalgar Square

My first glimpse of Big Ben.

My first glimpse of Big Ben.

 

The Mall looking toward Buckingham Palace.

The Mall looking toward Buckingham Palace.

This just seemed ridiculous. Since 1526. Really ????????

This just seemed ridiculous. Since 1526. Really ????????

Perseverance Drive program cover

Perseverance Drive program cover