I went to London yesterday for an artistic double header: the new Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy and the John Martin exhibition at the Tate Britain.
The Great Day of His Wrath
John Martin was a 19th century English artist popular for his overblown apocalyptic paintings but rather forgotten nowadays . Still it was enjoyable to see a representative collection of his work.
The Degas exhibition was superb.I had long suspected that Degas had had a photographer's eye. His ability to capture movement is something I would kill for! Part of the exhibition concerned his interest in the likes of Eadward Muybridge (whose studies of human and animal movenent was the subject of an extensive and utterly fascinating exhibition at the Tate Britain late last year) and lo! Degas' own work with the camera.
One item that brought me up short and had me watching in rapt admiration for an age. and it was the above film. Made by the Lumiere Brothers it features an unnamed artist performing Loie Fuller's Serpentine Dance. I had never seen this film before but I know I want to watch it again and again.
NB the frames in this from hand painting each frame rather than using an early colour film