21 Nov 2011

Virgin on the Rocks

“Is that a muskrat then?” No, it is not. It’s an Ermine. So, a mink in winter. “Wot’s a mink?” Well, its a bit like a weasel. And the woman who is holding the weasel is the Duke’s mistress, and yes, that’s his other mistress.
On the other wall. The lady who looks a bit like our old nanny, yes. And yes, the first one, that’s the one holding the ermine, she’s only 16. And no, her hair is not tied under her chin, that’s a hat.

At this point in my explanation, the other people crowded around da Vinci’s portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, who had probably been queueing since dawn, started shifting from foot to foot and giving me death stares.

Look, people, I just wanted to recreate the Tutankhamun Moment. I still remember being taken to see the treasures in 1972 at the British Museum. And this is the Tutankhamun of today. So I had bagged a family ticket, and this was the moment.

“You will want to remember being here,” I announced to my four as I dragged them across Trafalgar Square. “In years to come people will say Did You See The Leonardo Exhibition? and you will be able to say Yes!” Everyone stood by the giant poster and we took photos. Then we went to The Show Of The Year.

We were there for half an hour. We only looked at the paintings, and about two drawings. We looked mostly at the two mistresses and played Spot the Difference between the two Virgin of the Rocks. Or as Gabriel put it, Virgin on the Rocks, which surely the National MUST market forthwith as a new cocktail.

Then we went and listened to the people playing Renaissance music in the foyer and bought lots of Christmas trinkets in the shop.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments.