After class, he took me to the Fitzwilliam Museum, an art gallery within the boundaries of Peterhouse College at Cambridge University.
Climbing its grand cream marble stairs made you feel miniscule in comparison to the beautifully sculpted and similarly coloured Doric pillars. The extreme resemblance to the Parthenon was especially striking in the entablature, which depicted Greek Gods and Goddesses providing the area with fertility and success. It felt so sacred and majestic, almost as though Athena herself was about to descend from the heavens and bestow upon us all of the knowledge accessible to man!
I just smiled blandly and nodded as he continued to ramble on about the museum’s history in between the sharp Click! of his hipster cranberry Polaroid. I had begged him to get a different, normal color, but the cranberry “spoke to him”; no other color would suffice.
By the time we finally entered, I was already regretting my decision to come. Without bothering to grab a map, he dragged me upstairs to the 16th century British paintings. 1500s? You’ve got to be kidding me.
“Hercules Killing the Hydra c. 1630” How amazing was it that we had the ability to save precious artifacts for over five hundred years? Look at that rippled texture – each line so deliberate and in perfect alignment, curving to the image like a fingerprint. The pure jet blackness of the ink was stunning, making the whole story pop out three-dimensionally. Hercules’ muscles and veins were so defined and realistic!
I told him I wanted to be under that sword. And Hydra? Where was the hydra? Hercules was half naked and had a huge club and he was beating some random woman. Was she supposed to be the Hydra? Why was there a random baby? It wasn’t like it was cute, or anything. He needed to stop getting so analytical. Just look at the painting and move on! Needless to say, he did not take my advice, rather continued around the entire 30-acre floors, commenting on each work, as if expecting some kind of similar response from me. I could not care less about how “fascinating” the works of Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding’s were!
After a few hours, we went down to the basement with even more works. I was relieved, however, when he only wanted to show me a special porcelain vase. It was cute, with a rose body surrounding a cream oval. In the oval was an elderly Chinese couple, holding hands and smiling towards you. How sweet!
The suffering this artist was able to capture was unbelievable! Take a look at that sickly and weak red, a sign of passion, crushed by the weight of the world. The oval representing the never-ending turmoil and tribulations they must have faced. And that couple! Their absolute looks of depression and surrender…