Time to eat my words again. Took brother and sister-in-law to the Waterloo Gardens Tea House today, and "forced myself" to have bara brith, that had been scrummy-but-heavy on 22nd March. Today? Scrummy-and-light!
I've just been catching on iPlayer a programme recommended by a few folks to me - "The Private Life of an Easter Masterpiece." What a beautiful programme! It's all about one of my very favourite paintings, Rogier van der Weyden's "Descent from the Cross" in the Prado, Madrid. This claustrophobic depiction of grief is overwhelming in the flesh. The way Mary's body echoes her Son's, and the precise depiction of tear-stained cheeks and tear-filled eyes is heart-rending. The Prado is one of the greatest galleries in the world, with its Velazquez masterpieces, Goyas, El Grecos - and "The Descent from the Cross." It was painted around 1435 for a guild in Leuven in Belgium. It's in the short list of paintings that have stopped me in my tracks, and this programme does it full justice, I'm glad to say. Its history, the life of van der Weyden, how the work was built up and why it has such impact - everything is unpacked in an easy to follow way. Well done BBC! If you've got 45 minutes to spare and would like to be led into why a great painting is great, follow this link.