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Sunday, 15 January 2012

London Monopoly (5): Euston Road

Euston Road runs north of central London, south of Regent's Park and is part of the A501, a route that leads west and out of the metropolis. It connects Kings Cross and Euston Square underground stations. The best thing on Euston Road is at number 96; the British Library.
The British Library
It is the world's largest library and often holds wonderful exhibitions and lectures. Anyone can get a readers membership card and most of what they offer is free. There is a huge on-line presence too. I used to use the Business Section a lot; they have Mintel Reports and other documents that you don't find anywhere else (unless you want to pay!). The current exhibition is Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination. You can check it out here.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Painting of the Month (25) Jan 2012: Henry Raeburn

The Skating Minister
The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch  better known as The Skating Minister was painted by Henry Raeburn in the 1790s and is considered as an icon of Scottish culture. It one of the most frequently reproduced works of art, particularly in the UK.
I don't know why, but it always make me smile when I see it. Perhaps it is the serene expression on the minister's face juxtaposed with the faintly comic pose.
The background of the picture is bleak and uninviting but the minister is gracefully making it look very easy to glide across the slippery surface. The theme of this picture might be said to be emblematic of the Scottish Enlightenment in Edinburgh at the time: the triumph of reason.