Thursday, 28 July 2011

Flowers Please

Following the death on Tuesday of Margaret Olley, (who was among other things a great supporter of the wonderful National Art School - one of the few art schools left, as she pointed out, where you don't spend four days a week talking about making art and only a day actually making it), the Australian printed a picture of her by Jeffrey Smart. What surprised me about the painting, given that it seemed to be in many ways a realistic one, (the Margaret Olley figure is certainly recognisably Margaret Olley), was the complete lack of any sign of crowds:

According to the caption, Smart made it as short a time ago as 1994 - yet last month, when I was in there, the Louvre was like Victoria Station:

Possibly Smart's is a portrait of a dream, rather than of the way things are. Speaking of such things, if my loopy belief in after-life get-togethers, (which I mentioned the other day), is not purely chimeric, the party up there just got better, with Olley's arrival. She and Lucian Freud would probably see eye to eye about most things to do with painting; being a supporter of the monarchists in Australia, she'd have little objection, presumably, to Otto von Hapsburg; and no-one, surely, has ever not got on with Leigh-Fermor. And, now that she's dead, I imagine she can allow herself the odd drink or five.

No comments:

Post a Comment