The Small Girl. Five Years ago (I know) at the National Gallery in Copenhagen.
The Small Girl has always been a bit of an art fiend, and has spent countless happy hours sprawled on a gallery floor with pencils and a sketch pad working on many a fine reproduction(!). There is however, a bit of a down side to this (apart from me looking like a complete pushy parent when such art sessions are always at her instigation!) – in that there’s absolutely no rushing her in any sort of gallery environment whatsoever. You quite literally have to set aside most of the day for such jaunts, as I was reminded on a recent visit to the quite stunning Museo Di Palazzo Ducale in Mantova.
As the name suggests, this was once an impressive (not to mention huge at 34,000 square metres) palatial residence to a local noble family, and in its day was in fact the largest Palace in Europe. As well as being packed to the rafters with important pieces of artwork, tapestries, frescoes and statues, it’s easy to imagine life there once upon a time, as the decor of the rooms has for the most part been left intact.
As Mr R and Small Boy raced ahead in this massive Museum eager to see what was around the next corner, I had to lag behind in keeping with a certain person’s usual inspection rituals, like listening to the audio description for absolutely everything possible (we didn’t have a sketch book with us this visit!).
“Hello? Yes, I think I am being rushed. Can you help? ”
It’s not like I am not used to this however, and extra time in each room definitely ensured that I could appreciate every last minutiae – such as these gorgeous ceilings, and probably every crack in the woodwork too by the time she had finished…
You definitely don’t miss anything going at this “artistic appreciation pace” – we had to call the boys back to inspect The Gallery of Mirrors that they had walked straight past. How on earth could a visit to this place be complete without seeing this?
Severely damaged by the big Mantova earthquake back in 2012 not all of the Palace has quite reopened yet, but it’s well worth a visit, and a donation to the restoration fund if you feel so inclined…
Museo di Palazzo Ducale
Piazza Sordello 40, 46100, Mantua, Italy
A Patchwork Life says
What a beautiful place! Captured perfectly.
I think your daughter’s love of art and detail is a very good sign :) x
Thank you T! I am secretly truly pleased she has the art bug! :) x
Can you imagine the encyclopedia of a mind she will have put together by the time she’s 20? Careful, Emma :)
Loved the post, and her utter neck-craned concentration! The photo caption made me laugh.
I struggle to keep up with her mind now at the grand age of 10! :D Thank you Pia! :) x
older mum in a muddle says
Oh wow. What a stunning space! I think it’s fab that your daughter takes such an interest in the art around her. Do you take a good book with you too? X
No, but that would be a good thing to do in the future! :D Thank you S xx
Wow, just amazing Emma and so lovely that your little girl enjoys art so much. xx
Thanks Emma! :) xx
What a beautiful palace to visit. I have dragged all of my children around countless art galleries over the years, some have thanked me others haven’t but I always think maybe just a little bit they will remember in years to come.
Beautiful photos as ever.
Thank you Mari, you would have the advantage of not having to listen to the odd English voice version of the audioguide! :) x
This is so lovely – my two usually move as fast as they can through anything art related. They do love to draw though and we often* go to the beach with our sketch pads just to draw.
*When I say often, I mean we’ve been twice. ;-)
And that sounds equally lovely, thanks Cass! :)
That is brilliant! I love that she has such an interest and that it means you get to look properly at stuff. We always split boys vs girls in art galleries and museums – the boys race through and it drives me mad. Must take mine to more, some of the stuff I saw as a kid changed my life – like Antony Gormley and a pile of bricks in Tate Modern ;)
Thanks Penny… I am glad it’s not just our family that’s like that! :D
Oh I would love to visit there one day. Kitty would love it too – she’s started getting into art more and more which is lovely. So nice when you can enjoy similar interests with your child isn’t it?
It’s fantastic! Thanks Annie! :)
wowzer – at the Palace/Museum and at your patience!
It has taken a long time to cultivate. Both I should imagine! :D Thank you! :)
oh I love how lost in the art she seems. I wish my children had an appreciation of art.
Thanks Emma! They probably appreciate other great things that the Small Girl most definitely does not! :)
What an incredibly ornate art museum. Looks fascinating and your photos are fabulous. As usual! Your daughter has found her niche, and I had to take a look back at her ‘fine reproductions! Cute :-)
Thanks so much J! :) x
Trish - Mum's Gone to says
How lovely she appreciates art and has the ‘time to stop and stare’. It will stand her in good stead. Can you see her working in the art world/museums in the future?
I’m so pleased we took the time to show Rory lots of museums when he was younger. Not that we are culture vultures to that extent – but great to allow children to see things at their own pace and discover things for themselves.
Thank you Trish. Currently she wants to be Prime Minister, but she can’t decide which country!!!! :D
Wow how amazing! Would love to visit!
Thanks Otilia! :)
Alice Hassall says
1 – that place looks amazing and I’d love to go and see it, fancy housing me for a weekend?
2 – Little one sounds like me. I’m a gallery freak and always have been. I used to sit and copy the big paintings in the museums too and if I wasn’t so self-conscious I’d still do it now. She can be my tour guide and then we can draw together whilst you get us cake.
3 – Every time I read your blog your header makes me hungry… damn you!
1. Of course! :) 2. She would love that! 3. We have pretzels too! :D Thanks Alice!
Mummy Barrow says
oh how I love this and love that you have a small person who really appreciates art. My parents dragged me around art galleries as a child and I never really understood why. Or that these were originally Monet’s I was looking at. This post makes me happy, and makes me think that I wish I had taken my young ones to see more art!
Thank you T. That’s such a lovely comment. I seem to have a mini “Sister Wendy” on my hands, and none of it my doing! She has a lot of art in her blood though, so I will blame my family! :D xx