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