Sunday 5 June 2011

Watteau Jeeves

What do you think of my newly acquired landscape? The frame is a bit wonky but otherwise a fine piece. It is not a French landscape picked up for 8m euros (the going rate for a Watteau) but was easily composed by me today using handy frames positioned by the National Trust which seems to have got a sense of humour at long last (see the step-back view below).

Equally quirky the Trust has installed "talking seats" one of which I tried out today. Some seats apparently have the voice of the definitive player of Jeeves (and campaigner against discrimination towards people with a mental illness) Stephen Fry but mine had that of the naturalist Iolo Williams who talked me through the scenery very personably. See the unlikely story of the seats here.

I also enjoyed an interesting take on the late 18C French political landscape (spot the forced link) in Trinity College Carmarthen's Scarlet Pimpernel with a particularly sinister Chauvelin (those "damned Frenchies'" wily head of covert operations) played by a woman. The Pimpernel also turned out to be female (the character not just the actor) in this version. And why not? The original author Baroness Orczy could scarcely complain that this deviation from her improbable plot stretched credulity any further.