Sunday, October 6, 2019

National Gallery Of Canada

On Labour Day I paid a visit to the National Gallery of Canada to take in a temporary exhibit and see the permanent collection. Louise Bourgeois had a recurring theme in her sculptures, as giant spiders can be found at institutions around the world. This is one of the bronze castings of Maman. It stands near the main entrance of the Gallery, which is housed in a glass and granite building opened in 1988. The history of the institution dates back to 1880.

A long ramp leads up from the main entrance to the exhibit spaces.

I was here to see the Gauguin portraits exhibit. This marked the first time any institution mounted an exhibit of his portraits, and the idea went back several years. The guest curator for the exhibit had been here to curate a Van Gogh exhibit, saw a Gauguin bust in the Gallery's collection, and the proposal for this grew out of that.

This view looks down a corridor from the glass tower area.

And this looks out from the glass tower towards Major's Hill Park across the street, and Parliament Hill in the background.

It was time to go inside. Bonjour, Monsieur Gauguin is an 1889 self portrait that refers to an 1854 self portrait by Gustave Courbet. Here the artist portrays himself in a melancholic mood.

Self Portrait With Idol dates circa 1893.

This is the bust that gave inspiration to the exhibit, and is part of the National Gallery's collection. Portrait Of Meijer de Haan is a wooden bust of a friend and fellow artist who appeared often in Gauguin's work.

I wanted the odd wider shot of the space, which was busier than this might suggest. More from here tomorrow.


  1. Not keen on that spider but love art galleries provided they are not contemporary art which I find difficult to understand.

  2. that's a giant spider!

  3. The Giant Spider is both sinister and appealing at the same time.

  4. The paintings are wonderful, and I think I have seen a spider like that outside the Guggenheim in Spain.

  5. I would have been drawn to this exhibition also William.. although getting past Maman would be tricky 😉

  6. The enormous spider is the stuff that nightmares are made of!!!!

  7. @Laurie: I like it.

    @Joan: me too.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Tom: definitely.

    @David: indeed.

    @Janey: same artist.

    @Grace: there is a side door.

  8. I like the style in which he paints.

  9. Sounds like a great exhibit. I saw one of those spiders similar to that one in London one time.

  10. This gallery allows us to have exhibitions of major artists.

  11. I love Maman! I went to my hairdresser last week. Her colleague was rescuing a spider for her. She was deathly afraid. They put it ouside. I ws wearing a lovely spider necklace. Ironic... she didn't much like it.

  12. Awesome National Gallery and collection ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. Hello, wonderful museum and exhibit. I like the spider. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

  14. Wonderful exhibition again. But that giant spider and the photos of that long gallery are my favourites today.

  15. Lovely photos, the corridor ceiling shots are beautiful.

  16. Looks like a good show, William!

  17. The giant spider is pretty impressive.

  18. @Shammickite: it's a popular item for photo ops.

    @Marleen: his work appealed to me too.

    @Sharon: that's also one of hers.

    @DJan: the itsy bitsy spider....

    @Red: it does, and I enjoy seeing them.

    @Jennifer: I do like Maman.

    @Carol: that it is.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Jan: thanks!

    @Maywyn: they are.

    @RedPat: it was.

    @Bill: I agree.

  19. That's very creepy looking spider. :-)

  20. I am so glad the spider is but a sculpture!

  21. Love the architecture of the National Gallery of Canada. I have never seen a spider quite that big and everything looks impressive from the paintings to the sculptures. I especially like your photo of the odd wider shot of the space.

  22. i love the long so tiny of a hallway, glass ceiling ...very cool. ( ;

  23. That spider looks more sinister under that overcast than it would under a pure blue sky.

  24. Fitting artist for an exhibition and a beautiful place for it.

  25. So wonderful to have this gallery close...the joys of a “real” City! Thanks for sharing it with those of us not so fortunate. I’m so glad you were able to take pictures inside.

  26. The spider sculpture is gorgeous!

  27. The building behind the spider's legs looks interesting as does the exhibition:)

  28. That spider sculpture is incredible.

    All the best Jan

  29. Love the meeting of olde and new.

  30. I've always liked Gauguin. I would have loved that exhibit.

  31. @Revrunner: of course.

    @Marie: and quite a sculpture.

    @Alexandria: thank you.

    @Beth: thanks.

    @Whisk: she stands out.

    @Joanne: that is true.

    @Magiceye: thanks.

  32. @Kay: it was an interesting exhibit.

    @Sallie: you're welcome.

    @Italiafinlandia: that it is.

    @Ella: I think so too.

    @Rosie: I agree.

    @Jan: thank you.

    @Gemel: me too.

    @Jeanie: it was enlightening.