Sun, 29 Jan 2012
Anna Katrina Zinkeisen

I've never been to the National Portrait Gallery and it was starting to rankle a bit. It's right beside the main National Gallery and also free, so there's no excuse ...

I was only there a couple of hours, but one of the most striking paintings I saw is shown on the right.

It's a self-portrait by Anna Katrina Zinkeisen who, despite the name, turns out to be a British artist. You can see the full painting on the gallery site Oddly, what it made me think of was the famous We Can Do It! WW2 poster. My photograph does not do it justice.

According to wikipedia, Anna and her sister Doris painted murals on the RMS Queen Mary, a ship now docked in Long Beach, California. Doris Zinkeisen was also a very talented artist. I love coming across great works of art by artists I had no inkling existed. So far, there are a great many of them! Again, according to Wikipedia, they were Scottish born but with a father who could trace his ancestry back 200 years earlier in Bohemia (which might mean we have some fall-out of the Thirty Years War to thank for their residence here).

The BBC have a slideshow of some other paintings by Anna Zinkeisen.

Another painting I liked was a Mervyn Peake self-portrait. As the writer of the Gormenghast series, he looks suitably ... odd.

Happy Year of the Dragon!

I had to negotiate very busy streets around Soho and Shaftesbury Avenue, with a lot of streets closed to traffic and a lot of people out. It's Chinese New Year and the celebrations are always a family time on the last Sunday of January. Very busy this year!