Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Catherine the Great ain't so bad...


I saw this picture, and then was told, that in real life, the coach made Faberge eggs look like something that should be boiled and eaten for breakfast, and I said; "sounds smashing! Let's go check it out." Because I'm not a big fan of historical painting shows, but this looked like it could be over the top.

Upon a closer look, I was sorely disappointed that the coach wasn't in fact encrusted with diamonds, rubies and pearls, heck given what I had heard I figured there would be horses, too!

But you gotta give 'em props, while gold paint is not exactly the same, it still is pretty darn impressive. Especially with the painting of tableau's (is there any no academic word for a tableau?) on the side, I'm certain that there is some wicked cool story that goes along with them. But nobody bothered to tell me, and I was not able to see a copy of the catalogue before having to skidaddle.

However, the coach is something, that no matter how you cut it, is impressive. If you haven't figured out by now, I was at the Press Preview for the Catherine the Great exhibit at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal.

The first thing you see upon walking up the stairs is this hulking coach. The Russian Art Guy (more on him later) told a story of how Queen Beatrice upon seeing it was told how it was much prettier than hers, she promptly replied "yes, but mine still works."

I was happy to see that this function was labeled "Press Preview" instead of "Press Conference," however this time, everyone (and there were a whack of folk) was standing on protocol, and there was no applause.

Before seeing the show, I had heard that they had to basically tear down the museum in order to get the coach in.

I asked a guard how they pulled it off, and he brought me here. (The Canadian Art galleries) and said that right beside the elevator was how they got it in.

But then I realized that they then had to tear down these walls,

and these walls in order to get it to its place of prominence at the head of the stairs. Upon seeing that I got even more impressed with the whole shebang.

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