Week 05
November 5th 2010
Visit to the National Gallery - Allegory
Report by Adrian
We enjoyed our second guided tour with Karly Allen and Colin Wiggins, at the National Gallery, this time discussing Allegory.

I went around with Karly’s group where we looked at Bronzino’s allegory of love with Venus and Cupid, Caravaggio’s boy bitten by a lizard, and then ‘A young man and a woman making music’ by Jan Molenaer.

One of the things that struck me in Karly’s tour was the degree of ambiguity that seemed deliberately created in allegorical works – an ambiguity that creates a certain openness of the meaning, which Karly compared to the openness of meaning within a poem.

The three works she showed, in chronological order, moved progressively from mythological scene into pictures of real people in their everyday lives, but still (surprisingly perhaps) with allegorical content.

Bronzino, allegory with Venus and Cupid, c1545