I was certain the guards would rush over to explain that this

My date with Michelangelo

canada goose outlet uk fake On the fourth floor of the British Museum, in a canada goose black friday sale quiet corner far from the mummies and the Canada Goose Jackets Rosetta Stone, is an unremarkable door. Most visitors simply walk past it. I first opened the door a few years ago, clutching a piece of paper with some scribbled directions. I was certain the guards would rush over to explain that this area was closed to the public. canada goose outlet uk fake

canada goose outlet store toronto Instead, after a brief ID check, I was ushered into a room with a vaulted glass ceiling, elegantly carved gallery and cabinets stacked with cardboard boxes. Those boxes hold Britain’s national collection of prints and drawings. Two million prints and 50,000 drawings are stored here, from a Virgin and Child etching by Rembrandt to a drawing of a philosopher by Michelangelo. The museum describes it as one of the world’s top three collections of its kind. canada goose outlet store toronto

canada goose jacket uk But unlike most other art collections, this one is not locked away. Instead, the British Museum Study Room is buy canada goose jacket cheap London’s most democratic and accessible collection of masterpieces. Any member of the public can walk in and ask to see the works. Visitors don’t need a membership card, a reader’s pass or a letter supporting their research project. They cheap Canada Goose don’t have to keep a safe distance from the art to prevent the alarm from going off. canada goose jacket uk

canada goose victoria parka outlet View image of Rembrandt’s 1641 Virgin and Child (Credit: Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum) canada goose victoria parka outlet

canada goose outlet nyc But no one I have Canada Goose Coats On Sale mentioned it to has heard of it. Many museums will have one; some are very grand indeed. With its chandeliers and ornate ceiling, the reading room of the National Art Library at the Victoria Albert Museum could be mistaken for a ballroom. canada goose outlet nyc

canada goose outlet 2015 On a more intimate scale, the genteel reading room at the London Library in St James’s Square has attracted book lovers for almost two centuries. AS Byatt honoured it in Canada Goose Online the opening scene of her best selling novel Possession: “It was shabby but civilised, alive with history canada goose uk shop but inhabited canada goose clearance sale also by living poets and thinkers who could be found squatting on the slotted metal floors of the stacks, or arguing pleasantly at the turning of the stair.” The prints and drawings room at the British Museum is filled with a similar atmosphere a sense of creative correspondence across the centuries. canada goose outlet 2015

canada goose outlet germany London has many secret sanctuaries, but none are quite as magical as its hidden study or reading rooms canada goose outlet germany

canada goose outlet florida At the time of uk canada goose outlet my first visit, I was working on my second novel. One of my characters was an art student in 1930s London and I was trying to find a way of expressing the canada goose era extreme contrasts through his art. On the one Canada Goose sale hand, the 1920s and early were years of creative innovation and great optimism. At the same time, canada goose uk outlet the rise of fascism cast a dark shadow. canada goose outlet florida

canada goose outlet toronto address View image of Drer’s 1496 engraving A cook and his wife, left, and 1497 engraving The four witches (Credit: Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum) canada goose outlet toronto address

canada goose outlet boston Since the character was young and penniless, I was particularly interested in linoprint, a cheap, accessible medium that encouraged experimentation. canadagooseoutleta However, prints are usually not given canada goose clearance much space in museums, where the focus tends to be on crowd pulling paintings. Where in London could I find those elusive smaller works? The British Museum Study Canada Goose Parka Room. canada goose outlet boston

canada goose uk I first requested a selection canada goose factory sale of prints from the Grosvenor School of Modern Art, founded in Pimlico in 1925. The Grosvenor School is not as well known as the German Bauhaus or the Italian Futurists but its artists shared a similar fascination with urban technology, new materials and sliced up perspectives. Their lino prints chronicled the exhilaration, speed and energy of London life. canada goose uk

canada goose outlet paypal The archivist returned with a set of white gloves and canada goose outlet the prints, the most striking of which were two linocuts from 1934 canada goose coats by the buy canada goose jacket Grosvenor School artist Cyril Power, The Tube Train and Exam Room. Studying a work of art in your own time, at a desk, is a very different experience from looking at it in a museum or a gallery: for a start, it is much closer to how the artists themselves would have viewed the work. canada goose outlet paypal

canada goose outlet trillium parka black View image of Cyril Power’s 1934 linocut The Tube Train (Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum) canada goose outlet trillium parka black

canada goose outlet price I was instantly drawn into the images, which decades after their creation still felt fresh, immediate canada goose store and relevant. Sure, the passengers in The Tube Train wore top hats and held newspapers rather than phones. But the packed in claustrophobia, the way the passengers sat pinned into their seats as their carriage hurtled through the dark, was recognisable to any modern canada goose coats on sale day London commuter. canada goose outlet price

canada goose outlet orlando Visitors may ask to see any print or drawing apart from a fragile sketchbook by Italian Renaissance painter Jacopo Bellini canada goose outlet orlando

canada goose outlet eu According to the museum’s website, visitors may ask to see any print or drawing apart from a fragile sketchbook by the Italian Renaissance painter Jacopo Bellini, which can only be viewed by special request. But relatively few people seem to find their way here. Conservators are probably grateful for that: even as I was appreciating the 1930s prints, I knew I was harming them, if ever so slightly. Every time they are taken from their protective folders and exposed to light, the prints fade a little imperceptibly at first, more noticeably over decades. canada goose outlet eu

canada goose outlet vancouver View image of The British Museum’s 1810 watercolour Malham Cove, Yorkshire, by JMW Turner (Credit: Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum) canada goose outlet vancouver

canada goose outlet toronto But there is no substitute for looking at an original. I asked the archivist if I could see Michelangelo’s ink drawing of the philosopher. canada goose outlet toronto

canada goose outlet michigan The sketch shows a bearded, cloaked man holding a roundish object: perhaps a rock, a crystal or a skull. That the drawing was unfinished made it more interesting. Was the figure an old man contemplating mortality, an alchemist weighing a fresh lump of gold, a canadian goose jacket philosopher turning over the stone of wisdom? canada goose outlet michigan

canada goose outlet england View image of Michelangelo’s drawing of a philosopher, holding an unknown object (Credit: Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum) canada goose outlet england

canada goose parka outlet uk I looked at it until the archivist told me they were about to close for Canada Goose Outlet the day. canada goose parka outlet uk

canada goose outlet online store review On my way home, I was caught up in London’s rush hour. But instead of my usual frustration over the crowded tube, I felt a canada goose uk black friday flicker of modernist love for this hurtling metal beast. And back at my desk, struggling Canada Goose online with my manuscript, I decided to see Michelangelo’s drawing as a metaphor for creative work: all of us turning over this mysterious thing in our hands, interpreting it in different ways. canada goose outlet online store review

canada goose outlet usa Since that first visit, I have gone back to the study room several times, usually to look at works from the period I am researching. Very occasionally, I ask for the Michelangelo drawing. Not too often: I know that it prefers to be in the dark. But I uk canada goose also like to think that, every now and then, it enjoys cheap canada goose uk being looked at. canada goose outlet usa

canada goose outlet reviews This story is a part of BBC Britain a series focused on exploring this extraordinary island, one story at a time. Readers outside of the UK can see every BBC Britain story by heading to the Britain homepage; you also can see our latest stories by following us on Facebook and Twitter canada goose outlet reviews.

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