Saturday, March 20, 2010
This was our goal - visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery to see the Da Vinci display. We bused from the ferry to the newly opened Canada Line, then zoomed down to the city center, feeling quite cosmopolitan. Although the line ups that existed during the Winter Olympics had dissipated, there were crowds of people enjoying the Paralympics. A very short line into the art gallery soon had us standing in awe in front of Leonardo's anatomical drawings. No photos were allowed once inside the gallery, but I did ask permission to take this one at the entrance.
Fascinating to me was the detail with which Da Vinci executed his drawings. He wasn't interested in just how to draw the human anatomy for artistic purposes, he was enthralled with how everything worked. Meticulous notes accompanied each drawing, written in mirror image - backwards, right to left, with Leonardo's left hand.
Climbing the stairs to the upper floors I looked up into the rotunda, a bit puzzled at this design for an art gallery. All was explained while waiting for the Sky Train (metro) on the way back. An elderly lady informed us that the art gallery used to be the Vancouver court house.
After wandering through the remainder of the art gallery, which included some of Emily Carr's paintings of British Columbia and a photographic display that was most interesting, we went up to the BC display on the 4th floor. Wood products were highlighted. I took a photo of daughter standing in the Spirit Tree - made from the remains of a huge redwood cedar that grew in Stanley Park and was taken down after the big windstorms of several years ago. We have a photo (somewhere now in a box) of the family (sans yours truly who was behind the camera) standing in this hollow tree years ago.
All that culture made us very hungry. Serendipitously, an Italian-themed cafe - Bellagio - directly across from the art gallery beckoned with an outdoor terrace and fragrant aromas. We found a table in a sheltered nook and proceeded to enjoy a pizza together under the sun. It was almost like being in Europe. From there we retraced our journey back to the ferry and sailed away home.
In spite of everything I left undone at home, I walked in the door feeling refreshed and renewed. Stepping back from the chaos of moving was a good idea and I spent the evening happily packing boxes. I also slept well for the first time in several days.
I leave you with a quotation from Leonardo Da Vinci writing about the intricacies of the human body....
"While human ingenuity may devise various inventions to the same ends, it will never devise anything more beautiful, nor more simple, nor more to the purpose than nature does, because in her inventions nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous."