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Hunting Embroidered Rabbits

Beautiful autumn day, so we went to the Burrell Collection to see the rabbits. The collection, housed in Pollok Park, Glasgow, in a building that has had repeated trouble with water ingress, is a mish-mash of stuff collected by Burrell, of which the Medieval tapestries are the pick of it for me: nothing grand, just scenes of ordinary folk doing an ordinary thing, in extraordinary detail and with extraordinary craft. Other tapestries in the collection are heroic or biblical, but these more formal scenes pale (sometimes literally) for me beside this. Rabbits, hunters, hunting beasts including an all-but concealed entirely dog. These snips are favourites.

The paintings beside the tapestry snapshots (mere details) are (4) Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief, Cupid being stung for his trouble in offering the honey to the Goddess of Love and (5, 6 and 7) details from a wildly red painting of Judith and Holofernes - an enemy of her people who took on the leader of the invading army and killed him as a kind of stealth operation - getting him drunk, then stealing into his tent, apparently for the purposes of seduction, then killing him with a sword.

Cranach painted at least six different Judiths (different facially, in their states of dress, in their dregee of composure). All have the sword with which the deed was done and the resultant head of Holofernes: the differences lie in degress of eroticism, exotic costumery and hats. Cranach liked hats. (c. 1530).

I have put only details here of the Judith work - I'll do more soon to do it proper justice, but detail is my thing today. Click on the gallery pictures to read a little more and see the picture in full. The colours are remarkably vivid.

The Burrel Collection is due to close for repairs from October next year. Go and see the painting and tapestries now: the roof problems are so severe it will be closed for four years.

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