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Posts Tagged ‘Jack the Ripper Tours’

Walks, London and the Mantlepiece.

Friday, October 9th, 2009

We’re really getting into our Walks of London Art blogs. Hopefully you are too and hopefully you are starting to see that our London walks mantra of  – LOOK EVERYWHERE – especially makes sense when you look at a work of modern art.

Today we’re still in the States of Flux wing at Tate Modern teasing little bits out of Clarinet and Bottle of Rum on a Mantlepiece, painted in 1911  by the pioneer of the cubist movement Georges Braque.

We were talking earlier about how our various London walks really do make people look at London. Not just see London, but really look at it. Let’s continue this theme with a final look at Braque’s 1911 painting.

So far we have teased out the form of the bottle of rum and the clarinet from the painting.

Today we are going to find the mantlepiece!

Looking to the bottom left corner of the painting you find the start of two thick black lines that run diagonally from left to right across the painting and end towards its top right corner.

These form the shape of the mantlepice.

Furthermore, towards the bottom light corner, there is a curved shape that could be a corbel or a mantlepiece support.

So by looking at these lines we can now see that a clarinet and a bottle of rum do, indeed, sit on a mantlepiece and thus have managed to locate the three objects for items mentioned in the title of the painting.

But why did Georges Braque choose to depict his subjects in such a distorted and disjointed fashion?

Why, if he wanted to paint a clarinet and a bottle of rum on a mantlepiece didn’t he simply do so as a still life and paint them full on?

The solution lies in the era when the painting was done. In the early years of the 20th century cameras were starting to be mass produced and photographs were beginning to replace paintings as a means of showing reality and every day life to people.

Painters felt themselves freed from the constraints of the past. No longer did they have to be restrained by the need to present depth, shade and colour. Instead they could aim at bringing a new perspective to painting and this was the style that Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso pioneered.

They would dissect their subjects, analyse them and then re-assemble them in an abstract form that presented the viewer with multiple perspectives and views of the same object or subject.

So, in the case of Clarinet and Bottle of Rum on a Mantlepiece we are seeing the three objects from multiple angles. We are looking down at the mantlepiece from above, looking at it sideways on, or even looking up at it from below. We are being given the opportunity to view the objects from multiple angles all at the same time.

This was the style that Picasso and Braque Pioneered.

In 1908 the French art critic Louis Vauxcelles described one of Georges Braque’s paintings as “full of little cubes.” The phrase caught on and the movement that Braque and Picasso has pioneered became universally known as Cubism.

So we end out look at the painting by George Braque in Tate Modern.

This weekend you can join Richard on one of his London Ghost Walks, or you can join one of our hugely popular Jack the Ripper Tours that explore the darker recesses of London’s East End.

London Poetry, Dream and Walks

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Good morning. We trust you slept well. We hope that you are enjoying the insights into Tate Modern that we are providing on our London walks blog.

Today we are going to leave behind the Energy and Process wing and glide effortlessly into the Poetry and Dream wing.

One of the works that we will look at there is a painting entitled Reckless Sleeper, which was painted in 1928 by the Belgian artist Rene Margritte.

The first thing to notice about the painting is that it has a definite feeling of unease and disorientation about it.

It appears to be a picture of a man sleeping in a bed over a grey painted area on which various objects such as an apple, a candle, a crow, a blue ribbon bow and a mirror have been painted.

In fact if you look at the left side of the grey section as you stare full on at the painting you can even see that it traces the profile of the face of the sleeper above.

Behind the grey segment there is a vast almost menacing area of very dark blue which might represent the night, or it  might be representative of the man’s sub conscious.

If this is the case then the grey segment may be as sort of though bubble, the type you see in childrens comics, and the items may be things he is dreaming about, or things that his waking self holds dear or even values.

Magritte was very influenced by the, at the time, revolutionary ideas on psychoanalysis and dream interpretation that had recently been introduced by Sigmund Freud.

In Freudian dream interpretation symbols such as candles are seen as phallic symbols, whilst apples are seen as being female and, in particular, representative of breasts.

Margritte himself once said of his paintings that he used:-

“Visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”

Bearing that statement in mind the Reckless Sleeper could also have another meaning which we will discuss in our next posting later today.

In the meantime why not have a look around our site and take a look at the various and, indeed, varied London walks and Jack the Ripper Tours that we offer.

London Ghost Walks – Richard Jones

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Once again tonight, Saturday, Richard Jones will be leading his Haunted London walk through the historic streets of the old City of London.

Richard is London’s leading London Ghost Walk guide and his research into paranormal London has resulted in him writing 17 books on Haunted Britain, that include two on Haunted London, plus History and Mystery Walks of London and Edinburgh.

Richard has been conducting London walks to the places where ghosts have been seen for 0ver 28 years and he is up to date on all aspects of sinister and ghostly London.

He is also one of the top Jack the Ripper tour guides in London and is the author of two acclaimed books on Jack the Ripper’s London Uncovering Jack the Ripper’s London and Jack the Ripper the Casebook.

In 2004 he wrote and produced the drama-documentary Unmasking Jack the Ripper’s, which has been hailed as the best Jack the Ripper documentary of recent years.

So why not join Richard on one of his ghost walks of London?

He does them on Fridays and Saturdays. Each of these spooky London walks last for around 1 3/4 hours and takes you into the darker recesses of the old City of London.

You can also purchase Richard’s books and dvd’s from our online bookshop.

Richard is currently working on his new book Haunted Britain and is the process of filming several programmes on Haunted London that will be released early next year.

The book has meant that Richard has had to defer part of an important London project he was working on this year until October 2010, but that means the book will be a full resource for those who want to find out about the Ghosts of Britain.

So keep reading the blog for news of all these exciting new developements from London’s leading ghost walk guide.

One of The best London walks

Friday, June 12th, 2009

The London walks field is a very competitive market and no part of that market is as overcrowded as the Jack the Ripper Tours. Indeed, many companies now offer Jack the Ripper tours of London’s east End, but we are one of the oldest and most established of the companies, and we were the first of all the London walks companies to offer the tour 7 chilling nights a week.

We offer the best Jack the Ripper walk in London.

We have long made a point of striving to offer you the best Jack the Ripper walks in London. Indeed, many people who come to us having taken the tour with other companies comment on how much better they found the experience with us.

For a start we are the only one of the London walks to operate a booking system.  We do this because we are the ONLY Jack the Ripper walking tour that actually limits the numbers on our tours.

But in addition we pride ourselves on the quality of our tours and it is this dedication to being the best in our field that truly sets us apart from the competition.

Three of our guides have published books on Jack the Ripper, five of our guides have appeared on every documentary on Jack the Ripper on channels as diverse as the UK’s Channel Five and Sky, to the Discovery and History Channels.

Richard Jones and Mark Ubsdell have even written and co-produced an acclaimed drama- documentary entitled Unmasking Jack the Ripper, which has been hailed by many Ripper historians the world over as the best recent programme on the case. Indeed one recent recipient of the DVD emailed us to say:-

I have received my EXCELLENT NTSC JTR Video and am Very Happy with it. Mr. Richard Jones and Company have done a great job as always with terrific audio and visual Quality!

As an amateur JTR Sleuth I lean very strongly towards Nathan Kaminsky (so far!) as being Jack the Ripper and this video made that case very succinctly.

Thanks to You and Your Group for the excellent material.

We also take a lot of school groups on our  Jack the Ripper London walks. We did one, for example on June 3rd 2009 and the teacher of that group was in a position to make a fair comparison between our tour and the tour offered by another company. Here’s what she emailed:-

We have completed this walk on a number of occasions in the past with a different company and this was much better than any of them.

This walk exceeded all our expectations after the previous visits when we have been left disappointed. The relevance to the coursework was excellent and the talk was very informative and interesting.

The students were all very motivated and enthusiastic on our journey home and we are looking forward to using their new found knowledge in our Jack the Ripper work.

So when considering which of the London walks companies to book your tour with, why not choose the one that offers more experts than any other and which those who know something about the subject acknowledge as being the best?