I’ve been trying to make this post for-freaking-ever!! For some reason (I swear I didn’t do it) my pictures-upload have decided to stop working. I never used to use this because I never knew when my blog would move (when I was with DeadJournal and various subdomains and even Free WordPress)… however, now that I’m on WordPress on my own domain, I’ve been uploading to the domain instead of with Photobucket. Anyway, I got it fixed… and it was stupid, but here’s the post.
Last Friday (February 22) CW and I met his friends from Manchester at London Euston. CW has been planning this weekend for months and the four friend got the train down from Manchester earlier in the morning. The plan was to drop their bags off at the house back in Potters Bar then head into London again to do some general sight-seeing. Instead of both of us (CW and I) paying two train fares back and forth, I stayed in London and killed some time while CW brought them back to the house. I decided to go to the British Museum and get in a couple exhibits.
The platform is rarely this empty, but I thought I would show you some of the decoration in the interior of the station. A greater percentage of the station platforms have these gorgeous tilings along the wall. In King’s Cross tube station it’s 5 crowns in a + shape. I’m not sure the symbolism of these tilings for Tottenham Court Road… but they certainly are nice!
Here is the British Museum exterior
Interior… isn’t the domed ceiling gorgeous?! The natural lighting in there is absolutely amazing.
Inside there is the famous Reading Room. It has been renovated and the bookshelves and catalogues are no longer there (Moved to the British Library, London St Pancras in 1997), but the Room still in its original place. Unfortunately due to the First Emperor exhibit I couldn’t go into The Reading Room and actually gaze at the domed ceiling myself. I would have had to pay to get into the exhibit where as most Museums in the UK are free to enter.
First I went into the Egypt Exhibit which was crowded, but I had a chance to see, in person, the original Rosetta Stone.
The text itself if not particularly exciting – a decree from Ptolemy V instructing taxes and buildings to be erected – however, it is the fact that it is written in 2 types of Egyptian hieroglyphs and a form of Ancient Greek. It has allowed scholars to decipher certain hieroglyphic character, something that was previous unobtainable.
A few interesting sights in the Egyptian Rooms:
The Egyptian Sarcophagi were too crowded and behind shiny (read: camera glare) glass. None of the photographs turned out, but there were interesting panels along the walls explaining Egyptian burial rights and afterlife.
Then I went up to the Drawings and Paintings rooms as the book I’d bought (The British Museum A-Z Companion) said that the Museum had over 40 Rembrandts. The Drawings and Paintings rooms are constantly changing… and no Rembrandts were on display, but this Michelangelo sketch was a permanent installment.
I asked one of the guards where the Rembrandts’ were and he said to go to the back door and ring the buzzer and just ask to see some. So I did and was led into the Drawing Study. I had to fill out slips of paper and then one of the workers would fetch the sketches I wanted to see. I couldn’t photograph them because they weren’t “on display” and they were already catalogued by the Museum.
The Drawing Room
One of the books (Michelangelo) where you pick which plates you want to see In Person. I got to see Rembrandt sketches from The School of Rembrandt, Michaelangelo’s sketches for the Sistine Chapel, and Raphael’s Virgin & Child.
Michelangelo’s sketches for the Sistine Chapel.
On the way back, I stopped for a few minutes at the British Library.
I did go inside but I didn’t have any proper time to see the books. I went into the foyer and the gift shop. Maybe I’ll get a chance to go back and study there one day.