The RA’s new blockbuster show Painting the modern garden is a sure fire hit. You can be guaranteed at least two hours of calm and visual joy contemplating all the paintings of flowers and gardens, and Monet’s Waterlilies in particular.
You would not think that they were created at a time of dramatic growth in inhumane factories and grimy cities or that the ghastly products of the armaments industry was shattering mens bodies on an industrial scale in the trenches of The Great War. That is (part of) the point: the British fell in love with their gardens as a places of sanctuary and retreat from the modern world. These paintings are as calming and satisfying as a session of meditation.
What has this to do with Kittens?
Each day we watch endlessly depressing news broadcasts and each hour we dance attendance on email, twitter and linked in. So we too need a place of sanctuary. Google researchers (when i worked there) found that a big reason why we can’t resist kitten videos is they make us feel relaxed. That is the insight behind this short film called Kitten Therapy. I am sure that you won’t be able to resist it. 8 million others have found it irresistible too
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If you like RA show you are sure like Delacroix and the rise of modern art at the National Gallery, a 15 minute walk away .He is the missing link from classical art to the likes of Cezanne , Monet and Renoir. He invented colour theory- the way that certain colours in combination create a particular effect. Take a geeky pleasure in seeing how his love for vivid turquoise and green crop up all the time among his successors, as at the show, you can see his works displayed alongside his disciples.