The tinselly tat of Trafalgar Square

15 November 2019

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Deck the halls with strings of bratwurst! It’s mid November so it must be time for the Christmas markets to spring up – and if you’re hankering for Glühwein and festive gewgaws already then look no further than Trafalgar Square, where a small alpine village has set up shop outside the National Gallery.

Rakewell sheds no tears for the brigade of Yoda impersonators who have been moved on to make way for this seasonal jamboree. But he feels rather sorry for visitors to the gallery, forced to flounder through a fog of frying frankfurters en route to The Ambassadors or The Fighting Temeraire. Good news for Pissarro’s pork butcher in Room 44, perhaps?

The Pork Butcher (La Charcutière; 1883), Camille Pissarro.

The Pork Butcher (La Charcutière; 1883), Camille Pissarro. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

All the same, your correspondent cannot help but spot parallels between the wurst of it outside the gallery and some of the paintings inside its hallowed halls. Those harrowing hats – Bermejo dragons, surely?

This character, meanwhile, can only have modelled his hat on a conifer by Caspar David Friedrich:

And hark! Haloes for all head sizes!

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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