Writing and books are without doubt my first love and ultimate passion. I love nothing more than hanging around bookstores or visiting famous writer's houses. But a close second for me has to be art.
I’m very lucky to have visited some of the biggest galleries in the world, including the Met in New York City and the Louvre in Paris. A few weeks ago, I went up to London for Halloween. London is an amazing place for many reasons, but one of the best things is that all of its museums are free to enter. So while we waited for our ghost bus tour, we went to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery (two separate museums next door to each other).
Below are some of the paintings I saw and why they are so special to me.
The Virgin of the rocks by Da Vinci. There are two versions of this and I’m lucky enough to have seen them both. The other is at the Louvre in Paris. This painting makes me very emotional.
The original famous painting of Jane Austen by her sister. This is actually tiny. A lot smaller than I thought. It sits in the Romantics gallery at the National Portrait Gallery.
Lord Byron, the ultimate bad boy of romance. I’ve always loved his poems.
Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. She wrote the novel as challenge by Lord Byron in Lake Geneva, to write a horror story.
The famous painting of the Bronte sisters by their brother Branwell. I was so thrilled to see the original after being a fan of theirs for so many years.
Emily Bronte. The other famous Bronte painting. I love the gothic appeal of this painting. Here, she looks like a woman capable of conjuring up the dark romance of Wuthering Heights.
We all love Vincent Van Gogh, don’t we? His paintings really move me. They seem to take you on a journey into his beautiful yet muddled mind. To look at them is to dream through his eyes.
What’s your favourite painting?