This past Friday, I set up for myself as a way to gift myself, a stress relief from such an unbelievable year. Christmas, like all holidays, are hard for me abroad and this year they’ve been a bit harder because of the turmoil and stress. So what better way to relax than a couple of museum exhibits, food and the ballet?
I saw that three new exhibits opened at the Seoul Art Center this month, so I figured that I would be able to see at least one before the ballet started. The first one I went to was Monet to Picasso, curtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Not to be too mean, but I was extremely disappointed by the exhibit. Half of the paintings were by people that I didn’t recognize and the others were by painters that I knew, but none of them were well well-known masterpieces, more like their early works. Which is a shame, because Picasso was a complete perfectionist and I doubt the pieces that were shown he would have been happy about. The only painting that caught my eye was Green Foliage by Fernand Leger.
Next was the Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance Frescoe, which was definitely worth seeing. I had already seen several of the frescoes in the Vatican Museum, but many of the frescoes and artists were new to me. The ones that I really like besides the Giottos (he’s the unparalleled master) were Pala di Santa Maria dei Fossi and Annunciazione by Pintuncchio and Madonna della Consolazione by Pietro Perugino.
Dinner at Cafe Bellini was a nice quiet meal, I was able to get a table for the pre-ballet dinner rush. In true fashion I thought that I wasn’t too happy and then I devoured the fresh bread in like two minutes. I had the caprese salad and a margarita pizza. The salad was delicious, a bit unorthodox, but delicious, I wished that the parmesan cheese had been sprinkled on more than two or three pieces of lettuce. The pizza was a bit cold and slightly tinged on multiple areas.
At the CafeHaus, there was this great pastry:
As I was waiting for the ballet some guy came out in a “nutcracker” outfit. Only in Korea.
The thing about Korean ballet is that it is not designed/dressed as well as it could be, the badly made wigs, the cheesy gigantic fish ornament, etc. After seeing several ballets in Korea, I’ve decided that the Korean National Ballet isn’t lacking in talent as much as it’s lacking in soul. The ballerinas are doing the motions but they’re not embodying the character, while I was watching Friday, they didn’t seem like Clara, the Nutcracker, the Mouse King, they were ballerinas doing a performance of the Nutcracker.