Susan Harvey-Davies - and she was keen to see the John Craxton exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
I like the exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam. They tend to be small and a little bit eclectic. It was filled with young school children when we first arrived and the atmosphere changed radically when they left.
I don't know what I make of John Craxton's work. We have a lot of examples of his paintings in various books on our shelves, whilst not owning an actual monograph on him. Some of his work I really like, but there is a lot I really don't like. His influences are possibly too readable.
The exhibition starts with a lovely little painting, but the main thing that is so lovely about it, is that it is very like a Graham Sutherland (in fact it was painted when he went to stay with Sutherland and is a view of the very place that produced Sutherland's own Entrance to a Lane - and has the same title). Elsewhere can be seen little (and large) echoes of Picasso, Miro, and Braque.
Having said all that, there were paintings I liked a lot here, my favourite being a small picture - a tempera I think - of a goat. Craxton was fond of goats and they appear in a lot of his paintings. It is a golden rule of exhibitions that they never have a postcard of the painting you liked most and this was the case here. I have even tried Googling for it, but nothing appeared. I shall just have to remember how nice it was.