To tell the truth, I hadn’t really given the addition of a private view of the Ashmolean’s Raphael exhibition to the itinerary of the Oxford trip much thought. That Wednesday had been a long, unseasonable hot day and as we were eating that evening in the Ashmolean’s rooftop restaurant, I thought ‘well the exhibition is just across the street and on the way to dinner.’ But private views of exhibitions are always special and we were very lucky to be able to see such terrific drawings up close, at our own pace and in a small group. The reviews, of course, are now in, and the exhibition has been called one of the greatest of its kind in decades—which makes it especially memorable. Drawing of that standard is really a lost art, isn’t it? Who would now take the time to learn to draw that well, and, if so, to what end? An Old Master indeed!
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