The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Friday, August 17, 2007

Kindred Spirits

Yesterday, I went to the National Gallery of Canada for the first time. I was accompanied by my neighbour, otherwise known as the flakey girl next door.

We went to see the temporary Renoir exhibit, but we were astonished to see just how large the gallery is. In fact, two hours was simply not enough time: we ended up spending far too much time looking at contemporary "art," including pieces of rope and felt on the floor (contemporary art is a rant for another day).

We didn't realize just how impressive the collection of European art was. I was surprised to see some portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds, though they were mostly his lesser known works. In the same room, we saw a portrait of one Thomas Taylor, whom I had never heard of before. He was a late 18th-early 19th century Platonist. My neighbour was especially amused by the portrait since she claimed that I resembled Thomas Taylor, and this was before we know who it was.

Turns out the Mr. Taylor was the English Platonist: he was the first to translate all the works of Plato and Aristotle into English.
Imagine my joy when I realized I had a scholastic double in the 18th century! All of a sudden, things make sense.


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