Boilly and a glass of Riesling
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
For my next wine and art pairing, I decided to choose the new exhibition at the National Gallery - Scenes of a Parisian Life, which in my eyes goes rather nicely with a glass of crisp Riesling. In terms of the wine and the exhibition, a few similarities to start off with; both are light, playful, energetic, easy to enjoy and bring a smile to those who take the time to appreciate them.
For this pairing I wanted an everyday wine, one which wouldn't set you back hundred of pounds, an easy to enjoy one that everyone will like, which you can also find on the high street and one you could drink at any occasion.. for me it's a Sunday night, dreading Monday morning kind of wine.
In terms of the Boilly exhibition, first of all it's free (hence why I wanted a wine at the lower price point) and it's only one room (so easy to enjoy which ever mood you're in).
The Parisian artist Louis-Léopold Boilly and his playful paintings on show, don't really give any indication of his private life at all. He witnessed first hand the French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon and the Restoration of the French Monarchy, and that's all pretty head spinning in itself, so it might not come as a surprise that his art took a little bit of a strange turn with a wry sense of humour. His controversial seductive interior scenes were his bold response to the changing political situation, which ultimately got him get into trouble with the authorities, and his eye opening everyday street scenes, full of little stories in itself (you'll need to take a closer look!) and his clever and witty use of trompe l'oeils (an optical illusion that depicts objects in 3d).
On the wine side, I wanted something a bit playful, which bounces off the tongue, and I really think I hit the nail on the head with this one. I wanted something fresh, floral, light and acidic, but perhaps a little bit of residual sugar, showing the sweeter side to some of the collection. Riesling for me was an obvious choice, but I decided against the fine, mineral focused, steely wines of Germany, and instead decided upon something from Alsace. The main difference in wine between these two countries is the body and weight, Alsace is always a bit more fuller bodied, a bit more too it, and I think Boilly also has a few of these character traits - he was obviously a bit gutsy, a bit more forward, confident, and more too him that perhaps first meets the eye.
Heard in London