After the ever-entertaining lecture on the city of Rome – the lecturer condescending to swear at the slide projector, which had a disposition to be willful — went to the Ashmolean. God’s gallery was shut for construction and conservation work, the red walls and the tops of paintings barely visible over a temporary divider; so, went and sat in the medieval gallery, an olive green room with a barrel vaulted ceiling. The colors of the icons and portraits possess a mute sharpness; everything seems muffled – the terra-cotta, bronze & ivory in cases – as though in hiding. The entire effect is soothing, not least because it is nearly unvisited rooms, the tourists enter lost and look around politely and leave; the guard converses cautiously with another member of staff and nods in his chair. The faded worn-brick plush benches are comfortable, though, as necessary.
Spent the afternoon reading Plautus.