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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

At the Royal Academy

Friday, January 7th., Cadogan Square, London.

Set off to walk to the Royal Academy for the Belgian-Flemish picture show, calling on the way to look at a bookshop. A growing crowd at the R.A. The Belgian masters are magnificent, but none of them - not even Rubens - ranks with the biggest Italians, Memling, van Eyck, and Breughel are the best. I was sitting in front of the Breughels when Laurence Binyon came up and said: "Don't you think Breughel is the finest painter in the world?" He isn't, but I was very pleased because I have been saying this ever since I saw the small Breughel seascapes and things in Rome.

Robert Laurence Binyon, CH (1869 – 1943) was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar. His most famous work, For the Fallen, is well known for being used in Remembrance Sunday services. In 1915, despite being too old to enlist in the First World War, Laurence Binyon volunteered at a British hospital for French soldiers, Hôpital Temporaire d'Arc-en-Barrois, Haute-Marne, France, working briefly as a hospital orderly. He returned in the summer of 1916 and took care of soldiers taken in from the Verdun battlefield. He wrote about his experiences in For Dauntless France (1918) and his poems, "Fetching the Wounded" and "The Distant Guns", were inspired by his hospital service in Arc-en-Barrois.

Then I went, Dorothy with me, to the Capitol to see the "Cinderella" film, of which I had heard very high praise. It lacks invention; but much of the photography was exceedingly fine. The melancholy of the thought that the organist is playing the organ all day.

Began my preface for Agate's new book of dramatic criticism, and wrote 600 words.

Additionally for January 7th., see 'Scottish singing' -

Sundry officers, including Saunders, Jacob and Cummings, dined on Saturday night, and the delight of these two last in singing more or less at sight good and bad songs from the "Scottish Students' Song Book", to my bad accompaniment, was most extraordinary.

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