#39

Mr and Mrs Hallett, or The morning walk by Thomas Gainsborough

For more than 50 years their image has hung unmolested on the walls of the National Gallery, alongside well known and well loved works by such titans of British art as Stubbs, Hogarth, Reynolds, Turner and Wright.

On Saturday, however, Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of William Hallet and Elizabeth Stephens, The Morning Walk, came under attack fromĀ a man armed with a screwdriver.

Staff and gallery-goers rushed to detail the man, who was restrained until members of the police arrived at the scene in Room 34 on the second floor of the museum.

Telegraph website, March 19, 2017

This is lamentable. Yet another dreadful intro on a good story. The lengthy list of painters looks like nothing but an attempt to show off (‘Name as many British artists as you can in 30 seconds’). What does it matter how long the picture has been in the National Gallery? ‘Unmolested’?! ‘Titans’ is a joke word.

All that is needed is a straight intro:

A man has been arrested after one of the National Gallery’s best-known masterpieces was slashed with a screwdriver.

In the second paragraph, Mr Hallett’s name is mis-spelled. In the third, I presume ‘detail’ should be ‘detain’. Frankly, such carelessness suggests contempt for the reader. And ‘members of the police’ is a very odd way of saying ‘police’. I despair.

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