Rosie Boycott spoke with Hannah Rothschild about the mysteries of the art world, a subject that drives the plot of her new novel ‘The Improbability of Love’.
As the newly appointed chair of the National Gallery, and as a member of a family renowned for their art collections, Hannah Rothschild has an insight into this strange world where the value of a piece stems from desire to own, bearing no relation to the amount of work entailed to produce it.
In her novel, Hannah Rothschild uses different viewpoints, including a talking painting. She says that her work in making films has helped her to picture scenes when writing this novel and, as a child trailing behind her father as he viewed artworks, she often had a strong desire to hear the paintings speak and tell their stories.
One of her main aims in her new role at the National Gallery is to ensure that admission remains open to all and she is against the introduction of entry fees to galleries for this reason. A member of the audience raised the question of how to ensure that the young develop interest in the arts and Hannah Rothschild is keen to ensure that future generations learn the sociology behind the great paintings and artworks.