Tate Britain Pictures
London Art Galleries
Tate Britain, on the banks of the Thames south of Parliament Square. Entry Free.
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Some think that the best art gallery in London is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, but we poor amateurs beg to differ. Our vote goes to this relaxed and fascinating art gallery, Tate Britain.
Bugbog spent July visiting most big London galleries as well as museums and thought the Tate Britain was the most enjoyable. It is spacious, relaxed and houses an astonishing variety of British artistic styles from 1500 to the present - old, new, traditional, deranged, paintings, sculptures, books and installations, often by recent big-name artists or old masters.
Furthermore, since the Tate is south of Parliament Square
and most tourists travel on from the obligatory Parliament/Big Ben/Westminster Abbey visit either west (Buckingham Palace), north (Trafalgar Square and the city centre) or east (South Bank, London Eye), very few head upriver and thus the Tate remains blissfully uncrowded.
There are obviously must-sees at the National Gallery but for pure chill-out art entertainment we put Tate Britain at number one.
Here are some samples of the gallery's eye-candy:
A typically calm space and eclectic collection.
Tate Britain Opening Hours: 10.00 to 18.00 daily, except 24-26 December.
London SW1P 4RG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7887 8888
Free to Enter though special exhibitions may cost extra.
A more traditional layout. This room contains The Lady of Shalott, a masterpiece by John William Waterhouse, though we prefer tragic Ophelia, below.
A drowning Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais in 1851.
From the Tate display caption:
In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Ophelia falls into a stream while picking flowers. Despairing over her father's murder by Hamlet, her lover, she allows herself to die. The flowers she holds are symbolic: the poppy means death, daisies innocence and pansies love in vain. This painting was regarded in its day as one of the most accurate and elaborate studies of nature ever made.
The Tate's #1 painting, Norham Castle, Sunrise by JMW Turner, 1845.
Tate Britain has the largest collection of Turner's works in the world, 300 paintings and 30,000 sketches, but one sensational, luminous room was enough for us.
The Prose Life of St Cuthbert, 1200. Artist Unknown.
A very detailed watercolour of the 3rd Earl of Cumberland by Nicholas Hilliard in 1590. Modern Tate Britain photos.
Other galleries: National Gallery | Tate Modern | National Portrait Gallery
Getting to Tate Britain
Photos of attractions nearby: Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace
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