Top 10 Galleries
Top 10 Galleries in London
London is famous for having some of the best galleries in the world for art lovers. Regardless of whether people love modern art or Renaissance art, Impressionist sketches or contemporary sculptures, there is an art gallery existing to suit all art aficionados in London.
These are the top ten galleries that can be found in London
The National Gallery
This gallery is located at Trafalgar Square in London. It is regarded as the crowning glory among other top galleries in this famous city. The gallery spreads over a vast area that is full of paintings from Western Europe, ranging from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Art enthusiasts will come across great works by painters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, John Constable, Titian, Botticelli and Renoir. There are more than two thousand paintings covering periods from the middle ages to the twentieth century and modern art. The paintings in the collections can be viewed freely by members of the public. Those on guided tours are also not charged for admission. Audio guides are made available in several languages. There are a number of family activities in this gallery to keep children occupied.
Barbican Art Gallery
This gallery is located at the Barbican Centre on Silk Street. It offers a dynamic and an international blend of design, art, photography and fashion. The gallery presents important exhibitions by prominent international figures, ranging from renowned architects to prize-winning painters along with leading figures from the world of photography and design. Visitors can check out Barbican’s Curve which presents exciting series of art commissions that have been designed for the space here. Part of the Centre is allocated for conferences and arts. Admission charges may vary at this place. The shop at the Barbican Art Gallery has a vast range of merchandise and books and this includes magazines, postcards and posters. There are bars and restaurants in this stylish complex to keep visitors entertained and refreshed. Access to this gallery could be gained through a ramped entrance and elevators that service each floor of the Barbican building.
Tate Britain Gallery
Located on Millbank in London, this art gallery boasts paintings from the Pre-Raphaelite period and some excellent landscapes by Turner. Tate Britain is known for holding the world’s largest collection of Turner’s works. There are also a few distorted nudes by Francis Bacon and masterpieces by Millais and Gainsborough. There is a Tate Modern gallery also for modern art lovers. Tate Britain is considered as the home of the largest collection of British art anywhere in the world, covering works from the last six centuries. It also features pieces by some outstanding contemporary and modern artists such as Damien Hirst and Lucian Freud. In the gallery’s restaurant, there is an impressive mural by the renowned Rex Whistler.
National Portrait Gallery
Located close to Trafalgar Square, it features some of the largest collections of portraits of famous personalities, ranging from the earliest Tudor Dynasty to the present age. They are modern icons as well as portraits of famous people such as William Shakespeare and various kings and queens. The Gallery is also famous for its roof top restaurant that gives a superb view of the city’s skyline. The exhibitions enable visitors to learn about important personalities who helped shape the history of Britain. Some of the artists featured include Hockney and Holbein and the collection of portraits includes work involving sculpture, painting and photography. In addition to the portraits that are on permanent display, National Portrait Gallery also has variety of programmess that include free events and exhibitions.
Dulwich Picture Gallery
This gallery is located in South London. It was opened to the public almost two centuries ago and was designed by Sir John Soane, the famous Regency architect. He used an influential illumination method. It is the oldest public art gallery in England and it is now an independent charity trust. Visitors to this gallery can feast their eyes on one of the finest collections of old Spanish, French and Italian paintings of the Baroque period. There are also a number of British portraits from the Tudor Age to the nineteenth century as well as famous art works by Gainsborough, Rubens, Rembrandt and Murillo. This gallery is regarded as one of London’s most valued places for artistic treasures.
Designed by Charles Townsend and opened in 1901, this public art gallery is located on the northern side of Whitechapel High Street, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It was one of the first galleries to be funded publicly for exhibitions of art in London. It exhibits works of various contemporary artists, and it has a reputation of introducing outreach and educational projects, which focus on the deprived population of Whitechapel. It is also famous for having exhibited Picasso’s `Guernica’ in 1938. Whitechapel Gallery was included in a touring exhibition that was organised by Roland Penrose as a protest against the Spanish Civil War.
This gallery is located in Chelsea and it mainly features works by contemporary artists. It is known for exhibiting works that are rarely presented in the United Kingdom. Once its owner, Charles Saatchi retires, this gallery will be called the Museum of Contemporary Art. Charles Saatchi has donated the collection in this gallery to the city. This gallery features contemporary art work in twelve expansive spaces. The number of contemporary art enthusiasts is on the increase in London, mainly due to an interest and general awareness. When this gallery was first opened to public, it attracted very few people. Those who visited the Saachi Gallery then were mainly interested in contemporary art as well as the work of new artists. However, the audience did build up steadily over the years. Today, over two thousand schools organise student visits every year to this gallery.
These galleries are located in the centre of Hyde Park. Free exhibitions promote international contemporary and modern art by world renowned artists like Chris Ofili and Andy Warhol. An annual architectural commission is held. There are two contemporary art galleries in the middle of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park in Central London. The two galleries are the Serpentine and the Serpentine Sackler. They are both located a short distance away from each other and are linked by a bridge over the Serpentine Lake. These galleries get their name from this lake. Over a million visitors are attracted to the Serpentine Galleries every year. They come for the exhibitions, education and architectural programs. Admission is free to both these galleries.
Royal Academy of Arts
This gallery is located in the heart of city’s West End on Piccadilly. Visitors have to walk through the gates on to the Annenberg Courtyard to gain access to this Academy. It was established in 1768 and is home to several blockbuster and exciting exhibitions. It is the oldest institution for fine arts in England. The highlight in this gallery include the paint box of Queen Victoria. It also has the only sculpture crafted by Michelangelo in the United Kingdom. The Academy is famous for hosting London’s finest touring exhibitions, and its Summer Exhibition is held annually since it first opened to public.
Guildhall Art Gallery
Housed in a building which was built in 1999, Guildhall Art Gallery consists of the art collection glorifying London. This collection used to be exhibited in a building which was destroyed in 1941 during the Second World War. The current building is a stone building, designed in a semi-Gothic style to complement the historic Guildhall to which it is connected internally. The works exhibited here are mostly London-themed from the Victorian art and Pre-Raphaelite period. It is the only art gallery in London that displays the ruins of a Roman Amphitheatre in its basement. The atmospheric amphitheatre in the basement is a popular attraction. The paintings in this gallery reveal vivid recreations of events that took place in London such as the opening of the Tower Bridge and Lord Mayor’s Show. The `Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar’ which is one of the largest paintings in the United Kingdom can be seen in this gallery. It is 458 square feet in height and the building for this gallery had to be specially designed to make sure that this painting could be accommodated here. It is regarded by many visitors as a peaceful haven right in the middle of London.
The gallery scene in London is really thriving and the art galleries in London have many hidden treasures to reveal to the avid visitor. Those who are keen on fine art, sculpture, contemporary art and photography will find the art galleries of London perfectly suited to their artistic interests. The galleries covered here are the top ten valuable art spaces in London.