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Tours and Itineraries

Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries
                

 

Tate Britain | Tate Modern | National Gallery | Victoria & Albert | British Museum

TATE BRITAIN

After a major refurbishment and the moving out of the 20th century International works now at Tate Modern, Britain’s Gallery for the display of the National Collection of British art is well geared up to take you round a world wind tour comprising 400 years of constant artistic development.

From the English Renaissance portrait to William Hogarth’s moral satires, from Constable’s - oh so English - landscape to the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood and Victorian Realism – the displays re-present British art, illuminating the different views of the changing place of Britain in the world, the way art has contributed to the idea of “Britishness”.

But we also find British art here from the 20th century, art that reacted to two World Wars including Francis Bacon, renowned Abstract Art by Hepworth and Nicholson that formed an important part of an international movement and of course:The works by J M W Turner, the most famous and successful British Artist ever, which occupy the Clore Gallery next door.  A constantly traveling artist with an eye for ‘the Sublime’ who did in oils what so far had only been done in watercolour.

Enjoy a highlight tour of 1½ hours approximately, selecting works to illustrate the wide range of Tate Britain’s collections

NB. Gallery displays are regularly changed; if this is the case, the tour will be amended accordingly.

Tate Britain | Tate Modern | National Gallery | Victoria & Albert | British Museum


TATE MODERN
20th century art

Since the year 2000 London is the home of the largest modern art gallery in the world – Tate Modern. A record 5 million people filed through its doors the first year! Not least to look at the extraordinary building, a disused postwar power station sensitively converted into an architecture of exciting spaces, giving many new and different possibilities to display some of the most famous works of the 20th (and the 21st) century.

The opening of Tate Modern also highlights the growing public interest and debate in modern and contemporary works and we continue to ask ourselves:

What is art? What do we expect from it? Does it have to have a meaning or even a reason?

What better way to pursue these questions than an informative exploration of some of Tate Modern’s “highlights” where we discover that these issues are of course far from new. We look at a wide selection of works demonstrating the width of the Tate’s holdings including artists of international acclaim such as Dali, Duchamp, Giacometti, Mondrian, Picasso, Pollock, Rothko and Warhol, but also some British artists; Bacon, Moore, Nicholson and Spencer.

The tour also examines some of the major art movements throughout the 20th century for example Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop Art, Primitivism, Surrealism and Abstract Art.

Please note that the displays at Tate Modern change continuously: at no time can it be guaranteed that a particular work of art is on public view.

Tate Britain | Tate Modern | National Gallery | Victoria & Albert | British Museum


THE NATIONAL GALLERY
“An Art Historical Tour de Force”

 
This gallery is exceptional among great national museums in its range of exhibits.

Britain’s collection of Western European painting includes works of virtually ALL- famous schools from the 13th century to Picasso.

Unusual in that it has not as its nucleus a royal or princely bequest, the National Gallery first opened in the private home of the self-made financier and collector John Julius Angerstein at 100 Pall Mall in 1824. It has occupied its present site since 1838 and has through gifts and purchases grown to just over two thousand pictures.

However it is not the total number that is impressive here of course but the many supreme masterpieces on permanent view, allowing you to walk through many centuries of artistic excellence stopping as you please by some of the “jewels in the crown”. A highlight tour will focus on some of the key works of the collection to include notably early Dutch masters like van Eyck, works of the High Renaissance by Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. Also Holbein and his “Ambassadors”, Venetian painting by Titian and Veronese, works by Rembrandt and Caravaggio. British masters will include Constable and Turner and last but not least come the Impressionists and the Post Impressionists, including works by Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Degas, and van Gogh.

And at the end of all this, you can of course enjoy refreshments in the Gallery’s in-house cafeteria and restaurant.

Please note that paintings are occasionally removed for loan exhibitions and cleaning; at no time can it be guaranteed that a particular painting is on view to the public.

Tate Britain | Tate Modern | National Gallery | Victoria & Albert | British Museum


VICTORIA AND ALBERTY MUSEUM

The Victoria and Albert Museum has been described as one enormous 'treasure trove' where you have a wander, taking you from one world culture to another and spanning many centuries.

Founded on the proceeds of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and inspired by the Queen's Consort, Prince Albert, this world collection of 'Decorative Arts' was meant to offer inspiration and education to contemporary designers and manufacturers. And 100 years after the death of Queen Victoria, it still fulfills this function superbly through its vast collections.

 A highlights tour aims to demonstrate the variety of the displays will include for example:

  • Masterpieces of medieval Anglo Saxon art
  • Furniture made for the Great Exhibition
  • The rare and amazing Victorian Cast Court
  • Japanese Armour from the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art
  • The Raphael Cartoons from Italy
  • The Dress Gallery including James II wedding suit from the 17th century
  • The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries
  • Tippoo's Tiger from the Nehru Gallery of Indian Art
  • Tate Britain | Tate Modern | National Gallery | Victoria & Albert | British Museum


BRITISH MUSEUM

The British Museum is vast and it would take days to view its entire collection, perhaps weeks! However the following tour is designed for the visitor looking for an overview, the ‘must sees’ generally considered the most important pieces in the collection.

Given average concentration span, fitness and museum ‘tolerance’, we suggest your itinerary follow roughly the following route:

We start in ancient Egypt, looking firstly at the Rosetta Stone. Found by French soldiers during the Napoleonic wars, it found its way here after Napoleon’s defeat. The stone is not important in its aesthetic value, but for its historical importance. Sometimes called the key to hieroglyphics, it was this stone which enabled Historians to decipher hieroglyphics from all the tombs and monuments originating in ancient Egypt. Your guide will explain how it came to pass that two brilliant experts, one French and one English, managed to break the code and translate the mysterious script of the Rosetta Stone opening the door for others to go on and understand more about the history of the Pharaohs

To ancient Assyria, located in the fertile crescent between the Euphrates and the Tigris. We examine the marvelous friezes designed for the splendid palace of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria during the 7th century B.C. These intricately carved panels depict the sport of kings, the Lion hunt. Your guide will explain the ritual of the Lion Hunt and ‘walk you’ through the story.

To ancient Greece to view the Elgin Marbles. From the 5th century B.C. Acropolis in Athens numerous pieces are on display here at the British Museum. An extraordinary collection of friezes from the interior and exterior of  the temple dedicated to the patron goddess of Athens, Athena. The friezes depict various themes which would have been familiar to the Athenians of this period. They are carved in high relief and are of beautiful quality. Your guide will bring to life the carvings, their subjects and the mythology behind them.

To ancient Anatolia and the city of Halicarnassos. This is where the grieving Artemisia created a great mausoleum to the memory of her beloved husband, an ancient Taj Mahal if you like. We'll see some of the carvings which adorned the tomb of the man who gave his name to the word Mausoleum, for he was Mausolus. Your guide will explain how this came to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

We revisit ancient Egypt, this time to see the famous mummies. The British Museum has a vast collection of mummies and tomb relics from Ancient Egypt. You will have time to look around the Egyptian Galleries after your guide has explained the incredible rituals which surrounded the dead in ancient Egypt, including the exhaustive mummification ritual.

Into Ancient Britain to visit Lindow Man. Found in a peat bog in Cheshire during the 1980’s, it was at first believed that he was a victim of recent murder. It soon became clear that this victim was most ancient indeed and had in fact been the victim of an ancient Druid sacrificial rite. Your guide will give you the details of how ‘Pete Marsh’ as he is affectionately known at the museum, met his premature death.

Still in ancient Britain, we move to Britannia – the northern-most outpost of the roman Empire. We shall look at one of the most impressive hoards found to date. Called the Mildenhall Treasure, this hoard comprises exquisite silverware buried in haste by its Romano-British owners who were, unusually, early Christians. Your guide will explain the intricate symbols and significance of this astonishing find.

To Saxon Britain and the Sutton Hoo Ship burial. Out of the Dark Ages, it is rare to find such a large collection of treasures. Jewellery, weapons and cooking equipment are just some of the fabulously made pieces which make up this collection of saxon treasure. It would appear that the Saxon chief was buried in his ship along with all his worldly goods. Your guide will explain the unusual circumstances in which this treasure was found.

Tate Britain | Tate Modern | National Gallery | Victoria & Albert | British Museum

 

 
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