Monday, December 01, 2008

Amazing London Museums

London is famous for its wonderful museums and it is impossible to visit them all in one week or even in many trips. We were fortunate to tour three of them on our recent trip--The National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert and the British Museum. The NPG was the only one which did not allow photography of the artworks.

National Portrait Gallery (NPG)
2 St. Martin's Place, London

St. Martin's Place

The NPG is just what the name suggests--a vast collection of portraits from the 15th through 20th centuries, including oils, water colour, drawings and photography of the historically important and famous people. Artists include the famous such as Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Hans Holbein the Younger up to the contemporary Annie Liebovitz and thousands of others.

I love art and history, so this museum was a favorite of mine. A few examples follow.

Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Portrait, 1558
© By Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London

Five Children of King Charles I, 1637

after Sir Anthony Van Dyck

© By Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrait of King Charles I with a Letter in his Hand, 1628
by Gerrit van Honthorst
© By Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London

We also visited the British Museum famous for the Rosetta Stone, the key for the decryption of the old Egyptian Hieroglyphic code; the Elgin Marbles, surviving sculptures from the Parthenon; as well as bronze, terracotta, jade, artifacts, jewelry, pottery, mummies from ancient Egypt, Persia, Africa, Rome, Mesopotamia, etc. etc. Loved this museum.

The British Museum

Elgin Marble

The Great Court surrounding the Reading Room

Egyptian Pharaoh

Frieze from Pantheon - Elgin Marble

Grecian Sculpture

The Victoria and Albert is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Its collection spans 5000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa.

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Glass Chandelier by Dale Chihuly
Entrance to V & A

Trajan Columns in Cast Room

Three Story Tabernacle from Belgium

One of the "Refreshment" Rooms at V & A Cafe

One of the Refreshment Rooms at V & A

Restoration Room at V & A

Ceiling from French Salon

Some day I hope to return to London to visit other museums such as The Tate, the London Musuem, and the National Gallery. London is awesome, amazing and astonishing!

1 comment:

Keri(th) said...

These photos are incredible, though I can only imagine what the real thing looks like! If I had the time and the $$$$, I would love to spend at least a few weeks touring the London Museums.