Heading to London? While visiting the English capital, why not encounter the works of some of the world’s best new and established art practitioners? From Monet and Turner through to Picasso and Botticelli, there’s an exhibition or collection to suit almost every taste.
Whether you only have a few hours to spare or are able to enjoy the luxury on an extended stay, our pick of the top 10 art galleries in London is sure to help you receive a world-class art fix.
The National Gallery is the place to head if you’re wanting to feast your senses on some of Western Europe’s best classical paintings. Showcasing works dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries, the gallery’s collection exhibits pieces by artists such as Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Monet. All major styles of the time period, from the ornate late medieval era through to the much loved French Impressionists, are represented, offering a comprehensive art experience.
Presenting works from the Tudor era through to the present day, the National Portrait Gallery showcases paintings, drawings and photographs of monarchs, modern icons and individuals who have made a contribution to either British history or culture. Only a fraction of the gallery’s total collection is on show at any one time, with thousands of works protected from light damage within the reference collection.
Established in 1897, the Tate Britain is the home of the national collection of British art, spanning from 1500 through to the present day. The gallery displays a mix of art forms, from paintings and drawings through to sculptures, photography and video, meaning there’s plenty on to see and discover at any one time. Keep an eye out for works created by popular artists such as Hockney, Turner, Sargent and Rossetti.
Featuring the works of iconic artists such as Picasso, Dali, Mondrian, Matisse and Rothko, the Tate Modern is the place to head to see Britain’s national collection of modern and contemporary art. Comprising of works from across the globe, dating from 1900 through to the present day, there’s a diverse selection of pieces at the Tate for you to feast your eyes on.
Hosting works by Warhol, Koons and Close since opening, the Saatchi Gallery exhibits an impressive lineup of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. From young up-and-coming artists through to well established art practitioners, the gallery is the place to head to see works from both the art world’s biggest names and its freshest faces.
Founded in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts is an artist led institution devoted to the fine arts. Showcasing a wide range of mediums, from drawings and paintings through to photographs and sculptures, the academy is perfect for encountering works by British artists including Constable, Gainsborough, Turner, Hockney and Foster.
Established in 1946, the Institute of Contemporary Arts lies at the cutting edge of the British art world, seeking to promote an understanding of radical art and culture. The institute hosts exhibitions and talks throughout the year and showcases contemporary works across a wide variety of mediums.
From the works of emerging artists through to the pieces produced by well established contemporary art practitioners, the Serpentine Galleries showcases a diverse selection art across its exhibitions, talks, performances and events. Since its inception in 1970, the gallery has hosted works from artists including Hirst, Gursky, Takahashi and Koons.
A major cultural centre in the heart of London, Somerset House plays host to exhibitions of works spanning from the 14th century through to the present day. Situated within a historic building dating back to 1775, the institution has showcased pieces from popular artists such as Botticelli, Cezanne, Monet, Degas and Renoir.
Opened in 1962, the Queen’s Gallery is the place to head to encounter the diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and other items amassed by the British royal family over the last 500 years. One of the world’s largest and most important art collections, the gallery showcases the individual tastes of the country’s monarchs, drawing on over a million individual pieces.