Exploring London’s Art

It began with a quick cup of coffee and a piece of Nutella on toast before our morning trip to the fashion and art capital of the world, London. The History of Art group which consisted of Ellie, Char, Georgie and I, with Miss Meeson leading the group began with our travels from the small and humble town of Ascot to the lively Waterloo station. We boarded our train to London for a day of touring museums and some leisurely shopping.

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We reached the first of the two galleries, the Courtauld, which stands on the Strand overlooking the River Thames with stature and prominence against the more modern buildings. Entering the Courtauld Gallery, the inside seemed smaller than it appeared from its exterior, however the four flights of stairs (more like 50) reassured us there was more to see. Originally a house, the Courtauld now stores a plentiful display of paintings and drawings on show for the public to speculate and admire. There were a number of renowned paintings from Impressionist artists such as Degas and Cézanne extending into the 20th Century with works by Freud and Kandinsky. The gallery is enriched with paintings such as Van Gogh’s ‘self-portrait with bandaged ear’, whereas my particular favourite was the ‘Girl with roses’ by Freud and second to that was ‘Head of Seedo’ by Kossoff which shows the artist’s application of heavy impasto.

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‘Head of Seedo’ by Leon Seedo, 1964, Oil on board
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‘Girl with Roses’ by Leon Kossof 1947-1948 Oil on canvas

Afterwards we went to look for some lunch, coincidently we spotted an Itsu and ate a fabulous lunch there! It was also Mrs Meeson’s first time in Itsu too!

Next tour stop was the National Gallery in Leicester Square.

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The National Gallery is by far the bigger of the two (containing 2,300 paintings/altarpieces), so there was a lot of artwork that ranged from Late Medieval to Post-Impressionism. We mainly focused on the Medieval period and spent the majority of time studying paintings such as ‘The Virgin and Child Enthroned’ by Masaccio (right) painted in the Renaissance compared to the ‘The Transfiguration’ by Duccio (left) which is based on byzantine influences.

We continued along the stretches of the gallery, analysing different paintings as we went along. Here are a few below:

We ended the day with shopping in Covent Garden and some much needed frozen yogurt and chocolate pancakes (like any day you end it with food-durh). Around 5:00 we left London on our journey back to school having had a long and successful day in London.

Written by Chrissie Wise

Photo Credits: Georgie D

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