Art lovers will enjoy spending a holiday in the British capital because of the multitude of world-class art galleries found in London. Foremost among these is the National Gallery that was set up in 1824. At the time of its opening, its collection comprised only 36 pieces of artwork. Since then, its collection has regularly been replenished with the number at present in excess of 2000 paintings. These cover various historical periods and art pieces from almost all major European art school.
Those looking for a nice central location like a hotel near Hyde Park will find the Shaftesbury Hotel Paddington an ideal choice for the family to stay during the trip. Offering a good number of family-amenities, it is the perfect jump-off point from which to explore the city’s art galleries like the National Gallery a short ride away.
Some of the most famous pieces of art at the gallery include the following works:
Sunflowers: while there are several pieces of art created by Vincent Van Gogh at the gallery, the most famous of them all is Sunflowers. Part of a quartet of works based on the same flowery theme it was completed somewhere around August-September 1888. These particular pieces have led to art schools having very spirited conversations about this particular set of pieces. The method used to create the principal piece involves impasto, by which thick strokes of an art brush are used to create layers. This, in particular, was ideal to create the texture of the sunflower seeds in the middle of the flower. All of these works were done by Van Gogh with a plan to gift them to Paul Gaugin to add to his personal collection, which was to be displayed in Gaugin’s Arles home in southern France. The house was known as the Yellow House with the paintings a befitting present for the home. There is another iconic creation on display by Van Gogh, which was completed during his stay at St Remy’s Asylum in 1889 titled – “A Wheatfield with Cypresses”.
Bacchus and Ariadne: It was commissioned by Alfonso d’Este, the Duke of Ferrara to be displayed at the Alabaster Rooms of The Ducal Palace and is considered Titian’s finest creation. He drew inspiration for the painting from ancient Roman folklore, in particular, Bacchus the God of wine and theatre. The painting reflects Bacchus leaping from his chariot after he falls for the beauty of Ariadne. It a collaborative creation with Titian having worked with Bellini and Dossi to complete the iconic masterpiece.
Venus and Mars: Considered the pièce de résistance among all of Botticelli’s works, Venus and Mars have been a source of inspiration for artists, poets, writers etc. It showcases Mars (God of War) asleep, with Venus (Goddess of Love) sitting up looking pensive and is an allegorical reference of beauty and valour. The message the artist attempts to convey through his creation is that love conquers war and everything else. It was specifically painted for the Italian noble family of the Vespucci’s, with a hive of wasps above Mars head representing the family’s escutcheon with the same design.