Tate Britain

We visited the Tate Britain last week and it was lovely. The gallery had an easy to follow one way system outside, and inside there were no confusing arrows on the floor. It was quiet, and practically empty, which was great.

There are three collection routes, of which you choose one to walk. We chose the 1540-1890 collection, as we’re not as fond of modern art. A nice surprise was seeing a sketch of one of the paintings from the ceiling at the Banqueting House. King Charles I commissioned Peter Paul Rubens to paint the whole ceiling to celebrate his father James I’s reign. 

I absolutely loved the landscapes and seascapes too. There’s just something calming about capturing nature. This one is John Constable’s sketch for Hadleigh Castle. Apparently Constable made full-size sketches before painting on canvas, the finished painting is in America. 

There were a few Pre-Raphaelite paintings too. You could tell as quite a few paintings had the same model. This one is Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Beloved:

Another picturesque scene. This is John Samuel Raven’s study for Saintfoin in Bloom. I thought this was a proposal at first but the boy on his knees is holding flowers, not a ring. 

More forest and nature, very autumnal this one, so quite apt. This is John Everett Millais’ Dew-Drenched Furze. Another Pre-Raphaelite painter, there’s a statue of Millais outside the Tate Britain. The most notable painting I know of Millais’ is probably Ophelia.

I think this painting was my favourite: John Martin’s The Plains of Heaven. So sublime and peaceful. That blue is amazing. This is one of the pictures in Martin’s The Last Judgement series. The other two paintings being The Last Judgement showing elements of people being saved and damned, and The Great Day of His Wrath showing damnation, both of which are in the Tate Britain too.

A lovely afternoon wandering round this gallery and I would highly recommend. 

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