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The National Gallery is a magnificent Georgian edifice on the northern side of Trafalgar Square that houses a massive collection of Western European art. Started in 1838, you can find the works of master Leonardo Da Vinci in the Sainsbury wing of the gallery, alongside Botticelli and Bellini. The west wing contains works by Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael, the north wing contains works by Rubens, Rembrandt and Caravaggio, and the east wing contains works by Seurat, Canaletto, Degas and Monet. A portable audio guide is available in six different languages.
The National Portrait Gallery houses portraits of eminent personalities in British history from the Tudors to the present day, making it a must for lovers of art. Founded in 1856, the collection on display is among the most comprehensive in the world and no restrictions are placed on the mediums used. There are traditional oil paintings and watercolors, as well as drawings, miniatures, sculptures, silhouettes, caricatures and photographs. Admission is free, but certain exhibitions may be charged.
The UK's National Gallery for Modern and Contemporary Art, Tate Modern has been a dazzling microcosm of the art world since it first opened its doors in 2000 and is one of the largest of its kind in the world. A remarkable merger between the past and present, Tate Modern displays the stunning national collection of modern and contemporary art, featuring both British and international artists from 1900s to the present. Here, artwork by the likes of Matice, Warhol, Picasso, Dalí, and Pollock, sit alongside those of contemporary artists who are redefining the very meaning of art. The gallery sits amid the concrete jungle of Bankside, fitted into the former Power Station with a few nifty additions. The most obvious is the two-storey glass extension that sits atop the roof, while the original lattice brickwork and towering chimney of the heritage building have been retained. Later extensions include the Blavatnik Building, with its striking sloped facade, and the conversion of the subterranean oil tanks into a permanent showcase for the performing arts. Admission is free, however, tickets must be purchased for special exhibitions.
Located in Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Gallery is dedicated to showing contemporary and modern art. You'll find exhibitions, video installations, and artworks on display from some of the most famous past and present artists. One sight not-to-be-missed is a permanent exhibition by Ian Hamilton Finlay dedicated to the late Princess Diana.
Designed by the Victorian architect Sir John Soane, this was the first public art gallery in Britain. The collection on display includes works by world-renowned artists such as Van Dyck, Canaletto, Watteau, Hogarth, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and Reynolds. Dulwich Picture Gallery is based in picturesque Dulwich Village and is one of the hidden gems of Southwark. A practical art education studio, a lecture theater, an exhibition space and a cafe are also on site. On Saturdays and Sundays, the gallery offers free guided tour to all its visitors.