The City of London’s Guildhall Art Gallery has been rehung with a focus on nineteenth-century paintings by Constable, Leighton, Millais, Rossetti, Holman Hunt and others. Downstairs, there are absorbing paintings of London from the 1660s to the present, from moving depictions of war and melancholy working streets to the likes of the grandiloquent (and never-enacted) George Dance plan for a new London Bridge. The collection’s centrepiece is the massive ‘Siege of Gibraltar’ by John Copley, which spans two entire storeys of the purpose-built gallery. A sub-basement contains the scant remains of London’s 6,000-seater Roman amphitheatre, built around AD70; Tron-like figures and crowd sound effects give a quaint inkling of scale.
|Venue name:||Guildhall Art Gallery||Contact:|
off Gresham St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12pm-4pm|
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What a gem in the city!
They scan your handbag like at the airport at the entrance, but after that you are free to explore (for free too) this spacious, gorgeous gallery full of Victorian paintings in the main gallery and some interesting exhibitions downstairs.
Plus you can see some pretty old London bits in the London Roman Amphitheater that I believe was discovered when they were renovating the gallery itself (It's almost like finding the biggest ever Viking ship while renovating the Viking ship museum - but that was in Reykjavik.
Funnily enough, looking at some of those idealized Victorian depictions of women cuddling and whatnot I found myself thinking - but is this art? Perhaps I spent too much time at Tate Modern!
Don your Sunday best, see the gallery and then mingle at the pretty square with all those important city people lunching there during the breaks in their very important jobs.