Discover British art from the 1500s to the 21st century
Tate Britain houses one of the finest British art collections dating from the 1500s to the present day. The huge statue of 'Britannia' sitting on the apex of the building's pediment is a reminder that the gallery displays British art.
The collections include work by David Hockney, John Constable's romantic English landscapes and the nature-loving Pre-Raphaelites brotherhood. A secret band of artists who represented nature beautifully and medieval romantic ideas on canvas.
Tate Britain displays ultra-modern art and sculpture too, and there is something for everyone at Tate Britain. Discover the Tate Britain on our Art and Cultural tour of London. You may wish to visit both Tate Britain and Tate Modern. We can supply a guide for both and use the Tate-to-Tate boat service to sail between the two.
See the art of Turner, Hockney, and the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood
Introduction to Tate Britain
The home of British Art
The Tate Gallery, its original name and format opened in 1897, a gift from Sir Henry Tate (1819-99), the famous sugar refiner. I would say that every household in Britain had a bag of Tate and Lyle sugar on the kitchen table; the brand is so familiar.
Sidney J. R. Smith designed the neo-classical building overlooking the River Thames. The facility has grown over the years to cope with the expanding collection. Her Majesty the Queen opened the modern Clore Gallery in 1987, which houses the Turner bequest.
A few highlights
The Turner Bequest (1775-1851)
Joseph Mallord William Turner is one of Britain's most loved artists, and he enjoyed a fabulously successful career during his lifetime. From marine paintings with incredible detail and drama to almost impressionistic sunsets with gold and yellow, his favourite colours.
Turner died in 1851 leaving a large horde of his work to the nation. The bequest comprises 300 oils paintings and 30,000 watercolours and sketches. The country has never had a larger donation of art since or before. Please do enjoy the pictures on display at Tate Britain. If you are a Turner fan, see other work at The National Gallery, London and Petworth House, Sussex.
David Hockney (1937-)
David Hockney is a living legend. He is one of the most successful and influential artists in the western world. The boy from Bradford, Yorkshire made it to the Royal College of Art in London where he felt at home. Hockney uses iPad drawing programs, watercolours, photography, drawing, painting and many other creative methods. He is most famous for his pop art, the use of vivid colours and swimming pool paintings.
He has lived between Los Angeles, New York and London. With the swimming pool fascination deriving from living in California. His work Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) fetched a jaw-dropping £70 million at auction.
The Pre-Raphaelites (1848-1900)
Tate Britain houses approximately eighty works of art by the Pre-Raphaelites brotherhood artists. Their work celebrates female beauty, nature and romantic ideas. Many such ideas came from poetry and a yarning for some idealistic medieval past, that never really existed. They were the rebels of the art world and rebellious of Victorian ideals.
The brotherhood: William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Frederic George Stephens, and James Collinson. The sculptors; Thomas Woolner and William Michael Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's brother. There are various other places to see their art, including The Guildhall Art Gallery, London.
There is a continual rotation of exhibitions and events for all art lovers. Please contact us before you visit London. We can inform you of all the various London exhibits and coordinate your tickets, transportation and any private tours you have like to book.
Touring and accommodation
We can create a tailor-made tour of London for those seeking to include the best art exhibits, galleries and museums with specialist tour guides. Please tell us more about you, and we can put together a bespoke itinerary based around your interests. Our Tour-Designers can customise our suggested Art and Cultural Tour of London to match your requirements.
The best places to stay in London are Mayfair, St James, and the Royal Borough of Kensington. If you are considering day tours from London, staying further west in Kensington makes sense. Harrods and Hyde Park are close. Staying in Mayfair and St James will give you easy access to Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and high-end shops. The theatre district called the ‘West End’ is a short hop too.
London has many hotel options, including more five-star places to stay than any other city on earth. Where do you start? Please take a look at our recommended hotel list; the Best 4-star and 5-star accommodation in London.
Our Tour Designers are here to customise your private tours of London and day tours from London. Tell us about you and your interests, and we will create a tailor-made tour. Our Old City of London tour features St Paul's Cathedral. However, we can tailor a tour of London for you.
If this is your first time to England, we would recommend a custom version of your Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting-off-the-beaten-path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands. Merging Wales with England makes for a dynamic experience of mountains, stately homes and cosy country pubs.
Showcasing British Art
An art gallery for everyone
- Vast Collection of JMW Turner art
- David Hockney
- The Pre-Raphaelite
- Barbara Hepworth Sculpture
- John Constable's English landscapes