One of London's most beloved art collections, the Courtauld is to your right as you pass through the archway into the grounds of the beautifully restored, grand 18th-century neoclassical Somerset House. Founded in 1931 by the textile magnate Samuel Courtauld to house his remarkable private collection, this is one of the world's finest Impressionist and post-Impressionist galleries, with artists ranging from Bonnard to van Gogh. A déjà-vu moment with Cézanne, Degas, Seurat, or Monet awaits on every wall (Manet's Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Le Déjeuner sur L'Herbe are two of the stars). Botticelli, Bruegel, Tiepolo, and Rubens are also represented, thanks to the exquisite bequest of Count Antoine Seilern's Princes Gate collection. German Renaissance paintings, bequeathed in 1947, include the colorful and delightfully wicked Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder. The second floor has a more provocative, experimental feel, with masterpieces such as Modigliani's iconic Female Nude. Don't miss the little café downstairs—a perfect place for a spot of tea.
Jan 17, 2009
I've put value at 3 but this gallery is free on Mondays before 2pm. A great collection for those interested into impressionism.
Apr 2, 2008
Small, but top quality collection with some must-see Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. A delight after visiting some of London's bigger museums.