Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Courtauld Gallery


Yesterday, in my continuing quest to go places in London I've never visited, I went to the Courtauld Gallery. It's located in Somerset House, a large building dating to the 1700s that has been used for both governmental and arts purposes. It has a large central courtyard, once an extra-fancy parking lot but now adorned with "dancing fountains," and a terrace overlooking the River Thames.

I'd heard about the Courtauld for years, but I had no idea what to expect in terms of artworks.


It turns out that the gallery is best known for its stunning collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works, including Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergere," above. There were paintings by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Sisley, Derain, Kandinsky and many others. I was definitely not disappointed!


Somerset House is also interesting architecturally!

After spending a couple of hours in the museum I took a long walk -- despite occasionally heavy rain -- north and west to Paddington, where I met my friend Pam for dinner. She's on one of her frequent visits to London for work. I love meeting up with her when she's in town -- I feel like it connects me to my previous life in the states. We ate at a cozy pub near Little Venice and then I made my way home, my sandals squishy from rainwater.

10 comments:

Alphie Soup said...

The staircase photo is the best. And the barmaid is famous. And very pensive looking too. She looks a little sad, as though something is not quite right with her world.

And a document 88 pages in length! Seriously? I loathe filling in forms; I think sometimes there is more than one way of answering a question and which one is the right one? Help!
Alphie

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I love that stairwell picture Steve. Earlier this year we met up with my son in that big courtyard where we had coffee before going to The Lyceum to see "The Lion King". Did you know they create a big ice skating rink there each winter?

ellen abbott said...

as for the look on the barmaid's face, she's probably struggling to breathe as tiny as her waist is cinched.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh my goodness! Well, I'm really glad you went and shared those amazing photos with us.
That staircase is magnificent.

Sharon Anck said...

Oh my gosh, how on earth did I miss this one. Now I know I have to come back to London. I love that staircase!

robin andrea said...

Wow, that staircase is stunning. And the artwork you got to see, simply the best!

37paddington said...

I have stood in that courtyard with the dancing fountains! And stood before that painting too. I was with my parents, and was 14 years old. I suppose I should start appreciating all they exposed me to at a young age. Children are self-absorbed creatures. I took so much for granted. Reading this post was like a flashback to a day I had all but forgotten.

I imagine your years in new york city must feel like another life now.

jenny_o said...

Wonderful pictures! That courtyard looks much better with fountains than I imagine it looking as a parking lot :) Love the picture of the staircase - beautiful.

Linda Sue said...

Wonderful staircase shot, Mr. Steve! Looking forward to seeing the ice skating rink there maybe. Do you skate? Congratulations on passing your British test and being able to stay!! Well done, you guys!

Bohemian said...

That Staircase is Sublime! I miss the Architecture of Europe, so much History, so much more Preservation of Beautiful Old Structures than here in America, especially on the West Coast where they tend to destroy everything Old in the name of Progress and 'Development'. The Home my Mom was born in still stands Today in Wales, exactly as it looked then... if she were still with us she'd be 86... time stands still in so many lovely Hamlets there.