Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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.