> Read Craig’s review of the Courtauld Gallery Check out my London blog for a full review, with more photos
The Courtauld Gallery is No.3 in our list of London’s best galleries.
Important note: The Courtauld Gallery is currently closed for renovations. It is not expected to re-open again until late 2020.
The Courtauld Institute of Art was founded by Samuel Courtauld in 1931, as an adjunct to the University of London.
The idea was to provide the university with a collection equivalent to the famous museums of Oxford and Cambridge – the Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam.
Courtauld started the ball rolling by bequeathing his entire art collection to it upon his death, as did several other notaries – Robert Witt, William Spooner and Viscount Lee of Fareham.
The Courtauld soon gained a notable reputation, and now houses one of Europe’s finest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings with works by Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Monet.
The stand-out pieces are Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear, Monet’s Autumn at Argenteuil, Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Botticelli’s Trinity with John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene.
The gallery’s premises were augmented in 1991 when it moved from Portman Square to the refined surroundings of Somerset House.
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If you enjoy this then try: National Gallery (walk it in 12 mins or catch a train from Temple to Charing Cross); Royal Academy of Arts (walk it in 20 mins or catch a train from Temple to Piccadilly Circus); Somerset House (you can walk there in less than 1 min); Tate Britain (walk it in 30 mins or catch a train from Temple to Pimlico) and Wallace Collection (catch the tube from Temple to Bond Street).
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