Museum: Victoria & Albert Museum – London

I plan to visit this lovely museum on October 31… so I need to plan ahead..

From Wikipedia:

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to cover 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

One of the highlights is John Constables “Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds”

Set in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, neighbouring institutions include the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, the V&A is located in what is termed London’s “Albertopolis“, an area of immense cultural, scientific and educational importance. Since 2001, the museum has embarked on a major £150m renovation programme, which has seen a major overhaul of the departments, including the introduction of newer galleries, gardens, shops and visitor facilities. Following in similar vein to other national British museums, entrance to the museum has been free since 2001.


The Victoria and Albert Museum is located at
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Some highlights:

  • The Three Graces – Canova (1814-17)
    … away on loan.. bu-hu… 🙁
  • “Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds” – John Constable (1823)

    Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds is an 1823 painting by the nineteenth-century landscape painter John Constable (1776–1837). This timeless image of England’s most famous medieval church is one of his most celebrated works, and was commissioned by one of his closest friends, John Fisher, The Bishop of Salisbury. Constable visited Salisbury in 1820 and made a series of oil sketches of the cathedral, which served as the model for this composition.
  • The Day Dream – Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1880)

    The sitter for this painting was Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris, who often posed for Rossetti. At the time this was painted Rossetti was involved in an illicit love affair with Jane. He shows her sitting in the branches of a sycamore tree and holding a sprig of honeysuckle. This sweet-smelling climbing plant symbolised the bonds of love for the Victorians, and Rossetti may have included it here as a subtle reference to the relationship between artist and model. Rossetti was also a poet, and the title relates to his poem of the same name which ends:
    She dreams; till now on her forgotten book
    Drops the forgotten blossom from her hand.
  • The Raphael Cartoons – Raphael (1515-16)
    The Raphael Cartoons are seven large cartoons for tapestries, belonging to the British Royal Collection but since 1865 on loan to theVictoria and Albert Museum in London, designed by the High Renaissance painter Raphael in 1515–16 and showing scenes from the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. They are the only surviving members of a set of ten cartoons commissioned by Pope Leo X for tapestries for the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Palace, which are still (on special occasions) hung below Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Reproduced in the form of prints, they rivalled Michelangelo’s ceiling as the most famous and influential designs of the Renaissance, and were well known to all artists of the Renaissance and Baroque. Admiration of them reached its highest pitch in the 18th and 19th centuries; they were described as “the Parthenon sculptures of modern art”.
  • Neptune & Triton – Bernini (1622-23)
    Neptune and Triton is an early sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum of London and was executed c. 1622–1623. Carved from marble, it stands 182.2 cm (71.7 in) in height.

  • Samson Slaying a Philistine – Giambologna (ca.1562)
    The sculpture of Samson Slaying a Philistine is the earliest of the great marble groups by Giambologna (1529-1608), sculptor to theMedici Grand Dukes of Tuscany, and the only substantial work by the artist to have left Italy. It was commissioned in about 1562, byFrancesco de Medici for a fountain in Florence, but was later sent as a gift to Spain. The group was presented to the Prince of Wales, later King Charles I, in 1623 while he was in Spain negotiating a marriage contract, and it soon became the most famous Italian sculpture in England. On its arrival in England it was given to the king’s favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, and subsequently changed hands three times before coming to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1954.
  • Theseus and the Minotaur – Canova (1782)
    The legendary Greek hero Theseus sits astride the minotaur whom he has just killed. Coils of thread used by Theseus to retrace his steps from the minotaur’s lair can be seen by the minotaur’s left leg. This was one of Canova’s earliest completed works after he left Venice to settle in Rome, in 1781. The massive block of marble from which this group was carved was given to Canova by his patron Girolamo Zulian, who was Venetian ambassador in Rome. Zulian gave Canova the choice of subject for the work, and he decided on one of the stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


Gallery: Tate Britain

I’m planning a visit to Tate Britain on Wednesday.. some planning is due…

From Wikipedia:

Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the works of J. M. W. Turner.


Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG
United Kingdom

The gallery housed and displayed both British and Modern collections, but was renamed “Tate Britain” in March 2000, before the launch of Tate Modern, since which time it has been dedicated to the display of historical and contemporary British art only.

Tate Britain includes the Clore Gallery of 1987, designed by James Stirling, which houses work by J. M. W. Turner.

Turner’s “Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth” (1842) is one of my all time fav works of art. 

The main display spaces show the permanent collection of historic British art, as well as contemporary work. It has rooms dedicated to works by one artist, such as: Tracey EminJohn LathamDouglas GordonSam Taylor-Wood, Marcus Gheeraerts II, though these, like the rest of the collection, are subject to rotation.

Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day. As such, it is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world (only the Yale Center for British Art can claim similar expansiveness, but with less depth). More recent artists include David HockneyPeter Blake and Francis Bacon.

Some of the highlights:

  • Tate’s collection of Joseph Mallord William Turner paintings
  • Ophelia – Sir John Everett Millais (1851/52)
    Ophelia is a painting by British artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed between 1851 and 1852. Currently held in the Tate Britain in London, it depicts Ophelia, a character from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, singing before she drowns in a river in Denmark.
  • Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge – James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1872-75)
    Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge is a painting by the American-born British artist James McNeill Whistler, now held in the collections of Tate Britain. It was painted around 1872–5.

  •  The Lady of Shalott – John William Waterhouse (1888)
    The Lady of Shalott is an 1888 oil-on-canvas painting by the English Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse. The work is a representation of a scene from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s 1832 poem of the same name, in which the poet describes the plight of a young woman (loosely based on Elaine of Astolat, who yearned with an unrequited love for the knight Sir Lancelot) isolated under an undisclosed curse in a tower near King Arthur’s Camelot. Waterhouse painted three different versions of this character, in 1888, 1894 and 1916.
    > On loan to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Birmingham)
  • Newton – William Blake (1805)
     is a monotype by the English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake first completed in 1795, but reworked and reprinted in 1805. It is one of the 12 “Large Colour Prints” or “Large Colour Printed Drawings” created between 1795 and 1805, which also include his series of images on the biblical ruler Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Flatford Mill (Scene on a Navigable River) – John Constable (1816)
    Flatford Mill (Scene on a Navigable River) is an oil painting by English artist John Constable, painted in 1816. It is Constable’s largest exhibition canvas to be painted mainly outdoors, the first of his large “six foot” paintings, and the first in the Stour series which later included The Hay Wain. It is owned and exhibited at the Tate Britain gallery in London.

  • Horse Devoured by a Lion – George Stubbs (1763)
    This work is presumed to be one of a pair with the Tate’s Horse Frightened by a Lion (Tate Gallery T06869), which was exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1763. Both are similar in style, mood, size and colouring. The theme of a horse being attacked by a lion obsessed Stubbs for thirty years. He made at least seventeen works on the theme, in various media including oil, enamel, engravings, and a relief model in Wedgwood black basalt.
  • Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion by Francis Bacon (1944)
    Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion is a 1944 triptych painted by British artist Francis Bacon. The work is based on the Eumenides—or Furies—of Aeschylus’ The Oresteia, and depicts three writhing anthropomorphic creatures set against a flat burnt orangebackground. Three Studies was executed in oil paint and pastel on Sundeala fibre board and completed within the space of two weeks.


Habit #9 – Eat a healthy breakfast – EVERY day

I think “everyone” knows this one. Sure you can dig up arguments.. and the occasionally article from somewhere claiming that breakfast isn’t that important . But you surely know better.

“When we fail to “break a fast” with a nutritious breakfast, it costs our brain dearly. If you eat breakfast, you will be more able to think clearly, remember important information, keep your energy high, and maintain balanced moods. In some ways, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is the meal that ends the longest amount of time without eating – hence the term break-fast. Think of breakfast as the fuel for the day.”
~John Arden (From his book “Rewire your brain,…”)

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