I’m very lucky to live and study in London. Actually, I get to spend my days right next door to Somerset House where there are always amazing events taking place like London Fashion Week or exhibitions like the Pick Me Up: Contemporary Art Fair. Other than the lovely cafe with the incredible views of the Thames, Westminster, London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral, embarrassingly, I had never visited one of the exhibitions. So I hopped over to the Courtauld Gallery during my lunchbreak for a dose of culture and beauty.
The Courtauld Gallery is a brilliant little museum with a collection of paintings, drawings and decorative arts. The gallery is famous for the collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by some of the most celebrated artists like Monet, Renoir, Degas, Gaugin and Cezanne as well as 20th century pieces by Picasso and Matisse. Some of the most iconic pieces like Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear can be found here. The gallery is not very big, the collection is spread over three floors and it’s easy to see everything in a little over an hour (or, of course, more, if you’ve got time). The building itself is beautiful, with ornate ceilings and chandeliers, a perfect complement to the masterpieces it houses. I highly recommend visiting the temporary exhibitions as well, at the moment it’s Victorian Drawings and Watercolours.
I couldn’t resist a peek in the gallery’s shop, you can find some beautiful little treasures there. I found some interesting books on London, fashion, Victorian England and lots of little things that no one actually needs but are really pretty. My favourites were two little books called Don’ts for wives and Don’ts for husbands from 1932, the lovely silk scarfs (it was only the £50 price tag that stopped me from getting one), and the properly english (slightly kitch) tea things, ideally to go with a cottage in the english countryside.