Step Up in Time
Tucked away inside the large space of Somerset House, this small gallery leaves a large impression. It houses the collection of the Courtald Institute of Art, a stunning set of early 20th-century art with a focus on French Impressionist and Post-impressionist works from the likes of Van Gogh, Cezannes, Degas, Seurat, and Picasso. You'll likely see pieces you've never seen before and quickly be enchanted by the lovely, modest space in which they hang. It's also quiet and rarely overwhelmed with tourists, offering a nice respite away from the hustle and bustle of the Strand shops and theaters of the West End just down the road.
By Sara Lieberman, AFAR Contributor
A Perfectly Curated Collection at the Courtauld
Art lovers in London should not miss the Courtauld Gallery. Housing one of the best collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works outside of France, this museum features pivotal works by Manet and Van Gogh. The pastel walls, detailed crown work, and blond wood floors lend a bright airy feel to the gallery. When each painting represents the best of the artist's ouerve, the one or two hours you spend will feel like just a few minutes. The well proportioned museum will leave you satisfied without the fatigue that comes with a visit to somewhere like the National Gallery. Admission is cheapest on Mondays, £3 and the crowds are perfectly manageable, despite the discount. The Courtauld Gallery sits inside the grand Somerset House, which is well worth a wander in its own right. The cutting edge temporary exhibits in the main house are often free. The huge courtyard is converted into a skating rink in the winter, while featuring concerts and other cultural events during the rest of the year. If you have money to burn, splurge at the stylish Rizzoli Bookshop or fill up at the hipster-ish cafe.
Somerset House, 150 Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK
+44 20 3947 7663
Sun - Sat 10am - 6pm