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The 100 best paintings in london the full list london art time out art
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Sofia Butella

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Famous Art Pieces In London.

Art Prints, Art prints are photographs printed on canvas. Large-scales pieces are extremely adorable and modern looking. You may get these ready-made from art stores in any size you require . The photos are taken by professional photographers whom take pictures from various locations around the world. The images could show landscapes, seascapes, or portray culture and food. Some photos depict animals and city skylines.

Tapestries, Tapestries are painted or printed on fabric from Africa or Asia. Tapestries add an old world diplomacy to a home. This type of wall decoration is often forgotten as an art form but seems to be benefiting from a comeback. There are reproductions or commercial classes of tapestries and original hand painted tapestries set foot on by indigenous people from various countries. They can also be run into by fresh abstract artists to go with current home designs.

Paintings, Paintings are classic art pieces. They should be abstract in form or look traditional. There are many different classes of paintings you should choose from to find an ideal theme , size and medium that will go with your home design and furniture process . Some canvas wall art can be framed or hung unframed if mounted on gallery wrapped canvas.

Metal Art, Metal art should consist of antique pieces or new artworks attained of metal. This softhearted of art may be suitable for various types of homes, from traditional houses to latter-day minimalist urban condos. Metal art can look like a typical squarish piece of art work on canvas or look more like wrought iron designs. These are a bit heavy and will desire more sturdy support to hold them up on a wall. They may have a southern Texan flair or look ultra fresh depending on the design.

There are diverse types of wall art that you should use to grace versatile parts of your star sign At that place are artworks multi-coloured on canvass and around that are printed on theme or cloth Close to are framed piece others are non . Depending on your national contrive some could be more convenient than others.

Mirrors, Mirrors don`t simply make a room look much larger but may also be saw artistic if mounted on a decorative frame. The frames may be met of elaborate wooden carvings or modern metals. Some frames are got to of wood and arrived at to look like metal like silver, gold or bronze. These kinds of wall art look good in living rooms, dining rooms and at the end of a hallway. Use this type of wall decor if you want to make your rooms look larger.

No matter what gentle of wall art you choose to hang in your home. Be sure to get one that you bask looking for at. Earlier buying rampart decor, shuffle indisputable that that the size is nonpareil for your palisade blank space Takings billet of colours more or less the room and acquire graphics that contains roughly of those colours. Avert pendant graphics with the equal colour as your fence to shuffle the nontextual matter pedestal retired

Wall Decals, Kids will like vivid wall decals arrived at of stickers in his bedroom or playroom. These are feasible if your kids are young since you may easily slay the stickers and substitute them with other designs. More or less palisade decals face sophisticated adequate for the life room or master`s sleeping room . If you tear an apartment, these thorn are paragon because you won`t have to tire holes on the paries and may easily remove them when it`s time to move out.

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World famous paintings fine art painting wallpaper withSunflowers vincent van gogh 1888A beloved childrens author in dulwich1937The 100 best paintings in new yorkFamous works of art in london and where to find them london evening standard

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk This Monet masterpiece, painted in his garden in Giverny where he lived until his death, was painted during the early part of his iconic Water Lily series, before the great painter suffered from cataracts.

A Japanese style bridge arches over shimmering greens and pinks, a view Monet painted 17 times in one year alone.

WHEN? 1870WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Combing the Hair’

‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’ – Joseph Wright of Derby

WHEN? 1897 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Card Players’

WHEN? 1665 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Kenwood House   I LIKE IT See also ‘Self-Portrait at the Age of 63’Rembrandt gazes straight at the viewer. Lit from above, his eyes are cast into shadow, as though reflecting all the troubles of a lifetime.

But they are also, it suggests, the source of his power. This is not just a self-portrait, it’s a painting of a painter painting, and the vision of the artist is what distinguishes him from other men.

His actual tools – his hands, brushes and palette – are barely sketched in. The two circles might be Rembrandt caught between two spheres, the earthly and divine, but the shapes are equally the simplest way of representing that which is man-made.

Man may be the creation of God, but man is also the creator. There is a suggestion of Leonardo’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ in the composition, that Platonic ideal of a human, but Rembrandt unflinchingly confronts the reality: he is old, he is ugly, he is tired.

Maybe he can’t summon up the energy or enthusiasm to finish the painting; maybe nothing can ever really be finished. At the same time, though, like Dorian Grey in reverse, there is a triumph in the life lived and committed to canvas, and a statement of intent: Look what tremendous power this old man still wields!

WHEN? 1953WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Weeping Woman’

WHEN? 1670WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Guitar Player’

‘A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’ – Hans Holbein the Younger

WHEN? Circa 1916WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Nude Girl’

WHEN? 1645WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Dulwich Picture GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Portrait of Margharete de Geer’

WHEN? 2006WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Four Seasons’

WHEN? 1661WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery  I LIKE IT See also ‘Self-Portrait with Two Circles’

WHEN? 1647WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Water-Seller of Seville’

WHEN? 1750 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Mary Countess of Howe’

WHEN? 1987WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Cage 1-6’

‘A Cornfield by Moonlight with the Evening Star’ – Samuel Palmer

15/18 Mont Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine, Paul Cézanne, 1887

WHEN? 1638WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Royal Collection and is currently on show in the Cumberland Art Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.I LIKE IT See also ‘Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist’

WHEN? 1925WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘The Three Dancers’

WHEN? 1919WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Imperial War MuseumI LIKE IT See also ‘The Menin Road’

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk Van Gogh’s series of Sunflowers caused an uproar when they were first presented: artist Henry de Groux declared them ‘laughable’, a remark which saw him only narrowly avoid a fist fight with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Signac.

It’s said van Gogh was spurred to paint the flowers in order to have new work to impress Paul Gauguin, whom he planned to share a studio with. On a diet of coffee and booze, he painted the first four in just six days.

While visiting the Sunflowers, be sure to see his famous Chair; A Wheatfield, with Cypresses; and the magnetic 1899 painting Two Crabs, which sometimes, sadly, goes overlooked.

WHEN? 1909-10WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Self-Portrait’

WHEN? c1640WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Wallace CollectionI LIKE IT See also ‘The Rokeby Venus’

WHEN? 1922WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘The Three Dancers’

WHEN? 1966-1967WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Monument’

WHEN? 1601WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist’

WHEN? 1500WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Doge Leonardo Loredan’

WHEN? 1490WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk Famous enough that a bar in Pimlico have a drink dedicated to it. That’s how you know you’ve made it big time. At 2m by 3m, Seurat’s painting of young men relaxing by the water is impressively sizeable, and another example of a deceptively simple style: in real life, the painting seems to gleam, shine and wink – an effect achieved by contrasting dots of colour.

The water is the best example of it, but the boys hat has dots of blue on the orange, making it stand out, drawing attention to him as he braces himself to swim. The side-on figures draws to mind Egyptian art.

17/18 William Shakespeare, attributed to John Taylor, c. 1600-10

10/18 Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

WHEN? 1851-3WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Fighting Temeraire’

WHEN? 1556WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Death of Actaeon’

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk Hans Holbein the Younger managed to be a hugely influential figure in art without founding a school, making him something of a rarity. This double portrait might not be as famous as the copy of his lost Henry VIII portrait (head next door to the National Portrait Gallery for that one), but it remains extremely striking, and draws the viewer in with what appears to be a white smudge across the bottom of the canvas: in fact, it is an early example of anamorphosis, and shows a skull, a symbol of death and mortality.

While cynics suggest Holbein incorporated it simply to show off his skill (and hence secure future commissions, the canny so-and-so), it forces any audience to engage, to look and consider the work from all angles, and to get a more thorough appreciation for the piece.

WHEN? 1976WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Visit’

WHEN? 1822WHERE CAN I SEE IT? V&AI LIKE IT See also ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’

WHEN? 1636-7WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery  I LIKE IT See also ‘The Laughing Cavalier’

WHEN? 1630WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Water-Seller of Seville’

WHEN? 1998WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Upper Room’

So many paintings, so little time. With London home to art gallery after world-class art gallery, picking a painting to go visit can be tricky. So howsabout starting with this list of ‘The 100 best paintings in London’, drawn up from over 600 nominees. 

National Portrait Gallery, WC2H, npg.org.uk This painting of the famous English novelist was done by her elder sister Cassandra. As the only two girls among eight siblings, the two were extremely close throughout their lifetime and frequently wrote to each other.

This incomplete watercolour is thought to be the only known portrait from life of Jane. This does not, however, mean it looks much like her: her family were not convinced by it, although the expression apparently convinced her niece.

Still, from 2017, it’s the portrait we’ll see on £10 notes everywhere.

WHEN? 1607WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Supper at Emmaus’

2/18 The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, JMW Turner, 1839

‘Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting’ – Artemisia Gentileschi

WHEN? 1855WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Ophelia’

Imperial War Museum, SE1, .iwm.org.uk William Orpen’s piece, commissioned at the then huge cost of £3000, is more notable for its scene than the painting itself, but what a scene: as the title says, it shows the Peace Conference at Versailles in 1919, where the Allies decided the terms of peace following the First World War.

In the painting are US president Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and many, many soldiers, diplomats and politicians. Spend a while with it: the facial expressions and how much they differ are particularly interesting.

The architecture, as Orphen sees it, is vast, leaning over the politicians, making them seem small, insignificant, weak. It’s subtle, perhaps, but reveals what the artist thought of them.

WHEN? 1896WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Beach at Trouville’

The V&A, Cromwell Rd, SW7, vam.ac.uk It might not be the famous Birth of Venus, but this piece is as close as one can currently get in London. It contains the same ground-breaking nudity – Christian influence had put a bit of a damper on that for a few centuries beforehand – and again, it’s all in the eyes here: the expression could mean one of a thousand things.

Afterwards, head to the National to see Venus and Mars, from a few years earlier.

WHEN? 1928WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘Self-Portrait’

WHEN? 1993WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Cage 1-6’

WHEN? 1782WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Study of Cirrus Clouds’

WHEN? 1526WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Ambassadors’

WHEN? 1533WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’

WHEN? 1559WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Diana and Actaeon’

WHEN? 1438-1440 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’This is less an epic battle scene than an experiment in geometry, with Florentine painter Paolo Uccello placing broken lances and fallen bodies to emphasize the latest, fifteenth-century discovery of linear perspective (though he famously got the foreshortening of one body slightly wrong).

The result, for all its wealth of detail, may be slightly static in visual terms; yet the grid-like format also conveys the work’s deepest message: the transience of battles and other human affairs ultimately surrender to the eternal truths of mathematical principles.

The ‘Battle of San Romano’ is a set of three paintings. In addition to the painting in the National Gallery there are related works in the Uffizi in Florence and the Louvre in Paris.

WHEN? 1768WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’

WHEN? 1891WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Three Dancers’

WHEN? 1882 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Execution of Maximilion’There’s no getting round it, London’s best painting is French. As French as an appellation contrôllée aperitif sipped by a chic courtesan on a belle-epoque banquette.

But that’s what you get for running such an, erm, laissez-faire poll. The art world has spoken and Edouard Manet, nineteenth-century painting colossus and mentor for younger impressionist contemporaries such as Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, has triumphed.

 So should we feel disappointed? Not one bit. ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’ is the last great work by one of the greatest painters of all time. Philanthropic art collector Samuel Courtauld knew as much when he stumped up more than £22,000 for it in 1926 (that’s over £1million today).

From the dimpled skin of satsumas and the crinkled foil of a champagne bottle (don’t worry, they’re serving Bass pale ale for us rosbiefs), to the flowers nestled in the décolletage of the barmaid and the intoxicating fug of the notorious nightclub itself (Manet’s favourite hang-out, naturally) this masterpiece distils everything that’s great about a painter who is often dubbed ‘the first modern artist’.

 But it’s more than that. It’s also one of the most psychologically-charged paintings you’ll ever see, a glittering world of misleading reflections and skewed perspectives. At its centre, alone in the crowd, stands a barmaid – and probably also a prostitute – weary, detached, looking at us but not really at us, while to the right, in reflection, we see a shadowy figure who’s no doubt interested in more than a glass of rosé.

Where are we in this image? Well, that’s us with the top hat and the tache, the menacing lech. The implication: that everything here is for sale lends a cold, hard reality to the scene. It’s the party and the hangover rolled into one.

And Manet paints it with the mixed feelings of intoxicated punter and dispassionate observer. There’s humour and pathos in the details – an acrobat’s legs dangle in the air at the top left of the painting; Manet has added his signature to the bottle of wine on the left of the marble counter.

And is that the artist himself amid the throng across the room? He was mortally ill when he finished this work. It’s long been considered his au revoir to the captivating theatre of glamour and cruelty that was nineteenth-century Paris.

WHEN? 1993WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Electric Chair’

WHEN? 1733WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Sir John Soane’s MuseumI LIKE IT See also ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’

WHEN? 1438-1440 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’

WHEN? 1964WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Citizen’

WHEN? 1914WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘The Menin Road’

WHEN? 1830WHERE CAN I SEE IT? British MuseumI LIKE IT See also ‘The Ghost of a Flea’

WHEN? 1978-1979WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy’

‘Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion’ – Francis Bacon

WHEN? 1884WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Mont Sainte-Victoire with a Large Pine’

WHEN? 1499WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Annunciation’

WHEN? 1631WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Dulwich Picture GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Supper at Emmaus’

WHEN? 1927WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘Marguerite Kelsey’

WHEN? 1882 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Execution of Maximilion’

WHEN? 1963WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Six Mile Bottom’

WHEN? 1533WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’It’s important if you’ve got a lot of stuff to look blasé about it, like it’s no big deal.

Jean de Dinterville and Georges de Selve look suitably underwhelmed by all the clobber they’ve accumulated. Of course, it’s all symbolic: these are Renaissance men with a capital ‘R’, no branch of the arts or sciences is unknown to them.

Might play the lute; might fiddle with the astrolabe; might model my new coat. Art historians hop from one foot to the other in their eagerness to point out that the grey splodge in the foreground, when viewed in a cylindrical mirror (should you have one to hand) is a skull.

Death is in the house, and no amount of worldly knowledge can conquer the Reaper. It’s not that simple, though. The anamorphic skull means we can never see this image as anything other than the creation of man: it literally is a big splodge of paint on the picture.

Holbein’s vast skill is a commodity like the rest of these men’s expensively acquired items, while they themselves, mere microns thick, are just symbols of illusory power. Which, you suspect, they’re perfectly happy to be.

WHEN? 1958WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate Modern   I LIKE IT See also ‘Abstract Painting No 5’

WHEN? 1767WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Wallace CollectionI LIKE IT See also ‘Mary Countess of Howe’

London Print Studio, W10, londonprintstudio.org.uk Among his final ever work, Matisse’s playful, vibrant cut-outs are a triumph of form. Too ill to paint, Matisse invented a new form with the cut-outs and the later Blue Nude series, as seen here, are deceptive: they seem simple, but the limbs swirl around each other, and Matisse captures something very human in the posture – particularly noticeable here in the slight incline of the neck.

Straightforward, but captivating.

WHEN? 1867WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk Seeing any Raphael is extraordinary, especially as there are far too few in London. It’s not entirely clear what this piece means, though some think the sleeping knight is meant to represent the Roman General Scipio Africanus, and the piece is an allegorical painting which has taken influence from the epic poem Punica, by Latin poet Silius Italicus.

An example of Renaissance painting, it features the typical faraway long perspective in hues of blue, and fine detail throughout.

National Portrait Gallery, WC2H, npg.org.uk Known as the Darnley portrait, this painting is one of the most important visions of Elizabeth I, and would have been painted from a sitting. Though it has come partly to define how people imagine the Queen, with her pale complexion and withering stare, technical goings-over have revealed the paint has faded, and that she would have had much rosier cheeks when the work was finished, which rather changes how one might see her.

WHEN? 1844WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Fighting Temeraire’

WHEN? 1897 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Card Players’Back in 2010, Gauguin’s painting of a nubile Tahitian girl was voted most romantic painting in an Art Fund poll.

Evidently, it’s still a favouite. But romantic? We’re not so sure. The French painter travelled to French Polynesia in 1891 in the hope of reviving his career with visions of exotic life. But by that point, the South Sea Island was already fairly westernized.

This didn’t stop ol’ bed-hopping Gauguin (who apparently had innumerable offspring with local indigenous women) from fabricating sultry visions of a supposed uncultivated society. Although Gauguin disputed the connection to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, ‘The Raven’, there are obvious similarities that appear in the painting.

Could the black bird watching over the reclining naked girl be the very same raven from Poe’s rhyme? There’s no denying the painting’s title was taken from the very phrase the raven endlessly repeats in Poe’s verse.

Although the poem is set on a dreary December evening, here, Gauguin captures a balmy afternoon, but Poe’s haunting ode to a lost love certainly resonates from Gauguin’s Tahitian girlfriend who averts direct eye contact with the viewer.

A sadness and uncertainty pervades the composition, making this one of Gauguin’s most beguiling and unsettling paintings.

WHEN? 1872WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Gassed’

WHEN? 1601WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist’The scene is the moment when a resurrected but unrecognised Jesus reveals himself to two of his disciples – and it’s hard to think of a better subject for Caravaggio, that master of theatricality and illumination.

Most impressive of all is the way Caravaggio orientates the life-sized figures, making you feel as if you’re taking part in the event, a direct witness to the revelation. Of course, you wouldn’t actually want to have dinner with the famously fiery Caravaggio who, owing to a mix-up between butter and olive oil, once threw a plate of cooked artichokes in the face of a waiter and reached for his sword.

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk Some Renoir is looked at a little sniffily – that’s what being so successful your work is printed on everything from T-shirts to table mats does to you – but this remains a stunning example of Impressionism, showing off Renoir’s famous use of vibrant colour: the orange and blue stand brightly against each other, and while the piece is a picture of calm, Renoir puts motion into the Skiff (La Yole, if you’re showing off).

WHEN? 1958WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate Modern   I LIKE IT See also ‘Abstract Painting No 5’London’s saddest series of paintings was never intended to hang in a museum like it does now, or to be deeply contemplated in a semi-dark room.

It was originally commissioned for the ultra-swanky Four Seasons restaurant in New York – fancy decoration for snobby, high-class diners. But while painting these huge, dark, beautiful works – Mark Rothko, bona fide giant of post-war American art, realised they were too good for that pitiful fate.

He finished them, hoping they’d put diners off their food, but eventually decided they belonged with him, not in a restaurant. He kept them in storage before finally allowing the Tate to take them. They arrived in London on the day he committed suicide – darkening their already powerfully sombre aura even more.

 Entering the Tate’s ‘Rothko room’ is like walking into a chapel – the lights are low, the paintings shimmer with otherworldly sadness. Yet, although they confront misery and mortality, there’s comfort in Rothko’s vast tormented works.

WHEN? 1950WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Triptych – August 1972’

The Courtauld Gallery, WC2R, courtauld.ac.uk Odd to think this series of beautiful, calming landscapes once caused a stir, but it did, if only for its form: unlike the Impressionists, Cézanne outlined his shapes and details, and the piece isn’t about hundreds of little details blurred together.

The colours are prominent and striking, and the painting feels warm, humid, sunny – something in it acts like a teleporter to south of France. The techniques here and striking lines shows why Cézanne is sometimes remembered for helping usher in Abstract art.

WHEN? 1665 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Kenwood House   I LIKE IT See also ‘Self-Portrait at the Age of 63’

WHEN? 1395WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Baptism of Christ’

WHEN? 1887WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Card Players’

WHEN? 1960WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘I Love the Whole World’

WHEN? 2000WHERE CAN I SEE IT? You can see this painting at Tate Modern in the Agnes Martin retrospective (Jun 3 – Oct 13).I LIKE IT See also ‘Six Mile Bottom’

WHEN? 1545WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Cupid Complaining to Venus’

WHEN? 1972 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion’

‘The Interior of the Grote Kerk at Haarlem’ – Pieter Saenredam

WHEN? 1975WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘A Bigger Splash’

WHEN? 1842WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘The Fighting Temeraire’

WHEN? 1999WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This installation is currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britainto see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘No Woman, No Cry’

WHEN? 1962WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Seagram Murals’

WHEN? 1998WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Ski Jacket’

9/18 The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919, William Orpen, 1919

WHEN? 1434WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery  I LIKE IT See also ‘Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns)’

The Courtauld Gallery, WC2R, courtauld.ac.uk Degas’s dancers are notable for their movement: while ballet is physically demanding, draining, and emotionally consuming, here the pair seem relaxed, joking, as if in rehearsal.

That they aren’t centre of the painting gives the piece of a feeling of being a spontaneously captured. Not Degas’s most famous work, but a beautiful example from a beautiful painting nevertheless.

WHEN? 1839WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Peace: Burial at Sea’

WHEN? 1944 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate Britain   I LIKE IT See also ‘Triptych – August 1972’The screaming, mutated forms that make up this most famous of Francis Bacon’s triptychs are terrifyingly grotesque – and their symbolism wasn’t lost on a London audience when they were first shown in 1945, just as the world was learning about the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

These three canvases sent shockwaves through the British artworld – it was a eureka moment, with every artist suddenly realizing that they’d better up their game or Franky was going to leave them all in his twisted, anguished dust.

Bacon’s reputation precedes him – he was terrible drunk, and a bit of a vicious bastard by all accounts, but he was still a truly brilliant painter. That all these years later the pain that so clearly went into these works still feels as fresh as it did back in 1945 is proof of just how good he was.

It truly is a must-see artwork in a city filled with must-sees.

WHEN? 1672WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Kenwood HouseI LIKE IT See also ‘A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal’

‘Nocturne Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge’ – James Abbott McNeill Whistler

WHEN? 1902WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Nude Girl’

Leading artists, gallery owners, curators and critics pick the best paintings to be seen in the capital

WHEN? 1764WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Kenwood HouseI LIKE IT See also ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’

The Courtauld Gallery, WC2R, courtauld.ac.uk The shades of green which run through this piece seem to exaggerate van Gogh’s despondency. In this self-portrait, painted shortly after his ear was slashed and he almost bled to death, he sits staring, saying something, while wrapped up as if outdoors in a biting winter.

Whether van Gogh slashed himself or it was the result of a fight with Gauguin remains unknown, but the two men never met after the incident again, and van Gogh’s pain, insecurity and questioning in this picture is undoubtedly clear.

WHEN? 1959WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Abstract Painting No 5’

WHEN? 1919WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Imperial War Museum  I LIKE IT See also ‘Gassed’

WHEN? 1470WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Baptism of Christ’

WHEN? 1914WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Menin Road’

WHEN? 1762WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’

WHEN? 1994WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘Echo Lake’

WHEN? 1624WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Wallace Collection  I LIKE IT See also ‘Girl at a Window’

‘Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns)’ – Hieronymus Bosch

National Gallery, WC2N, nationalgallery.org.uk Political, but oh-so-beautiful: Turner shows the once-fearsome gun ship Temeraire headed away from the sunset, being tugged by a paddle boat to be broken up, while another tug ominously waits in the lower right hand corner.

Turner is evoking a sense of loss, lamenting the decline of Britain’s naval power. Messages aside, the painting itself is a gorgeous contrast of styles: details of the ship are finely done, the rigging lightly sketched, the paddles of the boat slicing the water, while the sky is a glorious explosion of colour, thick layers of oil paint, the sun and sky by turns silver and gold, red and purple.

In 2005, it was chosen as the nation’s favourite painting in a Radio 4 poll.

WHEN? 1669WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Self-Portrait with Two Circles’

WHEN? 1525WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘An Allegory with Venus and Cupid’

WHEN? 1851 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate Britain   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Fairy-Feller’s Masterstroke’

WHEN? 1937WHERE CAN I SEE IT? This painting is part of the Tate collection but currently not on display. Check Tate Modern or Tate Britain to see when it will next be on show.I LIKE IT See also ‘The Three Dancers’

WHEN? 1434WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery  I LIKE IT See also ‘Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns)’If captive pandas think they’ve got it tough they should spare a thought for Mrs Arnolfini.

Her possible pregnancy has been the source of public scrutiny for half a millennium. Is she or isn’t she? Probably not. This exquisite painting shows the merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife dressed in the fashionable clobber of fifteenth-century Bruges – and it’s the bunched-up fabric of her frock that’s causing that belly bulge.

Van Eyck was evidently a fun guy. He even ‘graffitied’ his own work by writing on the wall behind the couple. ‘Jan van Eyck was here 1434’ it reads, proving that the quality of graffiti hasn’t moved on that much in 600 years.

WHEN? 1486WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Madonna of the Meadow’

WHEN? 1819WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘A Cornfield by Moonlight with the Evening Star’

WHEN? 1520WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘The Death of Actaeon’

WHEN? 1970WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Melanie and me Swimming’

WHEN? 1501WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Madonna of the Meadow’

© Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

National Portrait Gallery, WC2H, npg.org.uk The Chandos portrait (named after a former owner) is currently on tour for about a year, but once it’s home in the National Portrait Gallery, is well worth seeing.

The painting is mystery itself: no-one is certain who actually painted it, and there’s even some scepticism over whether it depicts the Bard or not. Nevertheless, it’s this portrait which has formed the basis for countless portrayals of Shakespeare in the four hundred years since his death.

An icon, not to be missed.

WHEN? 1654WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Girl at a Window’

WHEN? 1943WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘Weeping Woman’

The Courtauld Gallery, WC2R, courtauld.ac.uk There is more to this extremely famous painting than it first seems: the picture of an ordinary functioning bar quickly unravels with the questions it asks – why her expression? Who is the man? Is he asking about buying a drink or her? Though it feels lively and offhand, like a night in the bar might be, the piece is thoroughly kitted out with detail, including a well-hidden trapeze artist.

It’s partly famous as the barmaid’s reflection has puzzled onlookers since it was first shown: still, Manet’s last major work proved to be a hit, and so it has remained.

WHEN? 1925WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate ModernI LIKE IT See also ‘Weeping Woman’

Kenwood House, NW3, english-heritage.org.uk Just look in the eyes for this one: Rembrandt, at the time an old man, showed every ounce of pain and heartbreak he’d endured with the blackness of his pupils, which seems to spill out over his worn-to-grey skin.

At the time of painting, he’d lost his wife, three of his children, and his mistress. He sits upright, square-jawed, jaw set defiantly, if a little sourly – it’s a long way from his early, energetic, playful self-portraits.

Four years later, after the loss of another son, he would by dead, having killed himself. The painting is a large one: give it some time. It’s a peculiar experience to stand in front of it and sympathise with a stranger.

WHEN? 1450WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Nativity’Is this the most perfect painting in London? A masterpiece of the quattrocento, it certainly lives up to Piero della Francesca’s reputation as a great scientist and mathematician as well as an unrivalled painter.

 The artist shows his mastery of linear perspective, drawing the eye into the scene by positioning Christ and John a little way into the picture plane. There’s also a dominant central vertical, with the dove (symbolising the Holy Ghost) hovering mid-flight exactly above the baptismal water, Jesus’s beard and praying hands.

In the background is a typical Tuscan town (Piero’s hometown, Sansepolcro). Uniting the scene is the calming green of the Umbrian landscape and the leaves of walnut trees (a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion).

It’s this effortless combination of the rational and mystical that makes the painting so rich and complex. It’s exerted its calming power to believers and non-believers alike for more than 500 years, 150 or so of those in the National Gallery.

WHEN? 1618WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Apsley HouseI LIKE IT See also ‘The Rokeby Venus’

WHEN? 1892WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Courtauld GalleryI LIKE IT See also ‘Mont Sainte-Victoire with a Large Pine’

WHEN? 1450WHERE CAN I SEE IT? National Gallery   I LIKE IT See also ‘The Nativity’

WHEN? 1967WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate BritainI LIKE IT See also ‘Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy’

WHEN? –WHERE CAN I SEE IT? British MuseumI LIKE IT See also ‘Portrait of Margharete de Geer’

WHEN? 1944 WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Tate Britain   I LIKE IT See also ‘Triptych – August 1972’

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