I cannot believe I had not been to Tate Britain. I live a 20-minute walk from the museum and never went in. With a dear childhood friend, we spontaneously decided to explore Tate Britain and it ended up being the most inspiring and fun event this week. Both the exterior and the interior of the building are lovely, with a breathtaking giant spiral staircase at its heart. Tate Britain hosts an amazing collection of historic as well as contemporary British art. There are a couple of large galleries dedicated to J.M.W. Turner with his paintings, drawings, notes and sketches. You get to see works by Francis Bacon, John Everett Millais, L.S. Lowry, David Hockney, Damien Hirst, Henry Moore (which I love).
There were a couple of paintings which really grabbed my attention. One was Portrait of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll (c. 1931) by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst. I really love how the painter has captured the dark dress with the hyper-realistic golden, floral embroidery. Another great painting that caught my attention was The Annunciation (c. 1892) by Arthur Hacker. The painting itself is highly realistic with a very close attention to lighting (value) but the lighting in the gallery made the painting so much more majestic. I also realized that I quite enjoy the works of John Singer Sargent which is surprising because I am not a particular fan of portraits in general. 'Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose', 'Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth' with a heavy gold frame, Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs. Wertheimer’ are all quite lovely and pleasant to look at. I particularly enjoyed the contrast in the shine of the white damask and the red velvet dress in Ena and Betty’s painting.
I also got to learn about an adorkable cartoonist, writer, illustrator named Gemma Correll. I’m not sure if her work was displayed at the museum but they were selling couple of her works in the museum shop. I loved her work and her sense of humour and I ended up purchasing this punny mug: