THE COURTAULD GALLERY IS CLOSED FROM 3 SEPTEMBER 2018 FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST TWO YEARS FOR A MAJOR TRANSFORMATION PROJECT CALLED COURTAULD CONNECTS
The Courtauld Gallery is one of London’s must-see art museums. The collection stretches from the early Renaissance into the 20th century and is displayed in the elegant setting of Somerset House, one of the city’s most dynamic cultural venues.
The Gallery is particularly renowned for its unrivalled collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including masterpieces by Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin and the largest collection of Cézannes in the UK. The Gallery also holds an outstanding collection of drawings and prints and fine works of sculpture and decorative arts.
The Gallery regularly holds important exhibitions.
Open daily 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.30). Closed 25 and 26 December. Last admission at 15.30 on 24 December.
The admission price (with concessions) for the Gallery includes all exhibitions.
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The Courtauld Gallery is sited under the arch at the entrance to the Somerset House complex at the Aldwych. Through the arch the piazza opens out in front of you. Go further and through another arch you come to the terrace overlooking the Embankment and the Thames (there’s a café in the summer and one in the basement of the main building). But keep all this until after visiting the jewels in the gallery, the result of gifts and bequests by leading collectors of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Samuel Courtauld (industrialist and philanthropist, who developed his family’s textile business, still prominent today).
Once the home of the Royal Academy of Art, the eclectic collection held by the Courtauld is now spread through the historic rooms. It comprises a fascinating range of art works from the Renaissance to the 20th century, but is probably most visited for the large and varied collection of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including the highest number of Cezanne works in the country. Those interested in the Bloomsbury group will find remembrances of them here too. There are also many drawings, prints and sculptural works.
Not the least of the delights of this gallery are the small exhibitions held in two rooms on the top floor, reached by a beautiful winding staircase (by lift for those so inclined). Big exhibitions are tiring and it can be difficult to take in all that is shown (or not to be worn out long before reaching the last room) but these small ones can be enjoyed in full as the end can be seen from the outset.