The Courtauld Gallery ★★★★★ Somerset House | From November 19, 2021


The Courtauld offers one of the great collections of London. Perhaps, primarily known for its small but impressive Impressionist collection, it is really so much more. And now the collection is housed in a worthy new setting. This redesign of the galleries beautifully complements the Courtauld's boutique collection of works that are familiar masterpieces. The renovation which has been going on since 2018 also provides new space. There is a new gallery for the Medieval and Early Renaissance collection, while the refurbishing of the Blavatnik Fine Rooms housing the Renaissance to 18th century is deeply impressive. Botticelli's The Trinity with Saints is on display after a three-year conservation and the extensive Peter Paul Rubens collection is now stunningly exhibited. It was wonderful to see one of our personal favourites, Cranach's Adam and Eve back on view. Back also are Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear plus all the Kokoschka works. Two brand new galleries on the top floor provide space for temporary exhibitions and an opportunity to display some of the Courtauld's hidden treasures. There is also a chance to see some of the Gallery's outstanding drawing and photography collections. We were particularly delighted by the dedicated space for the Bloomsbury Group. Truly, this building designed by Sir William Chambers in the 1770s has been reconceived for the 21st century and beyond!

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: Edouard Manet, A bar at the Folies-Bergere, 1882, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

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