The Joys of the Free Museems in London

And some special exhibitions spring 2016


Staying at the attractive Kensington as a tourist it’s easy to take a bus to Knightsbridge and from there walk to the Victoria & Albert Museum also called the V&A. It’s huge so priorities have to be made or more than one visit is also a possibility.


Part of the café in V&A Museum

This time I went to see if I could find a poster, I should have bought went I first saw it in the shop some years ago. They didn’t have it anymore. It was written in fine calligraphy and said:


Poster from V&A

Poster from V&A quote by William Morris

Instead, we had arrived as a free guided tour was about to begin at the Medieval & Renaissance in Europe 1350-1600. Without the guide, we had not gone into that area. A world is opened when you listen to a very skilled person on any subject and his enthusiasm to show us the treasures he has found through studying the things.

one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks from the late 15th – early 16th century

The next day we returned to take more photos and then we thought that the special exhibitions had to be seen as well. “The Botticelli Reimagined” is on until 3 July 2016.

V A Botticellis Venus- 1

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, from the V&A brochure on the exhibition

It showed how Botticelli from Florence 1445 – 1510 with his famous works “Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus” has inspired artists to this day. These famous works were on not display at the V&A but were present through the works of other artists. Andy Warhol’s edition of Venus made a huge impression on me. The Pre-Raphaelitism artists were highly inspired by him as well as the Art Nouveau has its ideal of a woman from Botticelli. I just realize that William Morris with the quote above were among of the pre-Raphaelite group and he was highly influential on the Victorian taste and style.

Botticelli was very popular in his lifetime, but his art became old-fashioned at the end of his life and he died poor and unknown.

I took a few photos at the sculpture area on the theme “Mother and Child”. Photos are not allowed to be taken at the special exhibitions.


They have a Botticelli painting at the National Gallery.

The National Gallery is also free and on Friday evenings it’s open until 21.00. As soon as we got in we were met by the beautiful sounds of a woman playing French impressionistic music on her harp. A crowd of people from many nations had gathered around her and at the floor laid two young boys listening intensely.


At many places in the museum, workshops were seen. At some you could hear a lecture on a painting, somewhere else you could learn to sketch or make small decorations of paper flowers all free.

One of the other days we chose the special exhibition “Delacroix And The Rise Of Modern Art” on another painter who had an enormous impact on the “Impressionists” the French painter Delacroix.  In his time he was not recognized as he was after his death. This exhibition is on until 22 May 2016. His bold use of colours was one thing that inspired the Impressionists.

I had never heard of this connection even though I have been to many exhibitions on the ever popular impressionist theme.  It’s true that all new directions in art have been inspired by somebody before them.

What inspires me at art museums is the experience to see what the artists saw long time ago. At the special exhibitions I enjoy to focus on the subject, one artist or a group of artists seen from a certain angle.


    • Thank you again Bernadette for your Wednesday event. I took the chance to post them all. I have two more drafts in mind from the 6 days trip. I am so lucky to be able to fly to London in one and a half hour


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