The older and more venerable of the two Tate siblings celebrates British works from 1500 to the present, including those from Blake, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Barbara Hepworth, Whistler, Constable and Turner, as well as vibrant modern and contemporary pieces from Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore. Join a free 45-minute thematic tour and 15-minute Art in Focus talks.
The stars of the show at Tate Britain are, undoubtedly, the light infused visions of JMW Turner in the Clore Gallery. After he died in 1851, his estate was settled by a decree declaring that whatever had been found in his studio – 300 oil paintings and about 30,000 sketches and drawings – would be bequeathed to the nation. The collection at the Tate Britain constitutes a grand and sweeping display of his work, including classics such as The Scarlet Sunset and Norham Castle, Sunrise.
There are also seminal works from Constable, Gainsborough and Reynolds, as well as the pre-Raphaelites, including William Holman Hunt's The Awakening Conscience, John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott, Ophelia by John Everett Millais and Edward Burne-Jones's The Golden Stairs. Look out also for Francis Bacon's Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. Tate Britain hosts the prestigious and often controversial Turner Prize for Contemporary Art from October to early December every year.
The Tate Britain also has a program of ticketed exhibitions which changes every few months; consult the website for details of the latest exhibition.