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2. Experience It Yourself

More than relaxation, famous landmarks, and the local beers, I’m all about taking in the art and history of the places I visit.
Even in London, I aim to visit all the homes of art I’ve yet to see with my own eyes – Rubens’ ceiling in the Banqueting House being at the very top of that list.

Here’s a list of my favourite places to visit.

take in art and history in

London

The National Gallery

Don’t Miss

Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks
Raphael’s St. Catherine of Alexandria
Gerrit van Honthorst’s Saint Sebastian

The V&A

Don’t Miss

Samson Slaying a Philistine by Giovanni Bologna
The Raphael Cartoons
The Leighton Corridor which houses Lord Leighton’s frescoes

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Don’t Miss

Soul’s Chapel
The cupola of the dome painted by James Thornhill
William Black Richmond’s mosaics

The British Museum

Don’t Miss

The Crouching Venus
Mozambique’s decommissioned weapons in The Tree of Life
Narasimha

The Queen’s Gallery

Don’t Miss

Artemisia Gentileschi’s La Pittura
Canaletto’s views of Venice
Rubens’ Winter: The Interior of a Barn  

The Courtauld

Don’t Miss

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
Unmoored from her Reflection by Cecily Brown
As always, look up!

Tate Britain

Don’t Miss

David Bomberg’s The Mud Bath
An Athlete Wrestling with a Python by Frederic Leighton
Jacob Epstein’s Torso in Metal

Wallace Collection

Don’t Miss

The dagger of Shah Jahan
Francesca da Rimini by Ary Scheffer
The unknown woman by an unknown artist, Bust of a Woman

RA of Arts

Don’t Miss

The casts of the Belvedere Torso and the Laocoön
William Pink’s Smugglerius
Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo

take in art and history in

Scotland

Scottish National Gallery

Don’t Miss

Titian’s Venus Rising from the Sea
Edwin Landseet’s The Monarch of the Glen
Innocenzo Spinazzi’s copy of the Venus de’ Medici

St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral

Don’t Miss

A. E. Borthwick’s The Presence
The Paolozzi Window
The high altar, designed by J Oldrid Scott

National Museum of Scotland

Don’t Miss

The Arthur’s Seat coffins
The Millennium Clock
Mary, Queen of Scots’ Book of Hours

take in art and history in

England

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Don’t Miss

Guy Fawkes’ Lantern
The death mask of Oliver Cromwell
Paolo Uccello’s The Hunt in the Forest

The Bodleian Library, Oxford

Don’t Miss

The Divinity School
The Exhibitions at the Weston Library
The Old Bodleian Library

St. Bart & St. Boisil’s, Tweedsmouth

Don’t Miss

The stained-glass window of the Evangelists
Displaced grave of an unknown knight
The stained-glass window of the Crucifixion

take in art and history in

France

The Louvre

Don’t Miss

Victoire de Samothrace on the top of the grand staircase
The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault
Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss

Pantheon

Don’t Miss

Hugo, Dumas and Zola’s Crypt
The Foucault Pendulum
Antoine-Jean Gros’ fresco in the dome

Palais Garnier

Don’t Miss

Le Grand Foyer
Paris Opera Library
The ballet dancers practicing

Musée Rodin

Don’t Miss

The Gates of Hell
The Waltz
The Kiss

Monet’s House

Don’t Miss

The real Water Lilies
Monet’s flowers
The Japanese Prints

Versailles

Don’t Miss

Galeries des Glaces
The Gardens of Versailles
Don’t forget to look up!

Eglise Saint-Sulpice

Don’t Miss

Delacroix’s Frescos
The sculpture of St. Peter
The Fountain of the Four Cardinal Points

Musée de l’Orangerie

Don’t Miss

The Nymphéas
Rodin’s The Kiss
Firmin Bourgeois’ architecture

take in art and history in

Belgium

Church of Our Lady, Bruges

Don’t Miss

Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges
Ceremonial tombs of Mary of Burgundy
Van Dyck’s painting of the Crucifixion

Musée d’Arts Anciens, Namur

Don’t Miss

The treasures of the Oignies
Mosan altarpieces
Reliquary of the Coast of St. Peter

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp

Don’t Miss

Rubens’ altarpieces
The Man who Bears the Cross
by Jan Fabre
Javier Pérez’s Corona

Musée Fin-de-Siècle, Brussels

Don’t Miss

Alphonse Mucha’s The Nature sculpture
Rodin’s Fallen Caryatid Carrying her Stone
Jacques Bergé’s Dying Gladiator

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Liège

Don’t Miss

Le Génie du Mal by Guillaume Geefs
The pulpit
Jean del Cour’s St. John the Baptist

Museum of Original Figures, Brussels

Don’t Miss

Smurf Village
The life-size figures of American comic characters
Tintin in Space

Sint-Baafs Cathedral, Ghent

Don’t Miss

The van Eyck brothers’ Ghent Altarpiece
The Altar
Look up at the architecture

Xpo Salvador Dalí, Bruges

Don’t Miss

Surrealistic Angel
Un Chien Andalou
playing on the screens
The quotes on the walls

take in art and history in

The Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Don’t Miss

The Japanese temple guardians
The doll’s house which inspired Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist
Marauding monkeys throughout the paintings

Het RembrandtHuis, Amsterdam

Don’t Miss

The recreation of Rembrandt’s collection room
Pieter Lastman’s The Sacrifice of Abraham
260+ etchings made by Rembrandt himself

Escher in Het Paleis, The Hague

Don’t Miss

Hand with a Reflecting Sphere
Drawing Hands
Snakes

take in art and history in

Germany

Frauenkirche, Dresden

Don’t Miss

Climb the dome for the most spectacular views
Adolf von Donndorf’s sculpture of Martin Luther
The frescos within the dome

Händel-Haus, Halle (Saale)

Don’t Miss

Collection of musical instruments
Handwritten sheets of music
The house in which he Händel was born

Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen, Halle

Don’t Miss

The organ on which Bach played
The font in which Händal was baptised
Evidence of the destruction of part of the building outside

have you got any recommendations?

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