London is blessed with loads of free museums and art galleries, and yesterday I took shelter from the blazing heat to take a pleasing stroll around the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
I arrived late in the afternoon, so the gallery was almost deserted, giving me the solitude and silence to really appreciate some of the works.
I got lost in my thoughts in the section on Victorian Britain, gazing at the faces of ruthless capitalists, talented inventors and generous philanthropists.
I spent some time looking at the portrait of the famous naturalist, geologist and biologist, Charles Darwin (above), looking old and weary at the end of a life well spent.
Ruffs galore! I love looking at the flamboyant fashions adopted by the rich and influential throughout the centuries.
An assemblage of busts.
I liked this portrait of Derek Jarman, entitled ‘Seer.’
The last sanctioned work by Jarman, it includes a quotation from Lorca in mirror-writing. In translation this reads: ‘Enjoy the luscious landscape of my wound … but hurry! … Time meets us, and we are destroyed.’
Admiring the art.
Painted in 1716, this 3D portrait shows East India Company Deputy Governor Joseph Collet.
A lone gallery assistant admires the artworks.
I loved this well crafted painted bust.
Purchased by the Gallery this year, Tracey Emin’s Death Mask is a 3D self-portrait cast by Emin in 2002 as an ironic reference to the autobiographical nature of her work.
Mosaic spells out the letters NPG.
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place
020 7306 0055
Open daily 10:00-18:00 Thursday-Friday until 21:00
Closing commences at 17.50 and 20.50
Entry to the Gallery is Free
Free WiFi available