Inaugurated in 1897, its first name was the National Gallery of British Art. As its name suggests, it is a museum dedicated to art produced in the United Kingdom. In 1932, the name was changed to Tate Gallery and remained so until 2000, when it became Tate Britain. The reason was the opening of the Tate Modern. Both are on the banks of the Thames, but on opposite sides.
The first curiosity of the Tate Britain is that on the site there was a prison: Millbank Prison. Millbank is the name of this part on the north bank of the river. Today, instead of prisoners, what you have here is one of the largest collections of British art in the UK. From the Tudor era to the present day, the collection covers centuries of art history in the country.
The Tate Britain is the best in British art.
By accompanying our camera on this tour inside the Tate Britain, you will have the opportunity to discover some of its treasures. And they’re not just on the walls. As you walk past the reception, it is impossible not to notice that the ceiling is also a beautiful work of art. It’s well worth walking down the basement steps just to appreciate it from another position.
There are many reasons to visit the Tate Britain, but getting to know some of the great masters of British art is certainly one of the main ones. Some of these names have won exclusive galleries in the museum area. This is the case of Henry Moore’s sculptures. With his incomparable style, seeing his work is one of the highlights of the visit. Before he died, he donated all of his work to the country, so there are many of his sculptures at the Tate.
The Green Room
Another artist who owns a huge exclusive gallery is Joshua Reynoldas (1723 – 1792). The huge room with green walls, which escapes the white motif of the other galleries, shows his great specialty: portrait painting. Joshua Reynolds is also remembered for being one of the founders and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Clore Gallery – the space turner
Another must-see area is the Clore Gallery, dedicated exclusively to the painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851), the father of modern British painting and famous for the landscapes he painted. Of modest origin, he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Arts by Joshua Reynolds as an apprentice when he was only 14 years old. No one has as many works at the Tate Britain as he does.
William Blake – a British genius
Although the room dedicated to William Blake is small, knowing his work is, in itself, a great reason to visit the Tate Britain. Engraver, draughtsman, painter and poet, Blake is revered as one of the geniuses of British art. Religious, his works reveal the soul of a visionary man, with a certain aura of mysticism surrounding his characters.
The modern and the contemporary
Leaving the past behind, some of the museum’s works show that modern and contemporary art also takes place at the Tate Britain. Here and there, you will notice installations, photographs and paintings with features and colours that reveal British modernity. There are also exhibitions by some of the world’s great painters. At the time of our video, for example, Van Gogh is on the walls of the Tate. The reason: part of his art was influenced by the time he lived in London.
The good news is that the visit to the Tate Britain. You only pay if you want to see special exhibitions. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. On the Tate website you will find a lot of useful information.
Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG, United Kingdom