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Tate Britain
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Tate Britain, London

Tate Britain is a prestigious art gallery in Millbank, which is located near the River Thames in London’s City of Westminster. Opened in the late 19th century, Tate Britain is part of and the oldest of the Tate group of art galleries in England that include Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Online. Entry to the art gallery is free.

Initially known as the National Gallery of British Art when it first opened in 1897, Tate Britain takes its name after the founder Sir Henry Tate. Today, Tate Britain is home to the UK’s permanent collection of British historical and contemporary art starting from the 15th century Tudor period to the present day. The art gallery is another of London’s popular attraction and receives around a million visitors each year. There are regular free guided tours for visitors departing every hour.

Tate Britain by Rept0n1x


Tate Britain is located at the site of the former Millbank Prison, which closed in 1890 and then demolished in 1892. Construction began the following year and the art gallery open to the public in 1897. Tate Britain initially opened with just 65 paintings but now has over 1,000 works of art on display at any one time. Today it is the largest art gallery in the world for British works of art and renowned for its extensive collection by acclaimed artists.

Interior of Tate Britain by Gts-tg


Tate Britain comprises of three main themes that form the permanent exhibitions. These include the Turner Collection, home to the world’s largest collection of art by JMW Turner. Turner was a celebrated British artist whose techniques challenged the old style with expressive use of colours. Walk through British Art takes a timeline or chronological approach that comprises of several rooms exploring art from the 15th century to the present by some of the greatest British artists. Spotlights comprises of a series of regular changing exhibits offering in-depth information on specific artists or themes.

James Tissot's The Gallery of HMS Calcutta

Famous paintings by JMW Turner include The Shipwreck (1805), a characteristic of Turner’s early paintings with its remarkable impression of realism and horror. Another is Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps (1812) expresses man’s helplessness to the overwhelming forces of nature. Peace - Burial at Sea (1842) illustrates abstract concepts using cool colours, tones and saturated blacks to create remarkable contrast. Norham Castle, Sunrise (1845) uses pure colours and blazing lights depicting a scene in Norham, a village in northern England situated on the bank of the River Tweed.

JMW Turner's Bridge of Sighs

The gallery rooms at the Walk through British Art take visitors through the history of British art from the 1500s to the modern era. Each gallery room represent a specific period with paintings being the main exhibits but many rooms may also have several sculptures. Though the artworks span nearly six centuries, there is a strong presence of art from the 18th century. Major works include Flatford Mill by John Constable (1816-7), Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais (1851-2) and The Resurrection, Cookham by Sir Stanley Spencer (1924-7). Other notable British artists with their masterpieces on display include William Hogarth, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Henry Moore and Damien Hirst.

Visiting Tate Britain

Admission to Tate Britain is free but visitors must purchase tickets for the temporary special exhibitions. The art gallery opens daily (closes on 24th, 25th and 26th December) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday-Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday-Saturday.

The nearest London Underground stations are Pimlico (serving the Victoria Line) and Vauxhall (serving the Victoria Line) Stations, both about 10 minutes walk from Tate Britain. Riverboats under the London River Services stop at Millbank Pier on the west bank of the River Thames.

Tate Britain on the Map

Millbank, London SW1P 4RG, UK

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