Calling All Art Lovers!

London is known for its fast-paced lifestyle; people and vehicles speed through the capital and fail to take in the splendor all around them. London is one of the major hubs of fine art in the world and it is not just in the National Gallery; there are historic buildings from all points in history and beautiful views that really opitimise the fine art definition. This guide allows you to explore London in a whole new way and to really have your eyes opened to the beauty of the capital, so you can slow down, take a step back and get ready to fall in love with London.

Fine Art Definition

Fine art is created purely for appreciation, admiration and beauty. Unlike applied art which is used to design everyday items, fine art serves no practical use. It comes in many forms ranging from sculpting, painting, and architecture to performing arts, music and poetry and, due to the changing times and ever changing forms of technology; photography, graphics and film are now also included in the fine art category.

Literature

A few minutes walk away from the Park Grand Paddington Hotel lies the inspiration of one of the very best British book series of all time. Harry Potter is set in the very heart of London and a trip to Kings Cross can have you crossing from the muggle world into Harry’s world with platform 9 3/4 which is located in Kings Cross station itself. There is a souvenir shop near the famous platform packed full of memorabilia for you to pick up your very own wand, quidditch jersey and spell book. If that wasn’t enough magic for you, there is a DIY walking tour to all of the locations used in the Harry Potters films such as Leadenhall market, which was used for Diagon Alley, Westminster, for the Ministry of Magic and Blackfriars Bridge. This tour is completely free, you are the guide and can download or print the directions needed and watch videos online of the different locations. It is fun for all Harry Potter lovers.

One of the greatest British writers gained a lot of inspiration from London, especially from the lower working classes. Charles Dickens has inspired many with Oliver, Tiny Tim and the repentant Scrooge and now his home has been transformed into a museum to celebrate his life and work. Filled with paintings, books, manuscripts and original Victorian furniture, number 48 Doughty Street is a mecca for any Dickens fan or anyone with a fascination of the Victorian era and literature.

Another true British treasure comes in the form of William Shakespeare. Even though Stratford-upon-Avon is his home, London was the place where his work was performed and brought to life. Shakespeare’s Globe is a shrine to the Bard and to his glorious plays; the set up is much the same as it would have been in his day, giving you a sense of what it would have been like to have watched his play firsthand in the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare is a shining example of literature being used as an art form.

Architecture

Westminster Abbey

This incredible structure was built between the 13th and 16th centuries, each monarch has had a hand in the creation that is now Westminster Abbey. It has stood the test of time, it has survived battles and wars and been the place of many glorious weddings and stately funerals. Within these buildings holds a stream of British history; from Edward the Confessor, who is buried in the high alter, to Henry III’s hand at the Gothic style that we see today. The abbey is famous for its coronations, starting with William the Conqueror in 1066, and for its burials; it has had over 3,000 people buried within it such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Aphra Behn, Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. Another astounding feature is the Lady chapel which was built by King Henry VII, who is now buried in a tomb created by Pietro Torrigiano within the chapel. It is a place of pure history, where every King and Queen has been crowned, where many of them are buried and where the sheer intricacies of the abbey’s architecture will take your breath away.

St Paul’s Cathedral

One of the most astounding pieces of architecture in the Western world and the very definition of the term fine art, is St Paul’s Cathedral. There have been four churches on the current site, with the most recent being built in the 17th century and designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The English Baroque style has influences from France and Italy, combined with the traditions of Medieval cathedrals; all of which are things that inspired Sir Christopher Wren throughout his travels. The most famous aspect of the cathedral is the dome which stands at 365 feet and still commands astounding views of London. The exquisite interior was the brain child of Sir James Thornhill who depicted scenes from St Paul’s life through his work, while at the centre of the dome is an oculus which brings a classical feel to the cathedral.

 Art

Fine art artistic pieces are everywhere; they can be used in the middle of parks to highlight important events that need to be remembered or they can be used on the walls in Executive Stay Heathrow hotels.  To appreciate fine art at its very best, The National Gallery and Tate Modern are a must see. With incredible masterpieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh and Michelangelo, you can lose yourself for hours amongst the Masters and really allow yourself to be immersed in the art world. The British Museum holds a wide variety of art and treasures from different cultures spanning centuries which will give you an insight into the timeline and progression of art itself.

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