Continuing on our tour of Kate’s London, we will now stop at The National Portrait Gallery (Click on the link on the left hand side for more Kate’s London posts). This is always on our list of places to go when we are in London. We start out with a leisurely tour of the portraits, and then enjoy some tea and a bickie in the museum cafe. Delightful.
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, The Duchess of Cambridge has announced that the National Portrait Gallery is among her first four patronages. Lucky lady! Catherine studied history of art at the University of St. Andrews, so this patronage is in keeping with her interests.
Here’s Catherine at Inner-City Arts, a not-for-profit organisation in Los Angeles that she and William visited while they were in LA in July 2011. Cheerful painting! (What does one paint when you know the pictures will be blasted all over the world?!)
The National Portrait Gallery is in the same building as The National Gallery, which sits at Trafalgar Square, and is a relatively short walk down the Mall from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and St James Palace. The nearest tube stations are Charing Cross and Embankment. The entrance to the Portrait Gallery is off to the side, across from St Martin in the Fields church (which goes back to 1222).
The Gallery was founded in 1856 to collect portraits of famous British men and women. The collection includes over 175,000 portraits from the 16th Century to today. The collection of portraits include one of Jane Austen (drawn by her sister, Cassandra in pencil and watercolour) which is a must see!
Starting on February 9th, an exhibit will commence on Lucian Freud’s portraits. We’ve already got our tickets! Here is his portrait of HM The Queen:
And here is his portrait of Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. That is, Deborah Cavendish, nee Mitford. For more on the infamous Mitfords (some of our favourites!) click here.
We’re guessing we’ll be seeing Kate publicly at the National Portrait Gallery soon – perhaps on Feb 9th for the opening of the exhibition? We hope so!