about me / Art / English / Photography / Travel

The Tates of London

Most of London museums are free entry. Two of them were on my to visit museum list; Tate Britain and Tate Modern. They are part of 4 museum network the Tate Gallery with British and International art collection. The gallery was founded in 1897, as the National Gallery of British Art. When its role was changed to include the national collection of modern art as well as the national collection of British art, in 1932, it was renamed the Tate Gallery after sugar magnate Henry Tate of Tate & Lyle, who had laid the foundations for the collection. Now Tate Gallery has four branches: Tate Modern and Tate Britain both in London, Tate Liverpool in Liverpool and Tate St. Ives in Cornwall.

Tate Britain
This museum is located on Millbank at the Thames. The building was once a prison, Millbank Prison. Tate Britain’s collection consists of mainly British and some International art from the 1500es up untill now, from the dark coloured to bright paintings.
Tate Britain London

The hall is very light. There is a stair in the middle of it which leads visitors to the basement.

Tate Britain entrance

Tate Britain

Tate Britain

The collection is divided into various periods. This room displays artworks from 1850 – 1900. On the bottom left you see the Carnation Lyly Lyly Rose by John Singer Sargent 1885. To the right is The lady of Shalott (the woman in a boat) by John William Waterhouse 1888. Some of John Constable’s works are also present here.

Tate Britain

This portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Flemish painter Steven van der Meulen ca 1563 oil on canvas is dominantly present. The dress details are amazing. This room shows portraits of British royal family members, politicians and others.
Tate Britain11

The painting on the to in the picture below is Self portrait of female British painter, Gwen John, oil on canvas 1902.
Tate Britain

Proceeding the route to the art works of modern time; here is My parents by David Hockney oil on canvas 1977. The Hockney room is filled with his 4 big paintings.
My Parents David Hockney

This is another Hockney’s work Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy oil on canvas 1970 – 1971. I love Hockney’s works, they are bright with vivid colours.
David Hockney Mr & Mrs Clark and Percy

Beautiful paintings of an Afghan artist whose name I unfortunately forgot.
Tate Britain

Poster compilation of pop artists cleverly displayed on the wall. I love it!
Tate Britain

When I was at Tate Britain I also visited the interesting temporary exhibition of Artist & Empire; Facing Britain’s imperial past. Photography is not allowed for this exhibition. A visit to Tate Britain is fascinating as visitors are taken into an art time machine.

Tate Modern
The sister museum of Tate Britain is Tate Modern. Tate Modern is located on the Southbank, in a former Bankside Power Station. The collection includes modern artworks from British and International artists. To name a few: Mark Rothko’s works from his red period (quite depressing to see if you ask me), Joan Miró , Picasso, Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder etc. At the moment there is a giant installation art in the entry from a Mexican artist whose name I forgot.

I visited Tate Modern on Friday evening. The light inside the museum was quite poor so I only took a handful of pictures with my iPhone.

American pop artist Andy Warhol started to make Marilyn Monroe’s twenty portraits three months after her death. This is one of them, acrylic on canvas 1962.

This is one of self-portraits series that Warhol made in 1966–67, all based on the same photograph. What can I say, Warhol is an art selfie king.

Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein acrylic and oil on canvas 1963. Whaam! is based on an image from ‘All American Men of War’ published by DC comics in 1962. Lichtenstein and Warhol were pop art pioneers with each their own distinctive style. Lichtenstein characteristic style was influenced by cartoon/comics  (bold bright colours and strong black lines) while Warhol focused more on celebrities and daily objects. Last year I wrote about Lichtenstein girls.

This elegant painting (so sorry I forgot the artist’s name, again) is inspired by Eugène Delacroix‘s Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi (picture is below this painting).

I admire how the heavy, dark romantic style of Delacroix is simplified in the modern version above without doing the injustice to the original one.


It was pleasant and amusing visiting Tate Modern with Indonesia in my pocket. We exchanged our view and how we viewed modern art through our own very eyes. My love for art is mainly reserved for french impressionism but seeing various art styles in person has made curious to explore more. Some artworks in Tate Modern were hard to understand. I even didn’t get the idea of a bunch of them, but soit. However no matter how apparently meaningless, ridiculous or crazy modern art can be, if it moves those who see it, then it is a piece of art. Perhaps some of you might disagree with me on this. It is ok. Perceiving art is a personal experience.

Now I can check both Tate museums off my museums must-see list. Next time in London I would love to visit British Museum and some churches. London, I’ll be back!


15 thoughts on “The Tates of London

  1. Museum nya benar2 berfungsi seperti museum yg sbnrnya ya. Bersih. Rapi. Semua tertata baik. Kalau disini museum jarang yang terawat sempurna seperti terlihat di pict-nya Kak Yo.. Atau memang perhatian atas keberadaan museum di negara kita masih berada di urutan buncit sehingga perawatannya masih jauh dari maksimal? 😦

    • Di Eropa Barat museum baik punya negara atau swasta bagus, rapi dan bersih. Di Indonesia ada kok museum negri dan swasta yang bagus, cuma ngga semua.

  2. mba Yo, kenapa ya kalo ke museum lukisan di luar negeri boleh2 aja foto2 di dalamnya, tapi kalo di negeri sendiri kok kayaknya ga semua boleh difoto ya mba.. masalah hak cipta mungkin ya? hehehe seneng ya mba di London, hampir semua museum gratissss..

    • Ngga juga Lydia. Museum Van Gogh ada larangan keras motret, sementara dua museum sebelahnya (Rijksmuseum & Stedelijk museum) itu boleh motret.

      Di Guggenheim Bilbao, Musée d’Orsay Paris, GAM Torino ngga boleh motret sama sekali. Di dua Tate museum ini juga ada bagian eksposisi berbayar yang ngga boleh dipotret.

      Untuk museum yang boleh motret juga hanya boleh motret tanpa blitz dan tanpa tripod dan bukan untuk keperluan komersil. Makanya aku kalo motret di Museum ngga mau maksa, karena ngga boleh pake blitz jadi ngga selalu bisa motret misalnya cahaya ruangannya dim light seperti di Tate Modern. Aku siasati dengan motret pake handphone.

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