Tate to Tate

Paternoster Square and St Pauls
Yesterday was my birthday so Maggie and I spent a day out in London as a way of celebration. We booked to see the Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at Tate Britain. Our slot was in the afternoon so our plan was to take a table for lunch at the Tate Modern museum restaurant, which is on the top floor at  Bankside and affords wonderful views of the City of London, and then travel to Tate Britain at Millbank via boat.

Blackfriars Bridge ornamentation
To get to Tate Modern we thought it would be a good idea to catch the tube to St Pauls and then walk across the Millennium Bridge. Our plan went a little awry at this point because the bridge was closed for four days of maintenance. This meant a circuitous walk via Blackfriars Bridge (which was also under repair). Still we made it and had a great lunch followed by coffee watching the ferries ply up and down the river.

Coffee looking down onto St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge; from Tate Modern museum

We caught our own ferry from outside Tate Modern using the Tate boat service. The trip brought back memories of our last trip along the tideway in Albert. This time it was far less exciting, although low tide and recent heavy rains made the stream strong.

Ferries on the Thames at Low Water
London Eye under maintenance

Passing Westminster Pier

A high & dry houseboat

The Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition was just wonderful. The range of exhibits was great with not only famous paintings from around the world but also some sculpture, furniture, decorative artwork and photographs.  It was a brilliant way to enjoy a birthday.

We had visited the last Pre-Raphaelite exhibition staged by the Tate back in 1984 and thoroughly enjoyed it then, but this exhibition appeared larger and with better quality exhibits. We were particularly taken with Holman Hunt's The Lady of Shalott which is normally kept in the USA. It is quite stunning. We hadn't seen it before so it hadn't appeared on our "radar". It is considered to be the last major Pre-Raphaelite work.

Unfortunately the exhibition finishes this weekend.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'The Beloved ('The Bride')' 1865-6
The Beloved ('The Bride') by Dante Gabriel Rossetti,1865-6
Oil on canvas
Peacock and bird carpet c.1800s
Peacock and bird carpet c.1800
William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest
Edward Coley Burne-Jones Maria Zambaco 1870
Maria Zambaco by Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1870
 Clemens-Sels Museum, Neuss
File:Holman-Hunt, William, and Hughes, Edward Robert - The Lady of Shalott - 1905.jpg
Lady of Shalott by William Holman Hunt & Edward Robert Hughes, 1905
Image from Wikipedia