Galleries - British Museum and Tate Modern
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Galleries - British Museum and Tate Modern

From prehistory to the modern day art has been in our lives, and two museums in Britain between them cover all periods - The British Museum and The Tate.

The British museum in London, is dedicated to the history of human culture and it has one of the largest collections in the world of over 8 million items. Established in 1753 the museum has a wide variety of exhibits from different cultures throughout history and throughout the globe. It has departments dedicated to, amongst others, Ancient Egypt, the Classical World and, the Middle East. It also has a department of prints and drawings which includes works by some of the greatest historical artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya and Picasso.

Whilst the British Museum has a comprehensive collection of historical art, the Tate Modern is dedicated to more contemporary works. It is the most visited art gallery in the world with almost 5 million visitors a year.

The Tate Modern in London is just one of five galleries - one in Liverpool, one in St Ives, two in London and one online - which together make up the Tate group, which houses the national collection of British art - and a good deal of international modern art too!

For a closer look at the pictures, please click on them to expand.
Housed in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, Portrait of a Young Woman is one of the few surviving drawings by which 15th century Flemish painter?
Percy van der Lecht
David van Day
Hugo van der Bilt
Rogier van der Weyden
Sadly, little is known about Rogier van der Weyden, although he was a respected artist in his life time. Many of his paintings survive, but very few drawings. This drawing was, presumably, a preliminary study for a later painting
On display in the British Museum, this sculpture in red granite is thought to date back to 1370 BC. Which country is it from?
The statue is just one of a number erected by the pharaoh Amenhotep III. The quality of the sculpture is amazing given its age - although only this head and one arm remain. The rest was long since lost
In this 1934 piece by Robert Delaunay, discs are shown - each of which joins on to the next. What is the title of the piece?
Endless Rhythm
On and on and on
Circles of Time
Round and Round and Round
The artist's wife chose the appropriate title for the work.
One year after he created this painting Delaunay was commissioned to paint murals at the Paris International Exhibition. The resulting works included rings, discs and repeating patterns on a much grander scale
This statue of a Lama was created in Tibet in the 19th century. Of what material is it made?
Photograph courtesy of Mistva
Cedar wood
The figure is shaped from Papier-mâché which has then been painted and varnished. Papier-mâché has been used as a cheaper alternative to plaster for a long time, and there are many artworks created from it
This mosaic was created in Roman occupied Britain in the early part of the 4th century AD. Who is the character in the centre of the picture?
Jesus Christ
This mosaic was made at the time when the pagan Roman Empire was converting to Christianity. It was a period when the two faiths mingled, and this is seen in the art of the time. A second mosaic built in the same building shows the pagan Greco-Roman hero Bellerophon, killing the mythological monster Chimera
This panel which is made from glazed bricks was made in Babylon circa 580 BC during the reign of which biblical king?
Photograph courtesy of Jononmac46
Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchadnezzar, who conquered Jerusalem, had a penchant for great artistic designs. It was he who had the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, constructed.
This is one of a series of nudes laid on an iron bedstead which Walter Richard Sickert painted between 1903 - 1910. This particular painting, La Hollandaise, is called what in English?
The Netherlands
Prawn Cocktail
The Dutch Girl
Some Sauce
This is just one of many which Sickert painted on a similar theme. All are of working class women and the iron bed stead is symbolic of his subjects; functional and hard-wearing, but unrefined
Painted in 1935 by Paul Klee, Walpurgis Night depicts the night on which witches were said to gather to ward off evil spirits. On what day of the year was Walpurgis Night?
On the 31st of December
On the 30th of April
On the 21st of June
On the 30th of October
Walpurgis Night marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It falls on the eve of May Day.
Klee's works took on a dark element towards the end of his life. He was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 and many of his works were taken from German museums.
He died in Switzerland in 1940
This 1970 sculpture, Oval with Points, is by which artist who has two permanent galleries in the Tate Britain dedicated to his work?
J S Lowry
Henry Moore
Moore was well known for his abstract bronze sculptures of female figures. The two galleries contain more than 30 films, photographs, maquettes, drawings and large-scale sculptures
A Favourite Custom painted in 1909 by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, is set in the baths of which ancient city?
The Dutch artist Alma-Tadema became successful in Britain with scenes like this of the ancient Roman world. His works were properly researched for accuracy. This picture is based on photographs of the remains of the baths which had been uncovered by archaeologists in 1824.
It is currently on display at Tate Britain


Author:  Graeme Haw

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