Speaking about art galleries of London we should first of all mention The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery and The Tate gallery. The National Gallery contains one of the richest collections of paintings in the world. The range of the collection is wide. It represents all the leading schools of European painting from the 13th to early 20th centuries, for example pictures of Rembrandt, Turner, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh and other great masters. Another gallery is the National Portrait Gallery where there are oil paintings, water colors, drawings and sculptures. The Gallery constantly changes displays and holds the annual portrait competition for young artists. The Tate Gallery is one of London's best-known art galleries, opened with the financial support of Sir Henry Tate, who also gave a collection of 65 paintings. The Gallery contains a unique collection of British paintings from the 16th century to the present day. It regularly holds special exhibitions. The most famous museums in Britain are the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum. The Victoria and Albert museum is one of the world's outstanding art museums. It is situated in south central London. The museum was given its present name in honor of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. The British Museum has a priceless collection of antiquities from almost every period and every part of the world. It houses collections of drawings, coins, medals and ethnography. Stanley Spencer is one of the most original of modern British artists. He was a painter of imaginative and religious subjects, landscapes and occasional portraits. "Swan Upping" is one of Spencer's best known pictures. This painting has an air of lightened reality; the light reflected from the water suggests moonlight, yet events take place in the foreground in daylight. There is anxiety in the immobilized swans and the face of the woman on the bridge, a mood enhanced by the serrated edges of the clouds and the flame-like branches of the tree on the right. An ordinary scene made to appeal extraordinary. Spencer's works are well represented in the Tate Gallery collection and the exhibition reveals the full range of his output, from early drawings done while still a student to his late self-portrait, painted a few months before his death in 1959.
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