In the sphere of visual art London can supply any visitor a vast range of emotions. The British Museum is an almost incomparable introduction to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman arts in all their branches, from pottery to sculpture; and it can hold its own with antiquity department of the Louvre or the prewar Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The collection has been arranged with great care, and the layout is clear and easy to grasp.
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square has one of the best balanced picture collections in the world. It can show the progress of Italian painting from the medieval to the mature mastery of Renaissance; some outstanding pictures of the old Roman masters; an excellent choice of Spanish painters, with El Greco, Velasquez, and Ribera leading; a great variety of unsurpassed Dutch and Flemish masters; a most valuable display of French paintings from the early days of the Impressionists; and, of course, the bulk of the finest English painting, with Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, and Reynolds.
The Tate Gallery in Millmank has a collection complementary to that of the National Gallery, for it presents modern masters of England and France. Its collections of French Impressionists is outstanding, and there are some fine examples of modern sculpture. The Victoria and Albert Museum in Brompton Road has a splendid collection mainly of the applied arts, of all countries and periods, also a new Costume Court, and many exhibits of interest to any student of the visual arts.
There are great treasures dispersed in private collections throughout the country; the Queen’s collection is the most valuable among them.