When it comes to galleries and museums, there’s no better town to be in than London and since it’s now July then what better place to visit than the Royal Academy of Arts? Set up by a personal Act of King George III back in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts has been throwing its doors open to the public for over 250 years now. Run as a charity, which is independent and led by prominent artists, its mission – first and foremost – is to promote the arts of design in Britain, through education and exhibition.
The Academy really comes to life in the summer, when it hosts the world-famous Summer Exhibition. Held every year without fail since 1768, it’s a chance for locals and tourists alike to browse and buy – there are over 1,000 works in every medium on display! There are paintings, prints, film, sculpture, photography – it really is tough competition but a fine way for emerging artists to break onto the scene. Here’s a short video, to give you an idea:
As for the building itself, it is located in Burlington House, on fashionable Piccadilly Street in central London. Its style is imposing – early 18th century style building and Palladian design (a classical style, emphasising proportion and symmetry, and made famous by the Venezian architect Palladio).
Behind its stunning facade, it boasts an impressive library and archives (available for research purposes), and a permanent collection of fine art, including engravings, wall paintings and ceilings. It even owns a Michelangelo relief – Taddei Tondo – which was carved out of marble in Florence, between 1504-1506!
Here’s a another wonderful video to give you an idea of how special this collection is:
Even better, many of the Royal Academy’s treasures from their historic collection went on display for the first time last year, free of charge. Walk in the galleries and you’ll see works by Constable, Gainsborough and a copy of The Last Supper from the 16th century.
Furthermore, in 2018, using Heritage Lottery money (the RA is not privately funded) David Chipperfield Architects ‘upgraded’ the building, connecting it to its ‘unloved’ sister building in Burlington Gardens. The result? The Academy now has its first-ever exhibition space dedicated permanently to architecture.
The now-expanded RA has more than 70% more public space and its students (there on free programmes) have dedicated space in which they can exhibit their work. The buildings are linked by a concrete bridge…and there’s even a 250 seat lecture theatre and a purpose-built learning space mean even more visitors can be exposed to the world of art.
And when you’re finished, the good news is that you’re just a short tube ride away from La Gaffe, where we invite you for lunch or dinner. Either in our wine bar or restaurant, take the weight off your feet from all that walking in Piccadilly, and enjoy a light bite or full meal (we have a wide range of Italian dishes). For more about our food and guest accommodation, take a look at https://www.lagaffe.co.uk/restaurant/
COVID – 19 UPDATE
LA GAFFE RE-OPENING 4th JULY 2020
There is light at the end of the tunnel!
After three very trying months of lockdown, which have been disastrous for all businesses, but necessary for public health, we now have Government permission to re-open our premises to the public.
However, Covid-19 has not gone away and we must all be responsible in our daily lives to help stop the further spread of the virus.
We have followed Government guidelines to ensure that we are ready to welcome our lovely clientele back to La Gaffe. Our already high hygiene standards have been enhanced to make sure that all our staff and guests can work and socialise in a safe environment.
Our restaurant and bar areas have reduced seating with the recommended gap between tables. There are hand sanitiser stations upon entry and we will be doing our best to reduce unnecessary contact. Seating will be staggered and reservations are preferred as we take part in the track and trace program.
We are taking reservations for our rooms. For the continued safety and wellbeing of our staff and guests, once a room is occupied, it will not be serviced on a daily basis. If your requirements are just a bed and you are happy to use the same towels and sheets for a few days, we are happy to help. Obviously, in this scenario, our rates will be reduced and we are here to help with any requests. Once a room is vacated, they are sterilised with products especially for Covid-19 and left empty for a minimum of 24 hours. This way we can provide peace of mind for all concerned.
We look forward to a time when we can return to what we were very fortunate to call normal.
Thank you to all and we look forward to welcoming you