Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Was up early today, then went back to bed. 6:00 a.m. is not a good time to start the day when you’re retired. (My new rule.) I did make it down for breakfast at 8:30 then started to get ready to visit the National Portrait Gallery and the Wallace Collection.

One of the things I needed to do to get ready was iron a shirt. Guess I’ll confess it now – for the past 25 years (prior to my departure June 2016) I hadn’t ironed a shirt. Didn’t even own an iron. Now I’m getting quite good working with a variety of irons – and a few even come equipped with a headlight. Look what I’ve been missing! Who knew?

My primary interest in visiting the National Portrait Gallery (collection size: 195,000 portraits!) was to see some of the early pictures in the collection. And I wasn’t disappointed. I saw the portrait of King Henry VII which is the earliest painting in the Gallery’s collection. The portrait, according to the inscription records, was painted on 29 October 1505. Many of the earlier portraits were of Engand’s kings and queens.

Below is a collection of some of the early kings and queens. We can only guess that some of the portraits were implied likenesses rather than from the subject sitting for the painting.

Queen Elizabeth I had several of her portraits on display.

Was interesting to see pictures, starting in the early 1700’s, of the English aristocrats in their finery, posing for their portrait. They definitely wanted to look their best.

There were some sculptures displayed with the portraits. I took a picture of a group of sculptures in an interesting grouping. I was thinking that it appears that they’re looking for something or someone.

Next time I’ll keep track of which galleries I walked through. So many rooms and found myself backtracking on what I had seen 10 minutes before. But I will be back. Really a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the UK.

After I had a quick bite, I visited the Wallace Collection. A private collection that was bequeathed to the nation and first opened to public view in 1900. The collection was mainly created by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford. (Seymour – same family as Jane Seymour) and one of the wealthiest families in England. 30 galleries display this vast collection. I had fun taking pictures of a few of the rooms. One chair caught my eye because of its legs.

After the Wallace Collection I went back to my hotel room to take a shower. The weather in London was humid and still a bit warm. Riding in the underground was hot too and I was soaking when I got back to my room.

I met Paula for dinner at a restaurant she knew about. Joy King Lau is near Leicester Square and serves a wide variety of dishes. Everything we ate was so good! And we both had desserts. Was a sad time for us. We have had a number of fun and interesting adventures while in London. I’m leaving London tomorrow and she is leaving London next week. We will meet up again!

I have the train and hotel in Cologne booked for tomorrow. Just need to get packed and get on the train. Next stop: Cologne, Germany.


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