Guildhall Art Gallery
London, EC2V 5AE
Guildhall Art Gallery and London's Roman Amphitheatre offer a chance to immerse yourself in gruesome ancient history and view some world-class works of art.
The Guildhall Art Gallery was established in 1886 as 'a collection of art treasures worthy of the capital city' and it continues to live up to the promise, with an impressive selection of works dating from 1670 to the present.
To coincide with its 15th anniversary, Guildhall Art Gallery underwent a radical rehang in late 2014. The £600,000 renovation including a new lighting system and additional themed display spaces.
Also on site are the ruins of London's Roman Amphitheatre, in which crowds would once have gathered to watch wild animal fights, public executions and gladiatorial combats. Lost for centuries, the original circular walls were rediscovered by archaeologists working on the site of the new Guildhall Art Gallery building in 1988.
The gallery focuses on paintings of London and holds a renowned collection of 19th-century works, including Rossetti's La Ghirlandata, Millais's My First Sermon and My Second Sermon, and Constable's large landscape, Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows. Another highlight is John Singleton Copley's enormous painting The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar (1783–91).
London's history is well documented though a vast array of different works, ranging from an unusual Frost Fair on the frozen Thames in 1739 to the latest satirical take on the banking crisis by political cartoonist Marf.