My favourite gallery is the National Portrait
This young lady had been looking at me from newspaper and magazine advertisements for a while. Hard to resist that expression, those eyebrows and her whip-thin waist!
So I bought my ticket
and had a look at a selection of portraits of Russian writers, actors, poets and composers from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. It was fascinating, beautiful paintings and informative text; Chekhov painted in Nice where he was staying for his health, Morozov in Paris with a Matisse painting that he had bought as his backdrop.
And a stunning Repin with it's sad story of Mussorgsky.
There are always small temporary pleasures to be found in the gallery such as this little exhibition of items relating to Charlotte Bronte. On display was a pair of her shoes, the tiniest cloth shoes you could imagine, looking more suitable for a child and totally impractical for walking on Yorkshire moorland!
Room 16 is small and square and contained a gathering of unclothed portraits from across the centuries. A bit of a hotchpotch, I thought, although the Nell Gwyn painting is a stunner - small wonder she grabbed a royal!
I met my daughter at the end of the day and we went to the tapas bar in the courtyard of Somerset House where people were sitting at tables enjoying the fine weather. In the evening we went to see 'Sunset Boulevard' with Glen Close. (I'll refrain from giving my opinion in case I offend any Andrew Lloyd Webber fans!)
The following day I visited another favourite place. I've blogged the beautiful covered courtyard of the British Museum on previous occasions. This week it was crammed with folk, huge groups of school children and students, the latter more interested in their phones than in the objects around them. It was noisy! I escaped upstairs to the print room and to peace and quiet, just the environment to enjoy Francis Towne's watercolours.
My local city of Bath has two independent bookshops. One of the joys of London is that it is full of of places to see and buy books of all descriptions.
I subscribe to the fortnightly LRB magazine so it's nice to pop into their bookshop just across the road from the museum and look at what they have on display. Just a couple of doors down is the beautiful Enitharmon Press.
I caught the train home feeling pretty exhausted. London life is stimulating, but these days I like it in small batches!