Ten painting exhibitions to see in London over the Christmas holidays

By Richard Moss | 24 November 2004 | Updated: 24 November 2014

It's an exceptional winter in the capital for major painting exhibitions - here's ten to get you through Christmas and beyond

a watercolour of Stonehenge with clouds against a blue sky
Stonehenge,Watercolour c.1835 John Constable© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Turner at Tate Britain


Tate Britain’s talisman returns in (until January 25) focusing on the extraordinary (and some would say best) later works in a dazzling display of Victorian abstraction that has had the critics singing.

Constable at the V&A

(until January 11) looks at how England’s other greatest painter created his masterpieces and examines his stylistic relationship to classical landscape masters Ruisdael and Claude.

Emily Carr at Dulwich Picture Gallery

The first major UK exhibition dedicated to the work of Canadian artist (1871 - 1945) (until February 22) reveals her modernist take on Pacific North West landscapes and aboriginal forms. Little known on this side of the Atlantic, these paintings will be a revelation to many.

Egon Schiele at the Courtauld

The Courtauld Gallery's autumn showcase (until January 18), focuses on the tortured genius from Vienna’s spindly nudes, which as we all know hover somewhere between the beautiful, the grotesque and the pornographic.

Refiguring the 1950s at the Ben Uri

Another great painting show for the Ben Uri,  (until February 22 2015) features figurative work by Joan Eardley, Sheila Fell, Eva Frankfurther, Josef Herman and L S Lowry – and looks at how they were influenced by their local environments.

Tudor Kings and Queens at the NPG

When it comes to portraiture there is really no better place to start than the Tudor period. The NPG's (until March 1) is full of the multi-layered symbolism, piercing expressions and complicated back stories one expects from the Tudors.

British Art of the First World War at IWM London

Amidst the radical revamp at the Imperial War Museum is this wonderful exhibition of paintings (with a bit of sculpture too). As well as offering a brilliant overview, Truth and Memory (until March 8 2015) juxtaposes artists and their styles and explores how the cataclysm of the First World War fundamentally changed painting.

Rembrandt at the National Gallery

(until January 18) is another painting blockbuster for the winter which throws some light on a master’s later work. The results from this troubled period of Rembrandt’s final years are stunning. Try and get there early - to avoid the crowds.

Rossetti’s obsession at the William Morris

(until January 4) takes us into the world of the Pre-Raphaelites and the sometimes unhealthy obsession of one of its key proponents with the archetypal Pre-Raph "stunner" Jane Morris - wife of William.

A Victorian Obsession at Leighton House Museum

Leighton House has always been an essential destination for fans of Victorian art but  (until March 29 2015) is a temporary re-hang that looks completely at home. Fifty exceptional paintings from the largest Victorian private art collection outside Great Britain.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

More from Culture24's Painting Section:

The search is on the for the lost watercolours of Edward Bawden

The best art exhibitions to see in London during 2014

A Victorian Obsession finds a perfect home at Leighton House Museum


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