Top ten cities for art lovers

by Rebecca Lori
   
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Paris


Ah, Paris! - The illustrious city of romance and style, with its iconic architecture, famous fashion houses and grand museums housing a dazzling array of art pieces. This is by far, one of the best art destinations in the world. The largest and possibly the most impressive gallery is the Louvre, which houses amongst many other pieces, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Fans of the classics should visit Musee d'Orsay, which boasts a number of 19th and 20th century pieces by artists such as Cézanne, Renoir, Monet, Manet and Van Gogh. For modern art lovers, the Centre Pompidou will not fail to impress – it’s worth visiting just to see its industrial inside-outside exterior, which has caused mush controversy over the years. Paris is also home to the Picasso Museum and Rodin Museum.

Rome


The stunning city of Rome is positively abundant with breathtaking architecture and art, spanning hundreds of years. The Vatican Museums were founded in the 16th century and house a large number of pieces from the Roman Catholic Church. Artists who are displayed in the museums include Caravaggio, Raphael and Michelangelo. A trip to Rome is not a trip to Rome without a breathtaking look at the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo’s highly detailed paintings adorn over 12,000sqft of the ceiling – simply divine. Also worth visiting is the Borghese Gallery, a grand structure showcasing an impressive range of art pieces.

London


The vibrant city of London is alive with an eclectic mix of galleries and museums. Classical, contemporary and downright controversial – this city has it all. For a well-rounded overview of modern art, a visit to Tate Modern is a must. This vast former power station showcases the work of Salvador Dali, Sarah Lucas, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Henri Matisse among many others. Tate Britain is also well worth a visit, as it houses the largest collection of British art in the world, showing work from the past five centuries in a series of changing exhibitions. There is an impressive display of Western European painting at The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery is the place to go to view a varied collection of painted portraits.
Smaller galleries include: White Cube, Flowers East and the Photographers Gallery.

New York


New York is a fabulous yet frenetic city, with literally hundreds of art galleries waiting to be discovered. Fans of contemporary art need to head to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, the gallery houses a superb mix of modern and contemporary paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and much more.

Housed in a stunning building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art proudly features work from many different genres. Artists who have exhibited have included Jeff Koons and J.W.M Turner. Located in Manhattan, the iconic Guggenheim Museum is itself a work of art. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the building was originally created to showcase avant-garde work by early modernists and now houses an impressive range of art including pieces by Pablo Picasso and Wassily Kandinsky.

Barcelona


With its sandy beaches, beautiful buildings and a pleasant year-round climate this city is the ideal place to visit for sunshine and culture!
Forming an essential part of Barcelona’s history, the Picasso Museum showcases an extensive collection of Picasso’s pieces and should be first on any art lover’s list of places to visit. Some of the earliest pieces that are on display were painted when Pablo was just nine years old - fascinating stuff.
The National Art Museum of Catalonia is a breathtaking building, which was first built for the 1929 World’s Fair. Here you can see examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Modern Art as well as historical photography collection.
The Joan Miro Foundation is a museum containing Joan’s work dating back to 1914. There’s an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, tapestries and early sketches.

Berlin


Since its reunification in 1990, the city of Berlin has reinvented itself as the cultural capital of Germany with a relaxed attitude and multitude of museums and galleries. Top of any art lover’s list is should be The New National Gallery - a sleek, steel and glass structure designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1965 -1968. Visitors can look forward to seeing sculptures by Henry Moore, paintings by Edvard Munch and a host of works from the Impressionist, Expressionist, Bauhaus, Surrealist and Contemporary movements. The Old National Gallery on the other hand, is a classical building housing an excellent selection of 19th century and is located in the heart of the city.

For an unusual and moving experience, the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a must-see. The gallery is the largest open air gallery in the world – and takes up a 1.3km section of the existing Berlin Wall. Over 105 paintings cover the memorial, celebrating freedom and the end of the division.

Chicago


There’s a lot to be said about ‘the windy city’ Chicago. This friendly and diverse city regularly hosts a wealth of festivals, exhibitions and parades and is well know for its art scene.
The Art Institute of Chicago is an art school and museum combined. Visit here to see the impressive array of sculptures, paintings, photography, sketches and textiles. As well as a host of miniature rooms depicting interiors from the late 13th century up to the 1930s.

The Chicago Cultural Center is a landmark of the city which showcases over 1,000 exhibitions and programs covering a wide range of the arts each year. The building is well worth a visit, if only just to view the magnificent architecture.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is a superb space, showcasing a range of thought-provoking contemporary pieces. Whereas the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design is dedicated to all areas of the discipline – product design, architecture, industrial and urban planning.

Florence


The city of Florence is a busy destination which is popular with tourists who have travelled the globe to view some of the most spectacular pieces of renaissance art in the world. It will be impossible for most visitors to experience everything that Florence has to offer, therefore a trip to the Uffizi Gallery is a must. The gallery houses many of the Italy’s most celebrated paintings including the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Be sure to book your ticket well in advance as long queues are guaranteed. The Academy Art Gallery showcases an outstanding collection of Michelangelo’s paintings, another gallery that is not to be missed!

There is a good collection of Medieval and Renaissance works at the Gallery of the Spedale degli Innocenti, go and see the superb building, which is in itself a fine example of the Renaissance period.

Vienna


The city of Vienna boats a heady mix of Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings creating a perfect base for art enthusiasts. There’s a wealth of museums and art galleries just waiting to be explored including the Museum of Applied Arts, Museum Quartier Wien, the Austrian Gallery and the Museum Moderner Kunst.

Visit the Museum of Applied arts to view the impressive collection of glassware, china, silverware, furniture and textiles from the Middle Ages to present day. The museum also features the work of famous Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.
The Museum Quartier Wien (Museum Quarter) is made up of three building complexes: Leopold Museum Kunsthalle Wien, Black Cube and White Cube. This is a fantastic area to photograph as the buildings create an unusual contrast with one another and it’s also the perfect place to view a variety of fascinating exhibitions. Some classic, some subversive.
Finally, the Austrian Gallery features a range of Baroque and Medieval art, alongside European art from the 19th and 20th century.

Amsterdam


This beautiful city is famous for its iconic tulips, narrow streets, pretty canals and bridges. It is also home to many great art galleries, the most famous being the Van Gogh Museum.
The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s art work in the world and is an essential visit in Amsterdam. See how the famous artist developed his work over the years and how his style influenced other artists in the 19th century. Fans of Rembrandt, can visit the house where he lived and view a selection of his work including many etchings and paintings. It is a fascinating experience, taking visitors on a journey through the artists’ life.

The Stedelijk Museum provides one of the most extensive collections of modern art in the world, displaying works from the Impressionist, Fauvism, Cubism and Expressionist movements. There is also a superb display of Dutch photography.

Luxurious hotels for art lovers:


Paris

La Villa Maillot

Rome

Boscolo Exedra Roma

London

The Landmark London

New York

Algonquin Hotel


Barcelona

Hotel Barcelona Princess

Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa

Berlin

Hecker's Hotel


Florence

Hotel Monna Lisa

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