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The Golden Age of British Painting - Hogarth to the Pre-Raphaelites

Explores 18th and 19th century British Art at the National Gallery and Tate Britain.

Takes in masterpieces by Reynolds, Stubbs, Ramsay, Rosetti, Constable, to name but a few.

Lunch in the Rex Whistler Restaurant and group size limited to fourteen.

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03 Dec 2019 £205 Book this tour

  • ‘The Honourable Mrs Graham’, engraving after Thomas Gainsborough (detail).
    ‘The Honourable Mrs Graham’, engraving after Thomas Gainsborough (detail).
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The Reformation dealt a deadly blow to the visual arts in Britain by removing ecclesiastical patronage and severing access to sources of new artistic trends in continental Europe. The aristocracy avidly collected the work of dead foreign artists but failed to nurture living British artists.

During the early eighteenth century debate abounded around the relationship between British artists and their contemporaries and forerunners across the Channel. Hogarth represented truculent insularity, whilst Reynolds stood for a stance of patrician internationalism and a hope that influence could flow in both directions. However, both artists were united in their longing to establish a native school of painting that could rival the great Continental schools.

They succeeded, and between 1730 and 1850 English painting was unsurpassed in its richness and diversity with a list of great names that includes Stubbs, Joseph Wright of Derby, Blake, Constable, Turner, Samuel Palmer and the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. Not to mention the Scottish contingent of Allan Ramsay and Henry Raeburn or the Irish James Barry and the Welsh Richard Wilson. Stylistically the day moves from the Rococo, through Neo-Classicism and Romanticism, to the meticulous truth to nature of the early Pre-Raphaelites.

The day’s four sessions, three at Tate Britain and one at the National Gallery, offer a survey and exploration of this fascinating and rewarding period of British painting. The day takes in a selection of the greatest masterpieces of English painting in the collections at the National Gallery and Tate Britain.

Caricature of Patric Bade

Patrick Bade

Historian, writer and broadcaster. He studied at UCL and the Courtauld and was senior lecturer at Christies Education for many years. He has worked for the Art Fund, Royal Opera House, National Gallery, V&A. He has published on 19th- and early 20th-century painting and on historical vocal recordings. His latest book is Music Wars: 1937–1945.


10.15am, at the National Gallery.



c. 5.30pm, at Tate Britain.



2019: £205.

This includes lunch, refreshments, one taxi journey and donations to the galleries.

More information about London Days gift vouchers.


Group size

Maximum 14 participants.



Are you fit enough to join the tour?



We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.


Tour Combinations

Combine the December 2018 departure with Mantegna and Bellini, 10th December 2018.

Combine the February 2019 departure with Ashurbanipal King of the World, 6 February 2019, or Age of Victoria - a weekend symposium in Taunton8-11 February 2019.


Map: London Days.

'Patrick Bade is a lively lecturer with a fount of amusing stories and amazing knowledge.'

'I have always found Patrick Bade to be an amusing and well-informed lecturer. Really enjoyed it.'

'Good and interesting lecturer, smoothly organised and will definitely book again – thank you!'