This website may ask your browser to store cookies. See our Cookies Policy for more information about our use of cookies.

Navigate tour


J.M.W. Turner, on seeing a landscape by Claude Lorrain, burst into tears and exclaimed ‘I shall never be able to paint anything like that’. This day explores how the greatest of British Romantic landscape painters, Constable and Turner, strove to outdo the poetic visions, and magical effects of light, of 17th-century landscapists, among them Claude and Poussin. The National Gallery in London has the finest collection of 17th-century landscape in the world, while Tate Britain displays the largest collection of Turner. The day opens with the former, where we shall explore Claude’s creation of an intensely imagined poetical world, rich in effects of sunlight and melting distances, and touching in his response to classical myth. Here, too, are Poussin’s graver, sublime landscapes, and works by ‘savage’ Rosa which evoke fear and horror.

After time in the galleries of British landscape painting, among them Turners and Constables, the afternoon is spent at Tate Britain to appreciate afresh the creative impact of these Old Masters on Constable’s naturalistic scenes, and on Turner’s evocations of a mythical, Arcadian Italy, and of the overwhelming forces of nature, of storm, mist and deluge. Turner, in his will, directed that two of his works should be hung side by side with two by Claude. His wish has been honoured, and perhaps, at the end of the day, we shall each be able to form a view on whether his initial tears of despair were justified.


National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing 10.00am.


Tate Britain c. 5.15pm.


£195. This includes lunch at the National Dining Rooms, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments and one taxi journey.

More information about London Days gift vouchers.

Group size

Maximum 14 participants.


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.


London Day combinations

Combine our November departure with Ancient Egypt at the British Museum,16 November 2018.

Map: London Days.

'Helen Langdon is a brilliant speaker with an approachable and knowledgeable style.'