7 Fabulous Art Galleries ...

Art galleries are some of my favourite places to visit, especially when Iโ€™m in another country. It can be educational or just sheer pleasure. As a frequent visitor and art lover I know pretty much what I like to see and tend to head straight for the parts of a gallery where I know the impressionists and post impressionists will be. Generally though, art should stir the senses and shake the soul and here are 7 fabulous art galleries that will do just that.

1. The National Gallery, London, England

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Situated on one side of Trafalgar square you get a double cultural hit when you visit the National. It houses the national collection of Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries. It is open, free of charge 361 days a year. I like it here because it has a good collection of impressionists, a few Van Goghโ€™s and none of that modern art that just confuses me.

2. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

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Italyโ€™s fabulous art gallery is the Uffizi. Although it does contain art from other periods, the main focus of the paintings and sculptures at the Uffizi is Medieval and Renaissance. There are thousands of works of art at the Uffizi.

3. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

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A truly global collection featuring works from all ages from all continents. There is naturally a spectacular collection of American art. The Met is especially well renowned for special exhibitions.

4. Louvre Museum, Paris, France

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Probably the most fabulous art gallery in the world is the Louvre and it is also home to the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa. The collection is so vast that much is in storage. Some of these treasures will be viewed in a satellite Louvre that opens in North Paris in 2012.

5. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland

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This large red brick Neo-Renaissance building is home to a large collection of Dutch old masters including Vermeer and Rembrandt. The museum also has sections for prints, sculpture, furniture including exquisitely beautiful dolls houses, glass, porcelain and Asiatic art.

6. Guggenheim Art Gallery, Bilbao, Spain

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As well as being an amazing example of contemporary architecture, the Guggenheim is a fabulous art gallery. The museum has a permanent collection of 20th century paintings but there are frequent changes in special exhibitions.

7. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

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Although technically a museum of over 3 million objects in 6 buildings, the Hermitage has a massive collection of important art from all over the world. One of the museum buildings is the Winter Palace, a former home of the Russian Tsars.

I hope you have enjoyed this short tour of some of the worldโ€™s most fabulous art galleries and that maybe youโ€™ll get to visit some. Whereโ€™s your favourite painting housed?

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