Your tour begins at No.1 London, the name given to Apsley house. Built by Adams in 1775 for Baron Apsley and acquired by the Duke of Wellington in 1817, he aggrandized the house with the help of architect Wyatt who gave it the Corinthian temple front and faced in gold bath stone. It became the grand mansion of the Duke of Wellington, the victor of Napoleon. You will find the treasures regaled to the Duke by the European Monarchs returned to their thrones after the defeat of Napoleon. As you enter the house in the inner hall is the nude marble statue by Canova of Napoleon in the guise of Apollo. See silver and porcelain sets, jewels and snuff boxes surrounded by the Duke's furniture. Upstairs are the paintings which he collected and superb old masters from the Royal Spanish collection found in Giuseppe Bonaparte's coach as he was abandoning Madrid and given to Wellington by the King of Spain. Among them are paintings by Velazquez, Rubens, Murillo, Ribera and Goya.
Walking along Knightsbridge, London's famous shopping center where Harrods is located, you will reach the Victoria and Albert Museum, London's Victorian center of art and crafts dedicated to the royal couple. Now a museum of arts from all countries, styles and periods. Apart from the main collection of oil paintings and watercolours (with emphasis on the British ones and a collection of Constable's oil sketches), sculpture and architectural examples, the museum contains the world's finest collection of applied arts such as weapons and armours, bronzes and carpets etc. Visit the famous Cartoons for tapestries which Raphael created for Pope Leo X and the sculpture gallery collection where are some of the best examples of Donatello.
This private tour is hosted by an English-speaking guide specializing in art history. Please list any special interests you have (art, architecture, history) at time of booking to alert our guide so that he or she can better prepare for your private tour.
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