Every day until Christmas the Londonist team will be pointing you in the direction of a Christmas present that (with a bit of luck) you won’t already have on your list. Climb up onto our collective lap and we’ll see what we can move from our sack to your stockings…
For the London art-lover, the National Gallery has teamed up with Moleskine to produce a new twist on their much-loved (by us, at least) City Notebook. In addition to all the great stuff that the established notebook offers (tube and street maps, blank pages, notched pages for filing your Londony information and so on), the London Painting Trail notebook contains a section on seven of London's finest art institutions – Apsley House, the Courtauld Gallery, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Collection, Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Wallace Collection.
Rather than attempting to be a fully comprehensive guide to these institutions, the London Painting Trail sets out to provide an overview of the some of highlights of each, as well as providing useful information for visitors such as how and when to go, how much it will cost and where to eat nearby. It also divulges some interesting trivia that might not be immediately obvious to the casual visitor – did you know that Apsley House used to be known as 'Number 1, London'?
There are some artistic gems and masterpieces contained within these seven institutions, such as Van Gogh's Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Fragonard's The Swing. As well as letting you know where to find them, the notes in the London Painting Trail provide some brief expert commentary on their history, significance and symbolism – no tour guide required. We reckon this is a perfect present for an art-lover wanting to spend some time making the most of London's galleries.
The London Painting Trail notebook costs £12.50 and is available from the National Gallery online shop and the galleries featured.