Friday 14 September 2007

Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, South London

A small, but world-class art gallery housed in a squat early-nineteenth century, purpose-built building with glass roofs, Dulwich Picture Gallery has a fine permanent collection including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Poussin, Gainsborough and Canaletto. Scores of ostentatious gold-framed landscapes and portraits are crammed on to the deep red walls in the main galleries, while temporary exhibitions are typically given more space in the side galleries. The current exhibition 'The Changing Face of Childhood' features a series of mainly 18th Century paintings of foppish children posing with early cricket bats, pet animals and the odd beggar. While an interesting reflection of the era, these are probably not the kind of pictures you would want on your wall. The Gallery (admission £4, plus a charge for the temporary exhibitions) is surrounded by some pleasant gardens and an upmarket and pricey cafe/restaurant. 8/10