The Tate Britain: The paintings inside aren't nearly as imposing as the building.
Yesterday I went to see the Holbein exhibit at the Tate Britain, and I learned a very important lesson: never try to see an exhibition during its last weekend. With crowds thick as plaster, proper viewing, despite timed entry, was impossible.
So I decided to focus on Holbein's lesser known works, which were easily identified by the number of people gathered in front. Everyone wanted to see the life-size Henry VIII; no one much cared about Sir Thomas Godsalve's chalk drawing. Or the Lady with the Squirrel and a Starling.
I did brave the crush to see the portrait of baby Prince Edward, and of Queen Jane Seymour. I was especially interested to see how he'd portrayed the Tudors I'd studied in the class I took in the fall. Henry didn't look nearly as despotic and deranged as we'd learned he was. Hans the Younger was probably a suck up though, so we can't be sure what the king really looked like.
The rest of the Tate is definitely worth another visit. I find I prefer the charming British landscapes and warm portraits on display there to the depressing religiosity portrayed by so many of the Renaissance paintings at the National Gallery. In fact, I thought of a new slogan for them: The Tate Britain: 100% Angel free.