London Xmas – Exhibitions, Christmas Services 1

If you do not want to go the Christmas shopping route while in London at Xmas, or if you are tired of it already, then consider spending some quieter, contemplative time.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery is part of a larger complex built in the 1600’s in the quintessential, posh village of Dulwich, in the southern reaches of London.

Until January 17, 2010 you can see 100 of the collection of Master’s Drawings from Canada’s Ontario Gallery of Art. The exhibition is called “Drawing Attention” and includes works of Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Fragonard, Matisse, Turner, Gainsborough, Guercino, Boucher, Leger, de Kooning, Ingres and more. Drawing Attention – Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. The exhibition also includes some of Canada’s renowned artists: David Milne and remarkable Emily Carr.

The local, sustainably-farmed Christmas tree supplier, The Christmas Forest, have kindly donated two magnificent Christmas trees in the beautiful Dulwich Picture Gallery gardens. Just after dusk, you could also take a pre-Christmas walk on the grounds and wander down the cloisters (currently themed as a magical winter wonderland) finishing with a delicious hot chocolate in the café.

On Tuesdays (1:30 – 3:30pm), at Dulwich, you can visit Christ’s Chapel of Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift from Dulwich Picture Gallery’s cloister. The chapel was consecrated in 1616 by George Abbot, then Archbishop of Canterbury, as part of the Dulwich College Foundation.

The chapel will probably hold services Xmas Eve (check on this), as it is still a community church. It is a place of beauty and it is a vital piece of Dulwich and London heritage.

Raphael’s “Transfiguration”, which hangs on the north wall, is thought to have been painted by one of his assistants. It has been cleaned and conserved. The third organ remains in the church. It was built by George England in 1759 and is thought to be the oldest surviving example of this famous organ-builder’s work. The instrument has been cleaned and refurbished. The organ has a famous cornet stop which is reputed to be the oldest extant in the country and it also has a fine Gothic case.

In addition to normal Sunday services where the emphasis is on congregational singing of the hymns, psalms, canticles and responses, Choral Evensong, led by Christ’s Chapel Chorale is sung three times a year. The same choral group also leads the singing at the Good Friday and Christmas Eve services. For more information: telephone: 020 8693 1524.

Dulwich Picture Gallery lies between College Road and Gallery Road in Dulwich Village, Southwark, only 3 miles south of Vauxhall Bridge in central London.

Dulwich Picture Gallery – Getting there.
It takes about a 10 minute train ride from central London, but make sure that you do NOT exit as East Dulwich station, as that is too far from the Art Gallery and its Chapel.

From the North or West Dulwich stations you can walk via the park (along Gallery Road or College Road, depending on the station) to the Horniman Museum (or take the P4 bus which connects the two)
Train: North or West Dulwich (Main line trains) from Charing Cross, Waterloo or London Bridge stations in central London.

If arriving by bike, see Planning London Public Transportation Journeys for bike routes to Dulwich Picture Gallery.

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©2009 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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