In June 2007, full-size color reproductions of forty-four of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings were hungcomplete with frames and wall textson pub walls and in alleys throughout London. From Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne and Holbein’s The Ambassadors to Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières and Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond, these masterpieces presented the public with a “Grand Tour” of the collection, inviting them to consider the meaning, power, and subtlety of art.
This delightful book documents this exhibition and viewers’ effusive reactions to it. Organized into three sectionsSoho, Covent Garden, and Chinatown to Piccadillythe book features images of the paintings taken by passers-by, including Rousseau’s Surprised! on Shaftesbury Avenue, along with insightful and witty comments from Londoners, tourists, and museum curators alike. Also included are reviews from the Observer, Independent, and Guardian Unlimitedwhich declared the Grand Tour the Gallery’s “best show ever”that together capture and convey the excitement of this unique project.