Art and the gentleman

The distinguishing feature of the gentleman is not that he his rich- it is that he knows how to live well. One way that this may be done is by cultivating a love of art and architecture. I would urge every man to invest a week of his life attempting to do this.
What follows is a guide to some of my favorite London galleries. There are many many more but I would advise you to start here. If you do not live in London this guide may inspire you to visit what is available locally or even visit me here.
Do not overdo it! I sometimes see exhausted tourists who fail to engage with the art at all due to visual overload. The object is not to tick paintings off some list but to engage emotionally with something. Everything is free. By the end of this process you will have seen some of the worlds greatest paintings and will be able to run art game!!
I am ignoring conceptual and primitive art because most of it is c**p.

DAY ONE. Start with the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery to give you some idea what you are likely to like. They are both off Trafalgar Square.

DAY TWO. Visit the Tate Britain (not to be confused with the Tate Modern). Make sure you see the pre Raphelites that can induce a drug like state. Then take the tube and visit the little known Guildhall Gallery for some more. Sometimes the Guildhall charges admission so check in advance if this is important to you. There is a Roman Amphitheater below the gallery.
DAY THREE. Try the Wallace Collection and Courtauld gallery (free on Monday). Enjoy the spectacular architecture in both buildings.
DAY FOUR. Another beautiful building today The Royal Acadamy of Art. The free art is round the back!! You may also visit the nearby ICA for a depressingly modern contrast.
DAY FIVE. Nearly finished! The Victoria and Albert contains gigantic quantities of art.
DAY SIX. Well done! If you have made it this far you will have found something that you like a great deal. This means you can talk about art in a non bullshit way (I like X because..) rather than trying to impress. I said that I would not burden you with conceptual art but you may like to visit the Tate modern and the rather splendid Saatchi gallery as a contrast.
Art can also be used to pick up women.
METHOD ONE. Stand next to a woman in a gallery and simply say 'what do you think?' This is a very natural thing to say as you are both wondering the same thing.
METHOD TWO. If you meet a woman who resembles a particular painting- say so. This is immensely flattering and she will rush to the nearest computer to look it up. You may tell her quite truthfully that the Internet cannot do the picture justice and then offer to take her there. This is a very non sleazy pickup and opens up the conversation wonderfully.


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