Orient-Express to launch ‘The Art of Travel’ in association with the National Gallery, London
28th October 2010 - Luxury train operator, Orient-Express has announced that it has formed an association with the National Gallery to launch a series of art tours to Venice, Paris and within England. Next year will see these two great names brought together for the first time creating unique voyages, hosted by an expert guide from the National Gallery.
‘The Venice of Canaletto’ is the highlight of the new programme, giving the opportunity to experience Venice through Canaletto’s eyes. The tour will be limited to just 20 guests who will travel to Venice aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) and will be accompanied by an expert from the National Gallery to bring the city’s dynamic culture and art history to life.
It is a unique tour of Venice, tracing the footsteps of Canaletto from the grand vistas to the hidden backwaters that inspired his work. The tour begins in London, where guests will have a guided introduction to Canaletto’s works at the National Gallery followed by a private dinner in the Trafalgar Room before staying overnight at The Goring hotel. The following day, the adventure continues at London’s Victoria Station for the journey south, through France, the snow-capped Alps and northern Italy.
How else to travel to Venice than aboard a train that is a work of art in itself, with restored 1920s carriages ablaze with marquetry and Lalique glass panels in the dining car? For anyone who loves art and Italy, this promises to be the ultimate way to journey to Venice and to rediscover it in a fresh and uniquely revealing way.
Over the six-days in Venice, guests will stay at Hotel Cipriani and visit the many places that inspired Canaletto; from the exact spot by the Grand Canal where he glimpsed the celebrated Stonemason’s Yard to the busy square in front of the Church of San Vidal. “Venice is a city of light, sparkle, movement and perpetual change. Canaletto’s paintings perfectly capture that fantasy atmosphere” says Colin Wiggins, Head of Education at the National Gallery.
Before flying back to London, a full day at leisure is also included in the itinerary giving the opportunity to explore and get lost in the city’s labyrinthine of alleyways—and discover another aspect of what National Gallery lecturer Richard Stemp describes as “one of the most magical places on earth”.
This trip departs on April 9th, October 8th and October 22nd 2011 and costs from £4985 per person based on two sharing.
‘Venetian Painters’ departs on 30th April 2011 and is a six-day tour which introduces great masters from Giovanni Bellini and Titian to Veronese. Limited to just 20 guests, they will be able to view these magnificent works in the buildings for which they were commissioned and learn about the special details from their expert guide.
The Venetian Painters tour beings at the National Gallery offering a guided introduction to selected masterpieces, matching them to places and people which will be encountered over the next few days and following this, a private dinner in the Trafalgar Room with fellow travellers. The tour continues the next morning with a flight to Venice, followed by a three night stay at Hotel Cipriani. Guests will be taken to explore great sights such as the Doge’s Palace, the Accademia and Ca’ Rezzonico with their expert from the National Gallery close at hand to add depth and richness to what they see.
The journey ends with a celebratory flourish for the return to London aboard the VSOE. The route leads from the vineyards of Northern Italy through the Alps and on into France. There will be plenty of time to relax in the historic carriages and enjoy exceptional cuisine and fine wines. The National Gallery guide will continue to accompany guests offering the opportunity to reflect on the artworks seen, and to discuss them further.
The price for this itinerary is £4320 per person based on two sharing.
One of three National Gallery lecturers will accompany each tour to Venice:
Colin Wiggins, Head of Education, is an art historian and artist who has curated many exhibitions at the gallery.
James Heard, Adult Learning Manager, is an artist who has travelled world-wide lecturing on Titian and has specialist knowledge of painting techniques.
Linda Bolton has been lecturing for the National Gallery since 1991 and has established a reputation as one of the Gallery’s most engaging and informative speakers. An Italian speaker, she has lived in Venice and has a deep and extensive knowledge of the city, its art and history. Linda has led many groups to various European venues, including St Petersburg, Vienna and Rome. She has published several books on art and art movements including Impressionism, Cubism and Andy Warhol.
Also part of the association is a series of five-day tours, ‘Impressions of Paris’, which will introduce Paris and its surrounding countryside in an exciting new way. Accompanied in Paris by an expert in French Impressionism, guests will trace Monet’s long, dynamic life, and will learn about the drama of the birth of a new movement in art—when painters first began painting out in the open air to capture the effects of light.
The tour commences with a guided visit to the National Gallery and one night at The Goring hotel before heading off to Paris the following morning via the VSOE. Two of the carriages aboard the art deco train were already carrying passengers while Claude Monet was producing his last masterpieces. For anyone who loves art and the works of Monet in particular, this promises to be the ultimate voyage of discovery.
Highlights will include a visit to Monet’s house and garden in Giverny and the churchyard where Monet lies buried, a visit to the Musée de l'Orangerie des Tuileries, where Monet’s famous water lily paintings are displayed, a visit to the Musée Marmottan Monet and time at leisure.
The tour operates on: April 09, May 7, June 25, July 27, Aug 24, Sept 24 and Oct 22 2011
The price per person is £2990 based on two sharing in April, July, August or £3180 at all other times.
Closer to home there will also be a number of art tours throughout 2011 aboard Orient-Express’ British Pullman train.
The first tour, ‘Collectors & Collecting’ is a steam-hauled journey to Bath aboard the British Pullman to visit The Holburne Museum. Following a major project of restoration and extension, the Holburne Museum re-opens in May 2011 and its famous collection of Renaissance Bronzes and Maiolica, Dutch golden age paintings, silver, furniture and eighteenth-century British Paintings, will be on display once again.
The tour will start at London’s Goring hotel before a visit to the National Gallery for a guided tour. The following morning, after a leisurely journey aboard the British Pullman to Bath, there will be a guided visit to the Holburne Museum by Museum Director, Alexander Sturgis. Following this, there will be a walking tour of ‘Beckford’s Bath’. The tour will include the eccentric connoisseur William Beckford’s house on Landsdown Crescent and his grounds leading up to Beckford’s Tower. There will be a tour of Beckford’s Tower before returning to the British Pullman for the return journey to London and a final night at The Goring hotel.
Departing on 28th June 2011 and priced at £1130 per person.
The second tour, ‘Thomas Gainsborough’, focuses on landscape paintings by notable British and European artists including Rubens, Turner and Constable. Highlights will include a private tour of the Holburne Museum by Alexander Sturgis with a focus on the new exhibition ‘Gainsborough’s Landscapes: Themes and Variations’. Following this there will be a walking tour of artists’ Bath by Amina Wright, curator of paintings at the Holburne Museum.
Departing on 11th October and priced from £940 per person.
Both tours include one night pre and post British Pullman at The Goring hotel and a guided visit to the National Gallery. The journey to and from Bath will be a steam hauled journey aboard the British Pullman, departing from and returning to London Victoria and will include brunch on the outward journey and a three-course supper on the return.
For reservations or further information on ‘Art of Travel’ call 0845 077 22 22 or visit www.orient-express.com/nationalgallery
Orient-Express, (NYSE: OEH, www.orient-express.com) the name behind an elite collection of travel experiences, first came into being in 1883 as one of the world’s most exciting and indulgent train journeys. Today that evocative name also embraces hotels, cruises and other luxury rail adventures in 24 countries, across five continents. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it first purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly afterwards, recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today, the company owns or part-owns and manages 50 businesses, 41 of which are highly acclaimed hotels, each unique in style, from the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and Rio’s Copacabana Palace, to the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg and Maroma Resort & Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. There are six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and ‘21’, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.