Europe showcases distinctive art galleries that enthral a worldwide audience. The continent inhabits the home to a plethora of different types of art, varying from prehistoric and ancient arts to fine arts and contemporary arts. With its many cities permeated by exquisite art galleries, visiting these places has become a paramount itinerary offered by the region for art lovers all over the globe. 

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Here are the 15 must-visit galleries in Europe that you will surely want to visit next:

1. National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery exhibits 70 portraits from John Singer Sargent’s (1856-1925) time in London, Paris, Boston, and New York along with his journeys in the Italian and English countryside. Respected as the greatest portrait painter of his age, Sargent is known for his works that take his friends and contemporaries to the forefront of his portraits. These were rarely the result of commissions, and Sargent was free to make personal and experimental works than was likely in his formal portraiture.

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Sargent’s masterpiece _©Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends – Exhibition (npg.org.uk)

2. Atelier des Lumières, Paris

A hidden gem in Paris, L’ Atelier des Lumières exhibits a mesmerizing immersive art exhibition open for all. Its highly exceptional digital art installations make use of 140 video projectors and a spatialized sound system, covering its total surface area from floor to ceiling. 

Inaugurated in April 2018 with an exhibition dedicated to Gustav Klimt and Hundertwasser, from 12 February 2021 to 2 January 2022 L’Atelier des Lumières will immerse us again in the marvels of Catalan painter Salvador Dalí. This cultural space is one of the must-see galleries in Paris. 

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Atelier des Lumières’ Immersive Gallery _©Dreamed Japan – Atelier Des Lumières – Modulo Pi (modulo-pi.com)

3. The National Museum of Sweden, Stockholm

The National Museum of Sweden in Stockholm inhabits its North Italian Renaissance Architecture inspired by building a handful of magnificent castle collections and the Swedish Institute in Paris. This national gallery is known to be the National Portrait Gallery collection at Gripsholm, Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum designed by the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who also designed the Neues Museum in Berlin. 

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Painting Collection of The National Museum of Sweden _©Christie’s Images via New in the Collections – Allegory of the War of Louis… | National museum

4. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 

Known as a renowned museum in Europe, the Museum of Fine Arts showcases the treasures of international and Hungarian art from ancient times to the end of the eighteenth century. Its large-scale collections of masterpieces together with their historical continuity rise to be a remarkable place among public collections. It also offers a massive temporary exhibition for a huge number of visitors. 

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Museum of Fine Arts _©Museum of Fine Arts – Budapest Museums – Museum in Budapest

5. Gilyarovsky Center, Moscow 

This art gallery named after journalist Vladimir Gilyarovsky in the prime location of Moscow inclines to hold more accessible and intelligible art for the public. With its area best known for its high-fashion stores, this new exhibition space marks itself as an extensive potential mainly for entertainment and education like musical performances, film festivals, and educational classes and trips. This undoubtedly makes the center included in the 15 must-visit galleries in Europe. 

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Gilyarovsky Center _©Gilyarovsky Center / Музей Москвы (mosmuseum.ru)

6. LUMA Arles, Provence

A spectacular arts center designed by the eminent architect Frank Gehry, Luma Arles is definitely worth the visit for what it has to offer. The center bustles with lively venues for exhibitions, studios, meetings, libraries, cafés, and parks all year-round. This aims to generate employment opportunities for its neighboring community and foster a welcoming space for the public. 

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Luma Arles _©Adrian Deweerdt via Frank Gehry’s crumpled Luma Arles tower will finally open this summer – The Spaces

7. Steve McQueen, London 

This exhibition of Steve McQueen displays his works in two decades of his career in revolutionary styles to filmmaking that have inspired other artists to work with the medium in expanded ways, producing touching portraits of time and place. This first major exhibition of Steve McQueen’s artwork in the UK for 20 years features his 14 major works in film, photography, and sculpture.

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Steve McQueen’s work _©Steve McQueen – Exhibition at Tate Modern | Tate

8. Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Paris

The power couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude are known for wrapping-as-art. Opening just over a month after Christo’s death at the age of 84, this exhibition brings together the pair’s artworks unknown to the public, such as the Craters, Surfaces d’Empaquetage, the Boxes, Showcases, and Store Fronts. 

The second part of the exhibition is devoted to the only major public project they completed for Paris in their lifetime, the Pont-Neuf packaging project in 1985. The exhibition also alludes to the prelude to the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe – a project that was Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s lifelong ambition since 1962, which will be released in September. 

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Wrapping of Arc de Triomphe _©https://sothebys-com.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/b2ea665/2147483647/strip/true/crop/8429×5217+0+0/resize/1024×634!/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsothebys-brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fdotcom%2F1e%2Ff5%2Fb1f00de04ace9750baaca7d8eafd%2Fpfpt21-bx6c9-01.jpg

9. Torlonia Marbles, Rome

The Torlonia Collection of sculpture exhibits its more than ninety marbles dating back to the Roman Empire to the public at a major show in Rome.  This collection traces back from a lengthy series of acquisitions and some significant shifts of sculptures between the various residences of the Family from the 15th to the 19th centuries. 

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Ancient Sculptures in Torlonia Marbles _© Reuters via Torlonia collection’s ancient sculptures back on show after restoration | Entertainment-photos – Gulf News

10. Fantastic Women – Surreal Worlds from Meret Oppenheim to Frida Kahlo, Frankfurt & Copenhagen

The exhibition features women surrealist artists who are often overlooked and forgotten. Considered a groundbreaking exhibition, this displays the more important and numerous roles of women in the Surrealist movement compared to any other artistic avant-garde movement. This exhibition for women artists of Surrealism reflects a diverse selection of works while also exhibiting friendships among the women in the topographic regions of Europe, the US, and Mexico, making it one of the 15 must-visit art galleries in Europe. 

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Surrealism _©Fantastic Women – Surreal Worlds from Meret Oppenheim to Frida Kahlo – Frankfurt & Copenhagen

11. Slavery, an exhibition, Amsterdam

Telling ten true stories, this exhibition focuses on slavery as a real-life story in the Dutch colonial period. These portray the stories about enslaved people who were reduced to property and objects who came from different regions of Brazil, Suriname, and the Caribbean, and from South Africa and Asia, and the people who kept slaves. This era of 250 years is an important part of the history of the Netherlands. 

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Slavery _©Slavery – Rijksmuseum

12. Leonardo Da Vinci, Palazzo Reale, Milan 

Palazzo Reale commemorates the 500th death anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci by a multimedia exhibition. The use of seven video installations, five of which are interactive, in different languages immerses the visitors in the world of Leonardo’s imagination. Along with these are the large scenographic machines that communicate Leonardo’s inspired drawings namely The Observations on Nature, The city, The landscape, The Peace Machines, The War Machines, The Anatomical Table, and Painting. 

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Inside the Palazzo Reale _© LEONARDO The Machine of’Imagination (palazzorealemilano.it)

13. Tracey Emin and Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum, Vienna 

A leading figure of the ‘Young British Artists’, superstar Tracey Emin exhibits her more than 80 works in the first comprehensive exhibition in Leopold Museum, Vienna. Together with her works, she will also present a selection of drawings by Egon Schiele in her artistic dialogue in the exhibition.

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Emin’s Work _©TRACEY EMIN | EGON SCHIELE. Where I Want To Go – Leopold Museum – Temporary Exhibition – 2015-04-24 – 2015-09-14 – Vienna, Austria (xamou-art.com)

14. Venice Biennale, Venice 

Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition only happens once every two years. This unmissable happening is filled with great artists and young talents from the locals and even foreign countries. Through this event they can display a maximum of two works that had never been exhibited in Italy, turning the experience into a memorable one.

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At the Venice Biennale, 2013 _©HG Masters via ArtAsiaPacific: Venice Biennale

15. The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael

This exhibition explores Raphael’s complete career. One of those who shaped the course of Western culture, the products of his brief career of two decades. Most of these are his celebrated paintings and drawings together with his works in the fields of architecture, poetry, and design. Showcasing these works of ingenuity and creativity makes the exhibition one of the 15 must-visit art galleries in Europe. 

15 must visit art galleries in Europe
Raphael’s Work _©The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael (nationalgallery.org.uk)
Author

Russel is an essayist, neuroscience enthusiast and architecture student who stands amazed by how the distinct disciplines interweave into a harmonious whole if understood correctly. She strives to harness what is in store of these into functional built environments inspired by narratives and informed by neuroscience.

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