How does the Gallery prepare for Christmas? | National Gallery

How does the Gallery prepare for Christmas? | National Gallery

So far we’ve only broken six baubles
which is pretty good for this time of year. My name is Belen Cao, I’m one of the 2D
Designers of the National Gallery and I’m here at the Portico of the Gallery
and behind me, you can see that we are today installing the actual Christmas
tree for this season. My name’s Ruari, I own ‘Pinstripes & Peonies’
which is the company that has brought in the Christmas tree today. So behind us we
have two beautiful Nordmann fir trees that are 16-foot and are grown in Hampshire just for us. We normally go, or we’re supposed to go, for 12-foot trees but in a room this beautiful with ceiling heights this big, it always
feels a little bit underwhelming so we’ve gone for bigger ones. They’ve
been put up, so the guys are now holding them to make sure that they stay stable
and then about half a tonne of stage weights will go on them to keep them
level and safe and then we start decorating. Right now we’re just prepping
the pine cones by wrapping a bit of reel wire around and then we’ll pop
them into the tree. In terms of how the trees were made: yesterday two florists works for 12 hours per tree to put 7,200 lights on each tree. We also have 1,200 bubbles on each tree,
roughly 600 blue, silver and gold twigs. We’re now adding in branches to the tree:
so we’ve got some really beautiful litching-covered branches from Sussex which are going in to give everything a little bit
more texture and whenever we make the trees they are always very dark, even
with a lot of lights on, so the secret is to bring the light into the middle of
the tree as well as on the outside where they’ll catch the glint on the baubles
but also, if you add things like branches, like pine cones and like little
bits of glitter, it just gives it a little bit of a lift through and through
and makes it appear much more deep and we’ve also got bright, painted, glittery
navy blue branches with a touch of glitter on them as well. Those are to tie in
with the ‘Leonardo’ exhibition. So this year, the colour scheme that we’ve chosen
for the Christmas decoration is silver and blue and it’s mainly
inspired by our new display, ‘Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece’, that visitors can enjoy in the Ground Floor Galleries. Silver we’ve chosen because
of Leonardo’s mirror writing: Leonardo used to write backwards. The blue is
focusing on the pigments that they found in the painting, mainly ultramarine and azurite.

Dereck Turner

9 thoughts on “How does the Gallery prepare for Christmas? | National Gallery

  1. Inessa Maria says:

    I like the colours.

  2. Enzo Ma says:


  3. Peter Harrison says:

    Brilliant, makes the average domestic prep seem negligible! Happy Christmas, National Gallery!

  4. Jose luis Rangel Mondragon says:

    Gran trabajo, Felicidades.

  5. D V says:

    No ecologicly friendly! So 👎. And comeing from an institution that nurture Nature (Art). They could decided to put little trees in pots, which later can be returned to Mother Nature. How humanistic! 😠


    I am surprised you haven't dug out the first victoriana xmas tree to shove in the doorway… replete with olde worlde xmas presents…

  7. G H says:

    Sussex has no more lichen covered branches. It’s been deforested by pretentious twats.

  8. Yiann SC says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  9. Arnaldo Attallah says:

    Happy Christmas from all the members of Virtual museum Face Book Group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *