Lord Byron in Albanian dress, painted by Thomas Phillips, 1835

Lord Byron in Albanian dress, painted by Thomas Phillips, Year 1835 version

Simon Schama, a British historian, has collected paintings from British embassies around the world for his Travelling Light show which goes on display to the public on Friday at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

One of the most celebrated painings of Lord Byron,  the famous Lords Byron portrait “in ostentatious Albanian gear” by Thomas Phillips, painted in 1814, which normally hangs in the residence of the UK ambassador in Athens in Greece, will be exhibited there as well.

Schama has called his exhibition Travelling Light presents the idea of Britain as a nation of explorers. That is why his choice of the Byron portrait, Edward Lear’s View of Beirut and Vanessa Bell’s portrait of a woman as Byzantine Lady.

He also chose works by artists such as Howard Hodgkin, Peter Liversidge, Roger Hilton and Tacita Dean.

Other art peaces have travelled from embassies in Tel Aviv, Cairo and Copenhagen.

Travelling Light, Whitechapel Gallery until 26 February.

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