The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Read more …
The National Gallery, London Paintings
The National Gallery in London is the fourth-most visited art gallery in the world. The National Gallery London paintings number over 2,300, although it held only 38 when it opened in 1824. Located in Trafalgar Square, it is considered the property of the UK public, and the exhibition of its main collection is open free of charge to the public.
The gallery was opened after decades of attempts to match similar national galleries in continental Europe. Most of these galleries were opened in the last quarter of the 18th Century and were typically based around royal collections. The National Gallery in London was almost opened at the same time, but instead took several decades and a handful of attempts. Unlike similar national museums on the continent, the United Kingdom's gallery did not come from the royal collection.
Instead, the opening collection was purchased by the House of Commons. A war debt of 57,000 pounds, paid by Austria, was used to fund a purchase from the estate of banker John Julius Angerstein. The first collection of The National Gallery London paintings came from this collection and numbered 38.
Current National Gallery London Paintings on Display
The National Gallery in London houses over 2,300 oil paintings. These range in date of composition from the middle 1200s to the turn of the 20th Century. While the gallery does own paintings created after this date, they are not currently on exhibit, and for the most part, are on loan to other galleries.
What are you likely to see at the National Gallery? Paintings currently on display include Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne, Peter Paul Reuben's Samson and Delilah, and a self-portrait painted by Rembrandt when he was 34. The National Gallery London paintings also include works by Vermeer, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and George Stubbs.
The National Gallery in London doesn't only offer paintings, however. It also offers film screenings, free weekly concerts and other events, and something known as "Friday Lates." Friday Lates refer to the gallery's staying open until 9 o'clock at night. Events for Friday Lates vary, and often several events are coterminous during any given Friday. These events include guided tours, formal and informal talks, special concerts and exhibitions, and plenty of wine.
You don't have to attend any of these events to take advantage of Friday Lates at the National Gallery, though. You are also welcome to eat at the National Cafe or relax over a drink and good conversation at the Gallery Bar. You don't have to wine, dine, and chat to enjoy the Gallery, though. Families can take advantage of special family tours, holiday activities, story time, art workshops, and even a gallery of artwork by children who were inspired by what they saw at the Gallery! Audio tours and printed trails mean that you don't have to worry about keeping up with a tour group and can take your time with any works that intrigue you (or your children). So whether you're visiting as a family, a couple, or in your own good company, the National Gallery in London has an experience tailor-fit to suit your needs.