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One of the greatest collections of European painting in the world. These pictures belong to the public and admission to see them is free.
Open daily 10.00-18.00, Fri 10.00-21.00
The Gallery holds regular events given or interpreted in British Sign Language (BSL).
On the last Saturday of every month the ‘Art Through Words’ programme for blind and partially sighted visitors examines one painting in the collection in detail.
The National Gallery’s permanent collection spans the period from about 1250 to 1900 and consists of Western European paintings.
Fine Art, Personalities, Religion, Social History
Key artists and exhibits
- 'The Wilton Diptych'
- Jan van Eyck 'The Arnolfini Portrait'
- Paolo Uccello 'The Battle of San Romano'
- Piero della Francesca 'The Baptism of Christ'
- Sandro Botticelli 'Venus and Mars'
- Leonardo da Vinci 'The Virgin of the Rocks'
- Michelangelo 'The Entombment'
- Giovanni Bellini 'The Doge Leonardo Loredan'
- Raphael 'The Madonna of the Pinks'
- Jan Gossaert 'The Adoration of the Kings'
- Titian 'Bacchus and Ariadne'
- Hans Holbein the Younger 'The Ambassadors'
- Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 'The Supper at Emmaus'
- Peter Paul Rubens 'Samson and Delilah'
- Anthony Van Dyck, 'Equestrian Portrait of Charles I'
- Rembrandt 'Self Portrait at the Age of 34'
- Claude 'Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula'
- Diego Velázquez 'The Rokeby Venus'
- Johannes Vermeer 'A Young Woman standing at a Virginal'
- Canaletto 'The Stonemason's Yard'
- Thomas Gainsborough 'Mr and Mrs Andrews'
- George Stubbs 'Whistlejacket'
- François-Hubert Drouais 'Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame'
- John Constable, 'The Hay Wain'
- Joseph Mallord William Turner 'The Fighting Temeraire'
- Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres 'Madame Moitessier'
- Claude-Oscar Monet 'Bathers at La Grenouillère'
- Georges Seurat 'Bathers at Asnières'
- Vincent Van Gogh 'Sunflowers'
- Paul Cezanne, 'Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)'
Monet: The Water Garden at Giverny
- 16 September 2014 — 16 September 2015 *on now
In 1918, the day after the Armistice was signed, Monet promised a group of paintings to the French nation as a 'monument to peace'. Known as the 'Water-Lilies', they continue to captivate visitors almost a century later.
Claude Monet lived at Giverny, Normandy, for half of his long life; during his final decades, he almost exclusively painted the garden filled with water-lilies he had created there. A keen horticulturist, he intended the garden 'for the pleasure of the eyes and also for the purpose of having subjects to paint'.
This display highlights the National Gallery's exceptional holdings of Monet's Giverny pictures, shown together for the first time in 17 years.
- Family friendly
- 12 November 2014 — 12 April 2015 *on now
Peder Balke is among the most pioneering painters of 19th-century Scandinavia but despite the beauty and expressiveness of his seascapes, few today will recognise his name.
Balke was one of the first artists to venture to the vast, untrodden plains of the North Cape where he was overwhelmed by “opulent beauties of nature and locations delivered to the eye and the mind.” A lack of commercial success forced him to abandon his career as a painter, yet, so alluring was this wilderness on him that Balke continued to paint small scenes for pleasure. Such works, including the Gallery’s ‘Tempest’, are now widely regarded as highly original improvisations of unequalled virtuosity and innovation.
Maggi Hambling: Walls of Water
- 26 November 2014 — 15 February 2015 *on now
One of Britain’s most significant and controversial painters and sculptors, Maggi Hambling, exhibits a new series of dramatic paintings, which have never been seen in public before.
Occupying Room 1, Hambling’s eight works are vast, intense and energetic, measuring over six by seven feet, with another ninth, smaller canvas that was produced in response to the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011.
Through turbulence and exuberant colour, Hambling continues to affirm painting's immediacy, saying “The crucial thing that only painting can do is to make you feel as if you’re there while it’s being created – as if it’s happening in front of you.”
- 4 March — 31 May 2015
So universally popular are the Impressionists today, it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t. But in the early 1870s they struggled to be accepted. Shunned by the art establishment, they were even lambasted as ‘lunatics’ by one critic.
One man, however, recognised their worth from the beginning. Paul Durand-Ruel, an entrepreneurial art dealer from Paris, discovered this group of young artists – including Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley – and gambled.
In a unique collaboration with the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, ‘Inventing Impressionism’ features 85 masterpieces from the movement, all but one having passed through Durand-Ruel’s hands, including three of Renoir’s famous ‘Dances’ and five from Monet’s ‘Poplars’ series, alongside rare photographs from Durand-Ruel’s life.
- Family friendly
National Art Pass (Art Fund) holders: £9
Student/Jobseeker/12–18 years: £9
Includes voluntary donation
Soundscapes: Listening to Paintings
- 8 July — 6 September 2015
After the highly successful and experimental 'Metamorphosis: Titian 2012', where contemporary artists – including choreographers, composers, dancers, poets and visual artists – responded to paintings by Renaissance master Titian, the National Gallery is inviting six sound artists and musicians to each select a painting from the National Gallery’s collection and to create new work in response to it.
Each artist will be given a room in the Sainsbury Wing exhibition galleries in which their chosen painting and their sound/musical response will be installed.
The new sound pieces will be site specific and can only be heard in the context of the 'Soundscapes' exhibition with the painting that inspired it. Relying on minimal text, the idea is to give visitors the opportunity to experience and think about these works of art in a very different way, through what they hear as much as what they see.
This is an exhibition that celebrates the National Gallery’s collection, highlighting its ongoing inspiration for contemporary artists, this time from the musical world.
- Family friendly
Goya: The Portraits
- 7 October 2015 — 10 January 2016
Francisco de Goya (1746 -1828) is one of Spain’s most celebrated artists. He was considered a supremely gifted portrait painter and an excellent social commentator who took the genre of portraiture to new heights through his ability to reveal the psychology of his sitter.
This landmark exhibition - the first ever focusing solely on his portraits - re-appraises Goya’s genius as a portraitist and provide a penetrating insight into both public and private aspects of his life. It explores Goya’s ambitions and development as a painter, and his innovative and unconventional approach to portraiture which often broke traditional boundaries.
By bringing together more than 50 of his most outstanding portraits from around the world, including drawings and miniatures, and organising them in a chronological and thematic sequence, the show enables viewers to engage for the first time with the full range of Goya’s technical, stylistic and psychological development as a portraitist.
Take One Picture
Take One Picture
Each year the National Gallery's Take One Picture scheme focuses on a painting from the Collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms.
Paintings can be used for work in literacy, numeracy, ICT, science, history, art and design, craft, design and technology, and PSHEE and citizenship.
Each year the Gallery displays a selection of schools' work in the Take One Picture exhibition.
How to obtain
BOOKING NOW FOR WHOLE PRIMARY STAFF CPD DAYS
Please telephone 020 7747 2844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for dates and availability.
Magic Carpet Storytelling on Sundays
Fly away on the magic carpet at The National Gallery as it comes to land in front of a different painting each Sunday. Enjoy stories that tie in with creative workshops happening on the same day, suitable for children under 5 years old. Come along at 10.30-11.00 or 11.30-12.00 to the Education Centre.
How to obtain
Booking is not necessary but places are limited and allocated on arrival. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Email email@example.com for further details.