National Gallery

(c) The National Gallery, London Photo: Philip Sayer
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The National Gallery houses the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries. It is on show 361 days a year, free of charge.

With free access to over 2,300 paintings from altarpieces to the Impressionists, there's something for everyone at the National Gallery.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Open daily 10.00-18.00, Fri 10.00-21.00

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

The National 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.

Collection details

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)'
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Dutch Flowers

Dutch Flowers

  • 6 April — 29 August 2016 *on now

The first display of its kind in 20 years, this exhibition explores the development of Dutch flower painting from its beginnings in the early 17th century to its blossoming in the late 18th century.

Coinciding with the flower shows at Chelsea and Hampton Court, 'Dutch Flowers' draws connections between the development of flower painting in the Netherlands to increased interest in botany, horticulture, and the phenomenon of ‘tulip mania’.

The exhibition presents an overview of the key artists active within the field and highlight the connections between them. Viewers are invited to examine each work closely and in detail to appreciate the stylistic and technical characteristics of each artist.

Suitable for

  • Any age
George Shaw

George Shaw My Back to Nature

  • 11 May — 30 October 2016 *on now

George Shaw became the National Gallery’s ninth Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist in 2014 and this exhibition is the unveiling of his works created over two years in the studio at the Gallery.

Shaw, who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2011, is renowned for his highly detailed approach and suburban subject matter. Paintings featuring woodlands have a particular appeal for Shaw as they resonate with his own experience of walking in the forest near his home town as a teenager and the feeling that 'something out of the ordinary could happen at any time there away from the supervision of adults?.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/george-shaw

Italian Woman

Painters' Paintings: From Van Dyck to Freud

  • 22 June — 4 September 2016

The National Gallery owns one of the world’s greatest collections of paintings. Among them is a significant group of pictures once owned by fellow painters: Van Dyck’s Titian
Reynolds’s Rembrandt
Matisse’s Degas
Lucian Freud’s Corot. This exhibition looks for the first time at these great works of art from the point of view of their illustrious artistic provenance. They are "painters’ paintings".

Major works in their own right, these paintings are imbued with additional cachet by virtue of their ownership by great painters. They also raise a number of essential questions: What pictures did painters surround themselves with? Did they concentrate on works by their contemporaries or by the great masters of the past? Was their significance emotional, spiritual, or intellectual? How deeply did the paintings impact on their own artistic journeys? And how relevant were they to these painter-collectors’ own work?

To address these issues, the exhibition presents a series of case studies, featuring about 60 works in total. Each section is devoted to a particular painter, including Degas, Lawrence, Reynolds, Matisse, Van Dyck and Freud, and is built around one or several of his "painter's paintings" in the Gallery’s collection.

Suitable for

  • Any age
St John the Baptist

Beyond Caravaggio

  • 12 October 2016 — 15 January 2017

'Beyond Caravaggio' is the first major exhibition in the UK to explore the influence of Caravaggio on the art of his contemporaries and followers.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) is one of the most revolutionary figures in art. His strikingly original paintings, with their intense naturalism and dramatic lighting, had a lasting impact on European art, both during his lifetime and in the decades immediately following his untimely death.

This exhibition will look at the ripple effect of Caravaggio’s influence on the art of his followers – artists as diverse as Orazio Gentileschi, Valentin de Boulogne, and Gerrit van Honthorst. Every one of them absorbed something different from Caravaggio – some borrowed his theatrical lighting whilst others sought to emulate the power of his storytelling – and helped propagate his style across Europe, giving rise to the international movement known as ‘Caravaggism’.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
The National Gallery

Relax With Paintings

  • 16 June 2016 2-4pm

Looking at paintings can make us feel good. Neuroscientists have discovered that looking at a beautiful artwork can increase the blood flow to the part of the brain associated with pleasure by as much as 10 per cent.

Suspend your expectations and knowledge of art and immerse yourself in a single painting from the collection.

This is a special opportunity to join a small group, and be guided towards deeper engagement.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£24/£22 concessions/£20 Members

Website

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/calendar/relax-with-paintings-19-may-2016-1400

Animal Mania

Animal Mania

  • 4 June 2016 10:30am-4pm

Join a carnival and parade your way through the National Gallery as your favorite animal, create new flying hybrid creatures and listen to stories and music inspired by the collection.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 7-10
  • 14-15
  • 5-6
  • 11-13

Admission

Free Admission.

Website

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/family-special-events?gclid=CIbi_aikscwCFcO4GwodMZsMyQ

 Image above: Laura Cumming © Sebastian Barfield

The Vanishing Man

  • 10 June 2016 6:30-7:30pm

Hear art critic Laura Cumming discuss how a Velázquez painting changed both her life and that of John Snare's – the Victorian bookseller’s at the heart of her latest novel, 'The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velázquez', a compelling synthesis of detective story and biography.

Snare came across a dirt-blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction in 1845. Suspecting that it might be a long-lost Velázquez, he bought the picture and set out to discover its strange history. When Cumming stumbled across the story, it sent her on a quest of her own, following him from London to Edinburgh and 19th-century New York, and from triumph to ruin.

Cumming is joined by Letizia Treves, Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings 1600–1800, to consider how and why Velázquez's paintings mesmerise us and why some were overlooked and misattributed for centuries.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£7/£6 concession/£5 Members

Website

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/calendar/the-vanishing-man-10-june-2016-18-30

Marina Warner © Dan Welldon

Falling Idols

  • 17 June 2016 6:30-7:30pm

Iconoclastic attacks on art reveal the power of images to embody beliefs, values and practices.

Hear from novelist and historian Dame Marina Warner, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, London as she explores the destruction of art in times of political crisis, from the English Reformation to the current day.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£7/£6 concession/£5 Members

Website

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/calendar/falling-idols-17-june-2016-18-30

Van Gogh Sunflowers

National Gallery Summer School

  • 25 — 29 July 2016

Situated in London's West End, the National Gallery is at the heart of London's cultural hub and boasts one of the most outstanding collections of western European painting in the world. Where better to learn about the development of art from the 1300s to 1900 than here during this week-long summer school?

Over the course of a week, this introduction to painting provides a sustained and rich opportunity to see works by outstanding artists, to discover the development of painting techniques, to acquire an understanding of artists' subject matter and to learn more about the purpose of different paintings.

You will have the opportunity to hear from Gallery experts and educators and participate in learning sessions just a few steps away from the paintings themselves.

Sessions consist of illustrated presentations and case studies with some discussion in front of key paintings. This course is intended as an introduction to Western European painting and will familiarise you with works by artists including Titian, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Monet.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£300/£275 Members/£250 concession & students

Website

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/calendar/summer-school-25-july-2016-11-00

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Magic Carpet Storytelling on Sundays

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/what/events/familysundays/under5.htm

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 information@ng-london.org.uk for further details.

Take One Picture

http://www.takeonepicture.org/

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 education@ng-london.org.uk for dates and availability.

National Gallery
Trafalgar Square
London
Greater London
WC2N 5DN
England

Website

National Gallery website

www.nationalgallery.org.uk

National Gallery online shop

www.nationalgallery.co.uk

E-mail

information@ng-london.org.uk

Telephone

020 7747 2885

Fax

020 7747 2423

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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