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National Gallery

Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square in the centre of London. It was founded in 1824 and houses one of the finest collections of Western European paintings in the world. The paintings date from the 13th to the 19th centuries and are on show 361 days a year, free of charge. 

Since its foundation, the National Gallery has promoted the gallery as a source of education, with the provision of free public lectures and an education programme for students.

Unlike comparable art museums in continental Europe, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection. It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, an insurance broker and patron of the arts, in 1824. The first paintings consisted of Italian works, including a large altarpiece by Sebastiano del Piombo, The Raising of Lazarus, and fine examples of the Dutch, Flemish and English Schools.

Today, the National Gallery Collection contains over 2,300 works and includes many famous works, such as van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Michelango’s The Entombment and Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne.

All major traditions of Western European painting are represented from the artists of late medieval and Renaissance Italy to the French Impressionists.

13th- to 15th-century paintings
Duccio, Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, Dürer, Memling, Bellini

16th-century paintings
Leonardo, Cranach, Michelangelo, Raphael, Holbein, Bruegel, Bronzino, Titian, Veronese

17th-century paintings
Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Claude, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Vermeer

18th- to early 20th-century paintings
Canaletto, Goya, Turner, Constable, Ingres, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh

The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection (though not some special exhibitions) is free of charge.

The Gallery aims to study and care for the collection, while encouraging the widest possible access to the pictures

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