National Gallery is a beautiful art museum in London that displays a great collection of European paintings of Great Britain. Located on the north side of Trafalgar Street, the museum consists of 2300 works that are considered to be the most representative sampling of European paintings across the globe. You will find a comprehensive collection of Italian Renaissance paintings with works of the most famous Venetian and Florentine masters of that period.
The National Gallery also holds great artworks of British, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Flemish painters from the 15th to 19th centuries. The impressive painting of ‘The Sunflowers' created by Vincent Van Gogh is among the remarkable displays of the museum. You can explore the different alleys and watch the portrayal of skills, expertise, and imagination throughout the day.
Some of the highlights from the collection are The Ambassadors, Samson and Delilah, The Madonna of the Pinks, and the Baptism of Christ. Every creation in the National Gallery narrates a different story that will definitely steal your heart. If you are a true lover of art and literature and want to witness the work of renowned European artists, the National Gallery should be your ideal destination. Therefore, the National Gallery is an epitome of beautiful creations made by humans that are the greatest of all times.
The National Gallery offers a remarkable collection of paintings created by renowned European artists. The highlight of these paintings are the skills and techniques used to create different dimensions and effects on these art pieces. If you are an art lover, you should visit this museum and explore the best highlights from the collection.
Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame is the most organic image portrait of her that eliminates the sturdy formality or mythological trappings of court portraiture found in ancient portraits. During the creation of this portrait, Madame de Pompadour has gained immense popularity by the end of her life.She was a significant leader in applied, fine, and performing arts that had an interest in style and fashion, especially the Rococo style. The objects created around her in the portrait signify her interest in art and literature. After close inspection, it was found that the painting is made up of two canvases. The large full-length canvas is combined with a tinier canvas, including the head, shoulders, and right forearm.
Another highlight of the National Gallery in London is a beautiful portrayal of the tragedy of love and betrayal, Samson and Delilah. Delilah, Samson’s lover, had been compensated to find the secrets of Samson’s supernatural strength. After finding the secret, Delilah told an accomplice to cut his hair to make him powerless. But, Delilah will someday have to pay for her disloyalty. During Ruben’s visit to Italy, he saw the experiments conducted by Caravaggio in the use of the high-contrasting shades of light and deep, rich color. When he returned from Italy, he used this technique to paint the beautiful portrait of Samson and Delilah for his private collection.
The Adoration of the Kings is a giant masterpiece, packed with angels, peasants, animals, and royal kings and courtiers, who come to seek blessings from infant Christ. The portrayal also showcases Christ sitting on his mother’s lap in a pristine but ruined building. After the technical analysis of the painting, the amount of time, skill, and effort the artist had put into the painting has been revealed. You can also see the amount of undrawing at some parts and the changes made at different stages by Jan Gossaert. The picture also contains intricate details of virtuoso passages, particularly in the foreground.
Hans Holbein’s grand double portrait, The Ambassadors, is a highly accomplished portraitist that portrays the status and wealth of the sitters. The painting dates back to the time when Europe was facing religious upheaval. The array of things on the table in the painting seems to mention discord. This portrait is an extraordinary display of Holbein’s skill in creating images and manipulating oil paint to exhilarate a variety of textures. If you view the painting from an angle, the extended part between the men’s feet becomes a skull. At the top left of the picture, you will find a hidden crucifix that signifies hints at the hope of the redemption of revived Christ.
The Virgin of the Rocks is one of the most mysterious and complex pictures of Leonardo in the National Gallery. The painting showcases the Virgin Mary with an angel, Christ’s cousin, and Saint John the Baptist. All the people have been seen kneeling down to catch a glimpse of the infant Christ, who in turn, takes his hands up to bless them. The surroundings in the painting display a grotto overhung with rocks and dense vegetation. The painting constitutes a giant and elaborate altarpiece created to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary for the church of San Francesco Grande, Milan.
Painted equivalent to the height of Caravaggio’s fame, the Supper at Emmaus is among the most incredible domestic religious paintings. He beautifully portrays the dramatic climax of the story, i.e., the time when the disciples instantly see what has been put forth along them. Their actions signify their amazement: one throws out his arms in a motion of skepticism, while the other one leaps out of his chair. The sharp lighting of the painting showcases the dramatic intensity of the scene. Therefore, the Supper at Emmaus is one of the fundamental highlights of the National Gallery.
The Madonna of the Pinks also portrays the subject of the Virgin and the Child. The figures in the picture display all the soft emotions between a mother and a child. You can see the pair sitting in a bedchamber that is located in an Italian Renaissance palace. The exchange of carnations in the picture reflects on the passion and divine love of Christ. The arched window provides a glimpse of the sunny views with fortified ruins clamping to a rocky hill. The intention behind creating this painting is to hold it in hand for prayer and contemplation. In this painting, you will see the reflections of the Benois Madonna painting style that was created by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Fighting Temeraire showcases the final journey of the Temeraire ship towed from the Sheerness on the banks of the River Thames where it is going to be scrapped. This ship was known to play a pivotal role in the Battle of Trafalgar and had been sold by the Admiralty after 40 long years. The artist Turner saw the towing of this ship and recreated the scene imaginatively using modern reports. Located on a blazing sunset backdrop, the last journey of Temeraire offers a great symbol as the life of sail gives way to the life of steam.
The Baptism of Christ is the earliest surviving work of the innovative Tuscan painter, named Piero Della Francesca. This artist is renowned for writing the first treatise on perspective. In this painting, he has created objects in proportion so they look like they appear in real life. It lays stress on the landscape depth and harmony of the natural features and figures in it. The painting portrays Christ standing in a shallow and winding stream while John the Baptist pours a tiny bowl of water over his head. On the left side, three angels can be seen witnessing the event in vibrant robes.
Location: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom.
Timings: 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday to Thursday), 10 am to 9 pm (Friday)
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the National Gallery in London is during the early hours of the morning. At this time, the place remains quiet and does not have much crowd. Hence, you can explore the gallery and watch the collection of paintings in full capacity without missing any part.
How To Reach: The easiest way to reach National Gallery London is from the Westminster station from platform to street level on the different lines of Circle, Jubilee, and District. After reaching there, you can take the bus services number 12, 24, 88, or 453 to reach your ideal destination.
The best time to visit the National Gallery is usually during the early hours of the morning. At this time, the place remains the quietest, and you do not experience much crowd. You can effortlessly head straight towards the gallery and watch the remarkable paintings and other works of art and cover the entire area.
No, photography is not allowed inside the National Gallery. However, you can click pictures for personal and non-commercial purposes, and it is the responsibility of the visitors to ensure that no copyright is infringed. A few exceptions are also there to protect copyrights of loans, paintings, individual privacy, and the overall visitor experience.
There are plenty of things to do inside the National Museum. You can see a beautiful collection of European paintings from 1250 to 1900 that is on the display. Visitors can also learn about different European artists and the way they used their skills to create remarkable masterpieces.
Yes, you can carry backpacks inside the National Gallery after a careful inspection by a security professional. However, the bag size policy is enforced to ensure safety and security in the museum. The maximum bag size allowed inside the gallery is 56 x 25 x 45 cm. Moreover, the bags used in baby care and nursing are also allowed on the premises.
Yes, there is an entry ticket for the National Gallery to visit the collection and witness the exhibitions. You can also save much of your time by booking the ticket online.