First-class art for every class of art lover
Established in 1824 as a new art collection for the enjoyment and education of all, the National Gallery first consisted of 38 pictures, put on display at a house on Pall Mall while a purpose-built gallery was constructed. There are now over 2,300 works of art, from medieval classics to world-famous pieces by the French Impressionists. The new museum opened in 1838, located in Trafalgar Square because it was deemed to be at the heart of London – easy for rich people to visit from the west by carriage and also convenient for poor people coming by foot from east London.
Free to visit, the National Gallery is still as welcoming to all as it was back then. Anyone can swing by and gaze on Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ for ten minutes on their way to work, or stay all day and admire JMW Turner’s Bequest or Cézanne’s ‘Bathers’.
The gallery has blockbuster exhibitions, music concerts and courses that do carry an entry charge, but most of the collection isn’t ticketed, and there are free talks each day, which you don’t need to book in advance. These take a closer look at a different painting or theme each time.
There are free sessions for families on Sundays and during school holidays, too. These give children aged five to 12 the chance to experience the grand gallery atmosphere whilst getting creative in drawing and art workshops designed for their level of interest. These are drop-in, but demand can be high, so you might have to wait for spaces unless you arrive early.
|Venue name:||National Gallery||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Open daily 10am–6pm, Fridays 10am–9pm. Closed Jan 1, Dec 24–26.|
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
|Price:||Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions|
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Flowers, as anyone who has been on the giving or receiving end of a bunch will agree, are never just flowers. They speak of love, lust, celebration, sympathy, guilt… And so the bouquets of tulips, irises and roses in this scintillating display of Dutch...Painting Until Monday August 29 2016 FreeRead more
George Shaw: My Back To Nature
For the past two and half years, George Shaw has enjoyed one of the best gigs in art as artist-in-residence at the National Gallery. This is our opportunity to see how the artist, a Coventry lad who studied at the RCA in the 1990s, has been inspired by...Painting Until Sunday October 30 2016 FreeRead more
Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck
Okay, listen. There are paintings in this show by Picasso, Cézanne, Degas, Matisse, Van Dyck, Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Manet, Rembrandt, Poussin, Titian and someone who Sir Joshua Reynolds thought was Mantegna but was actually Bellini. As a starting...Until Saturday September 24 2016Read more
Take One Picture
Explore children's responses to Thomas Gainsborough's Mr And Mrs Andrews, across watercolours and lacemaking to ceramics and creative writing.Drawing and illustration Until Sunday September 25 2016Read more
Claude-Joseph Vernet: A Master Of Seascapes
Francesca Whitlum-Cooper discusses Vernet's work in relation to A Sea-Shore and explores why he was one of the foremost painters of his generation in France.Painting Wednesday September 7 2016Read more
Looking Without Talking
Enjoy an undisturbed session in a closed gallery with adjusted lighting where you will sit quietly and immerse yourself in a single painting and explore what happens when you do.Painting Friday September 16 2016Read more
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio remains art’s ultimate bad boy some 400 years after his death. A maverick and a murderer, he embodies the ‘live fast, die young’ mantra of rebels the world over. However, the drama of Caravaggio’s short life is more than...Painting Wednesday October 12 2016 - Sunday January 15 2017Read more
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Sometime between 1565 and 1570, Giovanni Battista Moroni painted Il Tagliapani (The Tailor) on view in the National Gallery's Room 12.
Il Tagliapani emerges from black space a free man without pretension but with a diginified chest and a judging eye. He wears a cream-coloured rough-textured doublet, dotted lines flowing down the front. A brown belt decorates his waist. Blood red round hose completes the clothing. His right hand, clasping gleaming black shears, rests on a table. He is about to slit black material along a dotted line.
Moroni's depiction of Il Tagliapani as the equal of his clientele is a great achievement for a Sixteenth Century painter, but there is more.
Shears may be used as a tool or a weapon, depending on necessity.
Moroni anticipates five hundred years of history.
This is one of those gems it's easy to take for granted as a Londoner. Remember the permanent exhibition is free, which means you can pop in and take in a few Turners (for example) for nothing in the middle of your day. One of the many reasons for city living…
The current Goya exhibition is wonderful. This is a great place to see some fantastic and historical works of art, and all for free!
Perhaps the finest and among the most visited art museums in the world.
What to say? fantastic especially the rooms devoted to the Impressionists ....... worth visiting! Among the other you are allowed to take pictures without flash.
Van Gogh exhibit is a must see for any art lover, it's truly moving to see his most famous pieces together, absolutely beautiful. Whole gallery is amazing.
This is an essential visit to an old friend, majestic, personal, inspiring and full of hidden treasure. Always stopping to see the breathtaking delaroche "execution of lady jane grey", a powerful, tragic and vast piece of work. The National Gallery is truly a space for everyone, anyone, all of us.
A perfect place to keep an eye on for different exhibitions to lose yourself in. Wonderful building as well.