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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- Eight or nine plotlets, a castlist the size of a rugby scrum. Whatever persuaded first-time director Curtis that he could handle this lot, we can only hope that a hype-happy press and the biggest audience money can buy won't persuade him he's carr...Read more
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Prepare for disappointment, as the actress said to the bishop. There aren’t a lot of Caravaggio paintings in this exhibition. Yes, it says Caravaggio in the title, and yes, that’s a bit of a bloody liberty, especially because most of them are already...Painting Until Sunday January 15 2017Read more
Maino's Adorations: Heaven on Earth
Examine two masterpieces by the Spanish painter, on display in the UK for the first time; the vast altarpieces, The Adoration Of The Shepherds and The Adoration Of The Kings.Painting Until Sunday January 29 2017Read more
Friday Lates at the National Gallery
A weekly late opening of the galleries giving visitors the chance to catch exhibitions, take part in guided talks and other special events. Check the website to find out what's on.Until Friday December 14 2018 FreeRead more
Impressionism isn't all about cancan dancers and lilies floating on ponds – down in the southern hemisphere, Australia cultivated its own particular take on what's often considered an exclusively European movement. Much of the work on display – by artists...Painting Wednesday December 7 2016 - Sunday March 26 2017 FreeRead more
Things to do
Christmas With The Stars
Catch a thoroughly festive flick at this series of pop-up screenings in the heart of London. The National Gallery will be showing the likes of 'It's A Wonderful Life' and 'Love Actually', while Leffe will be supplying complimentary glasses of Christmassy...Food and drink events Wednesday December 14 2016 - Sunday December 18 2016Read more
Average User Rating
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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.
As good (if not better) than the National Gallery in Washington. Highly Recommend This if your cup runs dry.
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.