Time Out says
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.
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
|Price:||Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions|
|Opening hours:||Open daily 10am–6pm, Fridays 10am–9pm. Closed Jan 1, Dec 24–26.|
|Do you own this business?|
Pick a date
Please select two valid dates
The first date can't be after the second date
No events found for the selected dates
Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited at the National Gallery review
You’re dwarfed by these paintings as you walk in. Bernardo Bellotto’s five views of Königstein are big, towering, heavy works. They loom over you with their pillars of grey stone and stark, sharp angles. Even when the Venetian painter (1721-1780) doesn't...Until Sunday October 31 2021 Free
‘Poussin and the Dance’ review
There’s a party going on at the National Gallery, and it’s not family-friendly. We’re talking drinking, fighting, dancing and a lot of nudity. The host of this shindig is French master Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), who – the gallery insists – is ‘the single...Until Sunday January 2 2022
The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael
Every fibre of your being might be wanting to make a joke about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but control yourself, because Raphael is so much more than a pizza slinging reptile vigilante. Raffaelo Santi (1483–1520) is a true giant of art history,...Painting Saturday April 9 2022 - Sunday July 31 2022