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Top ten postcards sold at the National Gallery

Check out the National Gallery's bestselling miniature masterpieces over the past year

By Martin Coomer

It's peak tourist season for London's art galleries, which means postcards are flying out of the racks. In our age of Twitter, Instagram and general can't-be-arsed-ness, actual postcard writing may be a dying art, but we still love to pick up miniature versions of the best paintings in London (for around 70p each) to adorn our walls - or just languish in drawers. Here are the top ten postcards based on sales over the past year at the National Gallery

10. 'A Woman Bathing in a Stream', 1654, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Lots of love. This beauty is thought to be Hendrickje Stoffels, Rembrandt's much younger, common-law wife.

9. 'Two Crabs', 1889, by Vincent van Gogh

Despite its title, the third Van Gogh in the top ten probably depicts two views of the same crustacean.


8. 'Lake Keitele', 1905, by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

This sublime study of a Finnish lake has been a regular fixture in the top postcard charts since the NG acquired it in 1999.

7. 'Bathers at Asnières', 1884, by Georges Seurat

A message to you. Seurat depicts workers on their lunch break on the banks of the Seine. But who is that boy calling out to?


6. 'Whistlejacket', 1762, by George Stubbs

Stubb's startling depiction of the Marquess of Rockingham's racehorse is probably the most valuable thoroughbred in the land.

5. 'The Fighting Temeraire', 1839, by JMW Turner

The nation's favourite painting. The only surprise is that it's not higher on this list.


4. 'The Thames Below Westminster', 1871, by Claude Monet

'Classic view of London' plus 'consummate painter of light and water' equals 'the classiest postcard of the capital you can send'.

3. 'A Wheatfield, with Cypresses', 1889, by Vincent van Gogh

Wish you were here? 'Wheatfield' wasn't painted beneath the azure sky of Arles but in the St Rémy mental asylum.


2. 'The Water-Lily Pond', 1899, by Claude Monet

Wish you were here. It's no surprise to see Monet's famous view of his idyllic lily pond and Japanese bridge in second place.

1. 'Sunflowers', 1888, by Vincent van Gogh

With more than six percent of the National's total postcard sales, Vincent's masterpiece is a small slice of endless summer that lets everyone say it with flowers.


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