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empty National Gallery during London lockdwon
Photograph: Any Parsons

The National Gallery is showing its most famous paintings outdoors

Priceless paintings, in the rain? Are they CRAZY?

Written by
Eddy Frankel

20 life-size replicas of the nation’s favourite paintings are going on display in Trafalgar Square in August as part of the National Gallery’s late-summer outdoor celebration of art, 'Inside Out', alongside a series of free community art sessions. 

The works are all taken from the National Gallery’s collection, including paintings by Gainsborough, Caravaggio and Titian, which you’ll be able to experience outdoors in all of London’s glorious weather. 

By ‘lifesize’ we assume they mean they’re exact 1 to 1 replicas of the original works, not that they’ve worked out how tall Bacchus in Titian’s painting actually would be and blown the image up to match, so you can finally eyeball him mano a mano. I mean, it could be that, but that seems like a lot of effort to go to. 

You might be thinking ‘hold on, can’t I just go see the originals right there, inside the National Gallery, for free?’ To which I’d reply that you’d best keep your heretical ideas to yourself. The National Gallery is more powerful than you can imagine, and will not shy away from having you silenced.

Alongside the outdoor exhibition, the community 'Sketch on the Square' art sessions will see 30 easels set up around Trafalgar Square, with gallery staff and artists leading classes. The sessions are free, you just need to book here

The whole thing runs Aug 3-Sep 2, Trafalgar Square, free. More details here.

Want outdoor art you can see now? Here are the best outdoor sculptures in London.

Want art, but don't care if it's outdoors? Here are the best exhibitions in London right now.

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