The National Gallery is the museum that houses the national collection of Western European paintings from the 13th to the 20th centuries. This collection includes a wide spectrum of pieces from different masters such as Duccio, Picasso, Renoir, among others.
The first paintings in the National Gallery collection came from the banker and collector John Julius Angerstein. These contemplate Italian works and fine examples of the Dutch, Flemish and English Schools. The gallery opened to the public on 10 May of 1824.
In 1823, the landscape painter and art collector Sir George Beaumont (1753 – 1827), had promised his collection of pictures to the nation, with the condition that suitable accommodation could be provided for their display and conservation.
The pictures gift was made in 1826. There were displayed alongside Angerstein's pictures in Pall Mall (gallery’s original location) until 1838, when the whole collection was moved to Trafalgar Square where the National Gallery is currently located.
Since the government bought the collection, it can be enjoyed 361 days a year, without charge.
The collection is composed of more than 2.300 paintings from different European Masters among which are:
• The Virgin of the Rocks - Leonardo Da Vinci
• Venus and Mars – Sandro Botticelli
• Sunflowers – Vincent Van Gogh
• The Supper at Emmaus – Caravaggio
• The Entombment – Michelangelo
• The Toilet of Venus – Diego Velazquez
• The Madonna of the Pinks – Raphael
• Samson and Delilah – Rubens
• The Battle of San Romano – Paolo Uccello
• Self portrait at the age of 34 – Rembrandt
• Bathers – Paul Cézanne
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