Eastlake’s legacy at the National Gallery does not stop with his acquisition record. His attempts to run the Gallery along professional lines with regard to its collection of pictures, their study and management were groundbreaking and set an example which has been followed ever since.
Indeed, many of the ideas which Eastlake instigated have flourished: his interest in examining and protecting the paintings has led over time to the creation of the Scientific and Conservation Departments; his catalogues foreshadowed the later National Gallery Schools Catalogues; and his desire to arrange the pictures in historical sequence still influences the arrangement of pictures in the permanent galleries of the National Gallery today.
Eastlake died during his continental trip of 1865, in Pisa on December 24. He was buried at Florence, but at the desire of the Royal Academy his body was returned to England and buried at Kensal Green cemetery.
Susanna Avery-Quash (ed.), The Travel Notebooks of Sir Charles Eastlake, Walpole Society [External link], vol. 73, 2 vols, 2011
Susanna Avery-Quash and Julie Sheldon, Art for the Nation: The Eastlakes and the Victorian Art World (National Gallery Company, 2011)
Alan Crookham, The National Gallery: An Illustrated History (National Gallery Company, 2009), pp. 31–41
David Robertson, 'Sir Charles Eastlake and the Victorian Art World' (Princeton University Press, 1978)
Charles Saumarez Smith, The National Gallery: A Short History, London, 2009, pp. 55–60, 67–80