Paintings in depth

Learn more about the National Gallery paintings – the in-depth stories behind the art
Detail from Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Four Times of Day: Morning, about 1858
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Learn more about the technique, theme, and history of Corot's series, 'The Four Times of Day.'
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Over the course of the 18th century, an outstanding collection of portraits and Old Master paintings was built up at Longford Castle. Later, a few of these artworks were put on display at the National Gallery.
Barocci 'The Madonna of the Cat'
Discover the technical brilliance and creative mastery of one of the Renaissance's finest artists with our unique online resource.
Detail from Van Gogh, 'Sunflowers', 1888
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A unique opportunity to compare and contrast two versions of Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' - one from The National Gallery, London, one from Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
Detail from Edouard Manet, 'The Execution of Maximilian', about 1867-8
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Who are the men in Manet's masterpiece? Learn about the history of its subjects and how the painting ended up in fragments on the National Gallery walls.
Detail from Leonardo 'The Virgin of the Rocks', about 1491-1508
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Uncover the hidden painting behind one of the most celebrated masterpieces at the Gallery, Leonardo's 'The Virgin of the Rocks'.
Detail from Van Gogh, 'Sunflowers', 1888
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Yellow symbolised happiness for Van Gogh. Read about his famous 'Sunflowers' paintings and the story of his life.
Detail from Lucas Cranach the Elder: 'Saints Genevieve and Apollonia  from The St Catherine Altarpiece: Reverses of Shutters', 1506
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Learn how to identify saints in National Gallery paintings. Follow their legends and discover more about their special roles
Detail from Titian, 'Diana and Actaeon', 1556-9
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Find out about the commission, the story and the painting.
Detail from Turner, 'The Fighting Temeraire', 1839
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Find out about Turner's celebrated depiction of the last voyage of an old war hero - The Fighting Temeraire.
Detail from Raphael, 'Madonna of the Pinks', about 1506-7
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Discover how the National Gallery was able to identify 'The Madonna of the Pinks' as a work by Raphael.
Detail from Batoni, 'Portrait of Richard Miles', probably 1670
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Discover how the adventures of young aristocrats had a lasting impact on the National Gallery Collection.
Detail from Drouais, 'Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame', 1763-4
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Find out about the powerful woman depicted in Drouais's portrait: Louis XV's most powerful courtesan, Madame de Pompadour
Detail from Leonardo 'The Virgin of the Rocks', about 1491/2-9 and 1506-8
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Learn about the secrets that lie behind a Renaissance masterpiece by Leonardo.
Andrea del Verrocchio, 'The Virgin and Child with Two Angels'
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Discover how conservation work at the Gallery has helped to identify two works in the collection by Leonardo’s teacher, Andrea del Verrocchio.
Detail from Cosimo Tura: 'A Muse (Calliope?)'
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Listen to curators, conservators and staff from the Scientific Department at the Gallery talking about their research on a selection of paintings

All paintings in the collection