Collectors and benefactors

From the foundation of the National Gallery to the present day, collectors and benefactors have played a key role in the development of the national collection.

Whether through the gift of a single painting, a bequest of an entire collection or a major financial donation, the generosity of benefactors has helped to enhance the experience of the Gallery for all its visitors.


Detail of 'The Wilton Diptych'
Art Fund is an independent charity which secures works of art for the UK’s public collections, and has a long history of supporting acquisitions at the National Gallery.
Detail from John Hoppner: 'Sir George Beaumont', 1803
Biography of the collector George Beaumont, a major sponsor behind the creation of the National Gallery.
Detail from Edouard Manet, Corner of a Café-Concert
Biography of Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947), chairman of the family textiles firm and an active patron of the arts.
Biography of the Sir Paul Getty (1932–2003) whose endowment has an ongoing legacy at the National Gallery.
John Jackson: 'Reverend William Holwell Carr'
Biography of the collector Reverend William Holwell Carr (1758–1830) who bequeathed 35 paintings to the National Gallery.
Detail from Raphael, The Crucified Christ with the Virgin, Saints and Angels
Biography of Dr Ludwig Mond (1839-1909) who bequeathed his collection of 42 pictures to the National Gallery.
Biography of the Sainsbury Brothers, benefactors to the National Gallery.
Detail from Dirk Bouts, 'The Virgin and Child'
Biography of George Salting (1835–1909), an avid collector of the fine and decorative arts.


Detail from Sir Thomas Lawrence: 'John Julius Angerstein Aged 55', about 1790
Biography of John Julius Angerstein whose collection of paintings went on to form the cornerstone of the National Gallery.
Discover how the first British owners of ‘Diana and Actaeon’ revolutionised tastes in art and started the first public displays.
William Charles Ross: 'Prince Albert'
The history of Prince Albert's collection at the National Gallery