Sir Michael Levey

Rising through the ranks from his first job as a graduate, Sir Michael Levey became Director of the National Gallery in 1973.

Born on 8 June 1927, Levey completed his school days at the Oratory School. He then spent time in the army before continuing his studies at Oxford University.

After graduation, Levey secured the position of Assistant Keeper at the National Gallery in 1951. Rising through the ranks, he became Deputy Keeper in 1966, Keeper in 1968 and finally succeeded Martin Davies as Director in October 1973. Levey continued as Director until the end of 1986.

In addition to his career at the National Gallery, Levey was also a prolific writer on a wide range of subjects, enjoying spells as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge from 1963–1964 and Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford from 1994–1995. He died on 28 December 2008.

Selected acquisitions

Ugolino di Nerio: 'Moses'
Ugolino di Nerio
Ugolino di Nerio: 'David'
Ugolino di Nerio
Ugolino di Nerio: 'Two Angels'
Spandrel Angels
Ugolino di Nerio
Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece: 'The Virgin and Child with Musical Angels'
The Virgin and Child with Musical Angels
Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece
Jacopo Bassano, The Way to Calvary
The Way to Calvary
Jacopo Bassano
The Concert
Hendrick ter Brugghen
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Boy bitten by a Lizard
Boy bitten by a Lizard
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Peter Paul Rubens: 'Samson and Delilah'
Samson and Delilah
Peter Paul Rubens
Anthony van Dyck: 'The Balbi Children'
The Balbi Children
Anthony van Dyck
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas: 'Hélène Rouart in her Father's Study'
Hélène Rouart in her Father's Study
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Camille Pissarro: 'The Avenue, Sydenham'
The Avenue, Sydenham
Camille Pissarro
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo: 'Portrait of Don Justino de Neve'
Portrait of Don Justino de Neve
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The Skiff (La Yole)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Joseph Wright 'of Derby': 'Mr and Mrs Thomas Coltman'
Mr and Mrs Thomas Coltman
Joseph Wright 'of Derby'