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Record-breaking attendance for re-display

Georges Seurat, Bathers at Asnières, 1884 

Issued February 2007

Sainsbury Wing
22 September 2006 - 23 May 2007
Admission free
Sponsored by Anglo American

'Manet to Picasso: A Redisplay of Modern Masters from the National Gallery Collection' has become the most popular free display in National Gallery history.

590,433 visitors have enjoyed the Sainsbury Wing installation since it opened on 22 September 2006, beating the previous record of 572,244 visitors to 'London's Monets', back in 1996.

This unique opportunity to re-examine the National Gallery's permanent collection, to learn more about well-known works such as Seurat's Bathers at Asniéresand Van Gogh's Sunflowers, how they were made and the stories behind them, seems to have captured the public's imagination and inspired new art lovers.

'Manet to Picasso' remains open until 23 May 2007.

Record-breaking attendance for 'Manet to Picasso' and 'Velazquez' has led to the busiest December ever at the National Gallery - 472,936 people visited the National Gallery in December 2006, that's 175,596 more people than the previous year.

'Velázquez' (18 October 2006 - 21 January 2007) had 302,520 visitors - the largest attendance ever for a National Gallery exhibition with an admission charge.

In 2006 there were 4.6 million visitors to The National Gallery, up from 4.2 million in 2005.

Notes for Editors

The previous record for attendance at National Gallery exhibitions with an admission charge was held by Degas: 'Beyond Impressionism' (22/05/96- 26/08/9606) with 283,000 visitors. In second place was Vermeer and the Delft School (20/06/01 - 16/09/01) with 276,000 visitors.

The previous record for attendance at National Gallery free displays was held by 'London's Monets' (12/03/96 - 05/05/96) with 572,244 visitors. In second place was 'Van Gogh to Picasso:; The Berggruen Collection at the National Gallery' (16/01/91 - 21/04/91) with 529,509 visitors.

Attendance figures for recent National Gallery exhibitions - 'Titian' (2003) 267,900, 'El Greco' (2004) 221,542, 'Raphael: From Urbino to Rome' (2004/5) 230,649 and 'Caravaggio: The Final Years' (2005) 244,955.

The previous record for the highest December attendance at the National Gallery was 410,000 visitors in December 2004.

For further press information please contact:
Tracy Jones on 020 7747 2512 or

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