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Past exhibition

30 October 2017 - 18 February 2018  

Location: Sainsbury Wing

Journey through a world of shadow and light with artists including Rembrandt, Ingres, Picasso, Richter, and Eliasson 

‘Beauty is all the bolder in black and white’, The Times

'One black-and-white marvel after another', The Telegraph

Time Out, Evening Standard, The Observer

Why have artists chosen to paint in black and white over the last 700 years? Not just abstract artists like Malevich, Richter, and Riley, or modern artists like Picasso, but also artists you wouldn’t expect – van Eyck, Rembrandt, Dürer, and Ingres?

See what happens when these great artists put away their colourful palettes and instead focus only on shades of black, white, and grey.

The result is more liberating than it sounds. You’ll see details you didn’t notice before – textures, and new meanings. You’ll see differently.

You’ll even see yourself and your friends differently in Eliasson’s immersive ‘Room for one colour’; a mind-altering end to your visit.

Exhibition organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf.

Exhibition generously supported by
Howard and Roberta Ahmanson
With additional support from
The Daniel Katz Gallery, London
The Vaseppi Trust
David Zwirner, New York/London

Exhibition Logistics Partner

Admission prices

£14 weekdays (Monday – Friday)
£16 weekends (Saturday – Sunday)
Pre-book online and save £2

Please note, only one discount can be applied per ticket. 

Opening hours 

Open daily 10am–6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Late night Fridays until 9pm (last admission 8.15pm)


Free with a paying adult. Ticket required. Call 0800 912 6958 (booking fee applies).


For groups of 10 or more, please call 020 7206 1174 (booking fee applies – lines open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm). 

Groups of 10 or more: 
£13 weekdays (Monday – Friday)
£15 weekends (Saturday – Sunday)

Disabled visitors

For accompanying free carer tickets, please call 0800 912 6958 (no booking fees), ask at the Ticket Desk (on the day of your visit), or email 

School, college, and university groups

Educational institutions wishing to purchase exhibition tickets please call 020 7206 1173 or visit

School groups: 
£7 weekdays (Monday – Friday)
£8 weekends (Saturday – Sunday)

Timed-ticket entry

Ticket holders should enter the exhibition at the Sainsbury Wing during the time slot on their ticket.

You can stay as long as you like until closing procedures start, but there is no re-admission to the exhibition.

Staff will start closing procedures five minutes before the advertised closing time.

Other ways to book

  • Pre-book online and save

    Book your tickets online up until midnight the day before your visit and save £2 per ticket. Receive your ticket immediately (via secure email link) and print it yourself at home

  • In person (no booking fee)

    Tickets can be purchased from the Advance Ticket Desk until 5.15pm (8.15pm on Fridays)

  • By phone

    Book tickets by phone until 3pm the day before you visit
    0800 912 6958 (booking fee applies, lines open Monday to Saturday 9am to 10pm, Sundays 10am to 8pm)
    International callers +44 020 7126 5573 (booking fee applies)
    For Disabled Concession tickets and accompanying free carer tickets, please call 0800 912 6958 (no booking fees)
    Tickets ordered by phone will be available for collection at the Ticket Desk on the day of your visit