Collection overview

13th to 15th century

Duccio, Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, Dürer, Memling, Bellini

Most surviving late medieval pictures are religious, made for altars in churches or for private devotion. Many have exquisitely decorated gold-leaf backgrounds.

In the 15th century, portraits and scenes from ancient history and mythology increased in importance. Realism also affected the treatment of sacred subjects.

Figures were often placed in convincing architectural and landscape settings. Technical advances, such as oil paint, allowed greater subtlety in depicting facial expression and surface textures.

Next: 16th-century paintings

Botticelli, 'Venus and Mars', about 1485
Botticelli, Venus and Mars, about 1485 


Selected masterpieces from the collection

Sandro Botticelli: 'Venus and Mars'
Venus and Mars
Sandro Botticelli
Giovanni Bellini: 'The Doge Leonardo Loredan'
Doge Leonardo Loredan
Giovanni Bellini
Leonardo da Vinci: 'The Virgin of the Rocks'
The Virgin of the Rocks
Leonardo da Vinci
The Supper at Emmaus
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
The Fighting Temeraire
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Madame Moitessier'
Madame Moitessier
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers
Vincent van Gogh
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